Mice fed artificial sweeteners for 11 weeks develop glucose intolerance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, due to alterations in the composition of their gut microbes, researchers from Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science have reported (Suez J et al. Nature. doi:10.1038/nature13793 [published online September 17, 2014]). Treating the animals with antibiotics abrogated these metabolic effects.
When the investigators transplanted feces from glucose-intolerant saccharin-fed mice into germ-free mice bred to have sterile intestines, those mice also became glucose intolerant.
Hampton T. Artificial Sweeteners May Promote Metabolic Disorders. JAMA. 2014;312(17):1729. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.14881