Ten-Week Sucralose Consumption Induces Gut Dysbiosis and Altered Glucose and Insulin Levels in Healthy Young Adults

Microorganisms. 2022 Feb 14;10(2):434. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms10020434.


Sucralose consumption alters microbiome and carbohydrate metabolism in mouse models. However, there are no conclusive studies in humans. Our goals were to examine the effect of sucralose consumption on the intestinal abundance of bacterial species belonging to Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes and explore potential associations between microbiome profiles and glucose and insulin blood levels in healthy young adults. In this open-label clinical trial, volunteers randomly drank water, as a control (n = 20), or 48 mg sucralose (n = 20), every day for ten weeks. At the beginning and the end of the study, participants were subjected to an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) to measure serum glucose and insulin every 15 min for 3 h and provided fecal samples to assess gut microbiota using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Sucralose intake altered the abundance of Firmicutes without affecting Actinobacteria or Bacteroidetes. Two-way ANOVA revealed that volunteers drinking sucralose for ten weeks showed a 3-fold increase in Blautia coccoides and a 0.66-fold decrease in Lactobacillus acidophilus compared to the controls. Sucralose consumption increased serum insulin and the area under the glucose curve compared to water. Long-term sucralose ingestion induces gut dysbiosis associated with altered insulin and glucose levels during an OGTT.

Keywords: Blautia coccoides; Firmicutes; dysbiosis; glucose load; microbiome; sucralose.