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Besides digestion, your gut is the hub of both your metabolism and your immune system. And within your gut are microbes. A healthy inner ecosystem is one that is full of helpful microbes that keep the disease-causing bugs in check.
Artificial sweeteners can destroy good bacteria in the gut, while Organic Stevia can support a healthy inner ecology. Even better, naturally sweet Stevia has zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero glycemic index.
For example, an overgrowth of bad microbes has been linked to:
- Weight gain
- Metabolic disease, which includes heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes1
It turns out that what you eat drives certain microbes to dominate over others. And while you might use artificial sweeteners to control weight and curb sugar cravings, the unimaginable has happened: By using artificial sweeteners, chances are good that you have also become more intolerant to sugar.
The Artificial Sweetener Dangers No One’s Talking About
New research shows that artificial sweeteners boost sugar intolerance, which is a marker of diabetes.2 That’s not all these sweeteners boost. Along with poor blood sugar control, you might also see an increase in gut microbes that are linked to obesity and metabolic disease.
If you’re wondering, artificial sweeteners include:
In order to figure out what came first — the poor blood sugar control or the bad bugs — researchers inoculated mice with either “normal” microbes or the microbes from mice fed artificial sweeteners. They found that microbes from mice eating artificial sweeteners were directly causing poor blood sugar control. In humans, the results were similar. Healthy folks who do not usually take artificial sweeteners were given saccharin for one week. After only one week, most of the volunteers had a poor blood sugar response and saw a shift in their inner ecosystem.
Other research has found that dysbiosis — or a wounded inner ecosystem — is linked to low-grade inflammation, which predictably shows up in both insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.3
How to Rebuild After Using Artificial Sweeteners
Many of us use those little pink and blue packets of artificial sweet stuff without a second thought. After you’ve gotten rid of these fake sweeteners and made the switch over to Stevia, you might be looking for other ways to manage blood sugar and encourage good bacteria to grow. Try this:
- Eat whole grain-like seeds such as quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and amaranth. The emphasis here is on whole. Research has found that whole grains boost metabolism and give your inner ecosystem the right kind of nutrients that it needs to thrive.4 Specifically, this means less inflammation and more control over blood sugar. While it’s not likely you’ll come across refined grain-like seeds, we recommend that you prepare all grain-like seeds at home, where you can properly soak and even ferment them yourself. When using unhulled buckwheat, be sure to throw out the soaking liquid because it contains anti-nutrients that bind to minerals and protein.
- Include a therapeutic prebiotic, such as inulin from the chicory plant or Jerusalem artichoke. Grain-like seeds are a prebiotic, meaning they feed healthy intestinal microbes. However, sometimes your inner ecosystem needs a little extra boost outside of food — this means therapeutic probiotics and prebiotics. Animal studies have found that an inulin-rich prebiotic is able to bump up weight loss, while the combination of a probiotic and a prebiotic can help you manage blood sugar.5
What To Remember Most About This Article:
Balanced health starts in your gut, which is why it can be so devastating to the body when gut health is compromised. A healthy gut is full of beneficial microbes that curb disease-causing bacterial growth. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose have a direct effect on gut health for the worse — new research indicates that artificial sweeteners can boost sugar intolerance as a marker of diabetes and may increase gut microbes linked to obesity and metabolic disease. Naturally sweet and Organic Stevia is a gut-friendly alternative to both artificial sweeteners and refined sugar.
Even if you have used artificial sweeteners for months or years, there is still hope to rebuild a healthy gut:
- Eat whole grain-like seeds. Quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and amaranth can boost metabolism and nourish the inner ecosystem, while naturally reducing inflammation and helping to control blood sugar.
- Get support from a therapeutic prebiotic. Body Ecology’s EcoBloom, made with inulin from the chicory plant, or Jerusalem artichoke are prebiotics that feed healthy gut bacteria. Using prebiotics and probiotics together may support weight loss and help balance blood sugar.
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- Cox, L. M., & Blaser, M. J. (2013). Pathways in microbe-induced obesity. Cell Metabolism, 17(6), 883-894.
- Suez, J., Korem, T., Zeevi, D., Zilberman-Schapira, G., Thaiss, C. A., Maza, O., ... & Kuperman, Y. (2014). Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature, 514(7521), 181-186.
- van Olden, C., Groen, A. K., & Nieuwdorp, M. (2015). Role of Intestinal Microbiome in Lipid and Glucose Metabolism in Diabetes Mellitus. Clinical Therapeutics.
- Martínez, I., Lattimer, J. M., Hubach, K. L., Case, J. A., Yang, J., Weber, C. G., ... & Haub, M. D. (2013). Gut microbiome composition is linked to whole grain-induced immunological improvements. The ISME Journal, 7(2), 269-280.
- Bomhof, M. R., Saha, D. C., Reid, D. T., Paul, H. A., & Reimer, R. A. (2014). Combined effects of oligofructose and Bifidobacterium animalis on gut microbiota and glycemia in obese rats. Obesity, 22(3), 763-771.
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