Substance in Artificial Sweetener Permanently Damages Genes

A chemical in a widely used artificial sweetener exhibits genotoxic properties, reveals a new scientific study. The results shed light on the impact of the sweetener sucralose on the body’s health.

A genotoxin refers to a substance that can cause permanent damage to DNA or chromosomes. In some cases, DNA damage can lead to mutations that may be harmful to the body, and such mutations are often passed down through generations. Certain mutations may even facilitate the formation of tumors in the body, and there might be an increased risk of cardiovascular, immune, and neurodegenerative diseases due to DNA damage.

Hence, the discovery of a neurotoxin in an artificial sweetener raises concerns. Sucralose is a sugar substitute with no caloric value and is considered to lack the harmful effects of sugar in the body. Studies on sucralose haven’t provided a definitive answer to the question, “Is sucralose safe for consumption?” Most agree that moderate intake is unlikely to have negative consequences on the body.

A previous study by scientists from the University of North Carolina identified sucralose-6-acetate, or S6A. This is a biological compound that forms in the stomach after consuming sucralose and is one of several such compounds. What makes S6A special is its genotoxicity – the recent scientific study is the latest to discover this property in the compound. Moreover, the presence of S6A has been found in sucralose itself before it is consumed and metabolized.

According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the intake of genotoxic substances should be limited to less than micrograms per day to avoid negative consequences. The amount of S6A particles in sucralose alone exceeds this limit.

Genetic damage is clearly evident in the gastrointestinal system. When tissues forming the walls of the intestines are affected by sucralose, they become permeable. This means that waste materials from the body, usually transformed into excrement, can pass through the intestinal tissue and enter the bloodstream.

Cells in the gastrointestinal system also show increased activity in genes related to oxidative stress, inflammation, and carcinogenicity. The discovery provides a troubling answer to the question “Is sucralose safe?” Evidence indicates significant health risks associated with sucralose consumption. Susan Schiffman, the lead author of the scientific work, recommends that everyone avoids products containing sucralose.

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