• There is evidence that the calorie-free sweetener containing around four thousand 'light' products can alter the microbiota and promote infections
• Public Education Minister, Delfina Gomez Alvarez, has highlighted that through higher education of excellence in Mexico contributes to the solution of major national problems
• In turn, IPN´s General Director, Arturo Reyes Sandoval, stressed that the Polytechnic shows with results the commitment it has with society
The researcher of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN), Aldo Resendiz-Albor confirmed, with various studies in animal models, that the excessive consumption of sucralose (sweetener without calories contained in around four thousand 'light' products) produces chronic inflammation and modifies the structure of the intestinal epithelium, which can alter the microbiota balance and favor infections.
Public Education Minister, Delfina Gómez Álvarez, has highlighted the importance of working on the consolidation of an excellence higher education in our country with the purpose of continuing to contribute to the solution of the great national problems. Meanwhile, the IPN´s General Director, Arturo Reyes Sandoval, stressed that, through the training of highly qualified researchers, the Polytechnic shows with results the commitment it has with society.
The scientist from the Higher School of Medicine (ESM) explained that mucous surfaces are the main route of entry of microorganisms. "We have histological evidence that the increase in cell infiltrate and mucus produced by excess sucralose violates the natural barrier between the intestine internal and external environment, since it increases the permeability of the epithelium and facilitates the entry of infectious agents," he said. The expert from the Mucosal Immunity Laboratory mentioned the studies consisted of administering to mice the equivalent of the maximum amount of sucralose allowed for daily consumption in humans. "In the drinking water, they were administered the dose for five hours a day for six and twelve weeks, after that time we observed in the intestine of the animals chronic inflammation produced by the increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL- 6 y TNF-), as well as an increase in Firmicutes -bacteria that increase the risk of diabetes and obesity-", detailed.
The specialist attached to the National System of Researchers (SNI) Level I stressed that the importance of studying sweeteners, specifically sucralose, is due to the increasing use to make products that the population consumes daily, such as soft drinks, juices, cookies, cereals, flavored milk, ice cream, dressings and chewing gum, among others low in calories, but whose excessive consumption affects health.
In this regard, the Doctor in Cell Biology from the IPN´s Center for Research and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav), said when a person suffers from diseases such as colitis, inflammatory bowel disease or stress and consumes food with sucralose, it can alter the homeostasis (self-regulation of the internal environment) of the microbiota, which favors colonization in the intestine and it´s possible that it aggravates these conditions or can generate major problems, like cancer.
Resendiz-Albor noted that the sweetener may also increase the health problems of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus who use it as a sugar substitute. "To avoid repercussions on health, it is important that both diabetic people and the general population, instead of consuming “light” products or sweetening foods with sucralose, ingest moderate fruits, especially seasonal fruits, which contain sugar naturally," he warned.
In the next stage of the project -in which collaborates the ESM scientist Ivonne Maciel Arciniega Martínez, the student of the Master's Degree in Health Sciences of the ESM Dulce Hernandez Hernandez, as well as the researcher of the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM), Beatriz Elina Martínez Carrillo- will evaluate in the animal models the effects of pure sucralose and commercial sucralose (with preservatives), for the purpose of determining whether the sweetener alone generates the described effects or these are due to additives.