Artificial sweeteners are the most common food additive used in the world. A new study in the September issue of Nature showed that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin and sucralose cause changes to our gut bacteria to cause glucose intolerance. The study looked at mice and saw that the changes in the microbiota (gut bacteria) were similar to changes which influence obesity and diabetes. Saccharin caused the the most profound effect on the metabolic pathways involved with glucose tolerance.
The researchers concluded that there was a link between the noncaloric artificial sweeteners, gut imbalance and metabolic abnormalities. In general, the less sugar the healthier, but alternatives such as stevia, xylitol and fruit sugars are better.