Sweeteners: so these two sugar substitutes block liver purification

Sweeteners: so these two sugar substitutes block liver purification

Recent research has shown the side effects of artificial sweeteners in the body's purification process. Specifically, the researchers identified two sugar substitutes capable of blocking the liver purification process.

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The results of a new study suggest that two sugar substitutes disrupt the function of a protein, which plays a vital role in liver detoxification and in the metabolism of some drugs.

These sugar substitutes, also known as non-nutritive sweeteners, provide a sweet taste with little or no calories.

Many people do not realize that these compounds are found in light or sugar-free versions of various foods, such as yogurt and snacks, and even in non-food products such as liquid medicines and some cosmetics.

(Read also: Thus aspartame and artificial sweeteners increase the risk of cancer, according to a French study)

A systematic review

The researchers analyzed non-nutritive sweeteners acesulfame potassium e sucralose, using liver cells that allow the study of cellular processes such as transport.

They found that acesulfame potassium and sucralose inhibited the activity of glycoprotein P (PGP), also known as multidrug resistance protein 1 (MDR1).

PGP is part of a family of transporters, which work together to cleanse the body of toxins, drugs and drug metabolites.

The scholars observed that sweeteners impacted PGP activity in liver cells through the consumption of common foods and drinks.

The experiments also showed that sweeteners stimulate transport activity, and likely bind to PGP, and thus compete with and inhibit the transport of other substrates such as xenobiotics, drugs and their metabolites, short-chain lipids and bile acids.

Although the researchers caution that the study is preliminary and needs to be confirmed via preclinical and clinical studies, the findings suggest that sweeteners could be problematic for people taking drugs that use PGP as their primary detox transporter. These include some antidepressants, antibiotics and blood pressure medications.

If future research confirms that sweeteners impair the body's detoxification process, it would be essential to study potential interactions and determine safe consumption levels for risk groups.

It may also be important to include specific amounts of artificial sweeteners on food labels so that people can better track what they consume.

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Photos: Experimental Biology

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