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Artificial Sweeteners Attack Your Gut

Research continues to demonstrate that artificial sweeteners cause an unhealthy disturbance in your gut microbiome and digestion as a new paper in iScience reports. This is a significant problem in the United States as it is estimated that 142 million Americans use artificial sweeteners in one form or another. Digestion problems are among the most common reasons people go to the doctor, and artificial sweeteners appear to be contributing to digestive issues.

A Waste For Weight Loss

Most people use artificial sweeteners, also known as non-sugar sweeteners, to reduce calories for weight loss. Examples include saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, advantame, acesulfame-potassium, and neotame. However, studies indicate that these non-sugar sweeteners do not help in weight control and increase the risk for Type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity,  and cardiovascular disease.

Go Natural

You are much better off consuming foods sweetened with fruit, fruit juice, lo han, honey, and other natural ingredients. Even the use of sugar (in limited quantities) is healthier than artificial sweeteners. If you have digestive problems, especially gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), you absolutely should avoid artificial sweeteners.

Dr. Mark Stengler NMD, MS, is a bestselling author in private practice in Encinitas, California, at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine. His newsletter, Dr. Stengler’s Health Breakthroughs, is available at and his product line at


Hosseini, A., Barlow, G. M., Leite, G., Rashid, M., Parodi, G., Wang, J., Morales, W., Weitsman, S., Rezaie, A., Pimentel, M., & Mathur, R. (2023). Consuming artificial sweeteners may alter the structure and function of duodenal microbial communities. iScience, 26(12), 108530. 

World Health Organization. (n.d.). Use of non-sugar sweeteners: Who guideline. Use of non-sugar sweeteners: WHO guideline.