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Physiol Behav. 2016 Oct 1;164(Pt B):482-485. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.04.026. Epub 2016 Apr 29.

Low calorie sweeteners: Evidence remains lacking for effects on human gut function.

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Gastrointestinal Centre, Institute of Inflammation and Repair, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, University of Manchester and Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre, Manchester, UK.


The importance of nutrient induced gut-brain signalling in the regulation of human food intake has become an increasing focus of research. Much of the caloric excess consumed comes from dietary sugars, but our knowledge about the mechanisms mediating the physiological and appetitive effects of sweet tastants in the human gut and gut-brain axis is far from complete. The comparative effects of natural sugars vs low calorie sweeteners are also poorly understood. Research in animal and cellular models has suggested a key functional role in gut endocrine cells for the sweet taste receptors previously well described in oral taste. However human studies to date have very consistently failed to show that activation of the sweet taste receptor by low calorie sweeteners placed in the human gut fails to replicate any of the effects on gastric motility, gut hormones or appetitive responses evoked by caloric sugars.


Gastric emptying; Gut hormones; Low calorie sweetener

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