Abstract: Non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NASs) provide sweet tastes to food without adding calories or glucose. NASs can be used as alternative sweeteners for controlling blood glucose levels and weight gain. Although the consumption of NASs has increased over the past decade in Japan and other countries, whether these sweeteners affect the composition of the gut microbiome is unclear. In the present study, we examined the effects of sucralose or acesulfame-K ingestion (at most the maximum acceptable daily intake (ADI) levels, 15 mg/kg body weight) on the gut microbiome in mice. Consumption of sucralose, but not acesulfame-K, for 8 weeks reduced the relative amount of Clostridiumcluster XIVa in feces. Meanwhile, sucralose and acesulfame-K did not increase food intake, body weight gain or liver weight, or fat in the epididymis or cecum. Only sucralose intake increased the concentration of hepatic cholesterol and cholic acid. Moreover, the relative concentration of butyrate and the ratio of secondary/primary bile acids in luminal metabolites increased with sucralose consumption in a dose-dependent manner. These results suggest that daily intake of maximum ADI levels of sucralose, but not acesulfame-K, affected the relative amount of the Clostridium cluster XIVa in fecal microbiome and cholesterol bile acid metabolism in mice.
Keywords: CE-MS; DGGE; acceptable daily intake; acesulfame-K; artificial sweetener; bile acid; cholesterol; gut microbiota; sucralose.