Measuring Artificial Sweeteners Toxicity Using a Bioluminescent Bacterial Panel.
ABSTRACT: Artificial sweeteners have become increasingly controversial due to their questionable influence on consumers' health. They are introduced in most foods and many consume this added ingredient without their knowledge. Currently, there is still no consensus regarding the health consequences of artificial sweeteners intake as they have not been fully investigated. Consumption of artificial sweeteners has been linked with adverse effects such as cancer, weight gain, metabolic disorders, type-2 diabetes and alteration of gut microbiota activity. Moreover, artificial sweeteners have been identified as emerging environmental pollutants, and can be found in receiving waters, i.e., surface waters, groundwater aquifers and drinking waters. In this study, the relative toxicity of six FDA-approved artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, neotame, advantame and acesulfame potassium-k (ace-k)) and that of ten sport supplements containing these artificial sweeteners, were tested using genetically modified bioluminescent bacteria from E. coli. The bioluminescent bacteria, which luminesce when they detect toxicants, act as a sensing model representative of the complex microbial system. Both induced luminescent signals and bacterial growth were measured. Toxic effects were found when the bacteria were exposed to certain concentrations of the artificial sweeteners. In the bioluminescence activity assay, two toxicity response patterns were observed, namely, the induction and inhibition of the bioluminescent signal. An inhibition response pattern may be observed in the response of sucralose in all the tested strains: TV1061 (MLIC = 1 mg/mL), DPD2544 (MLIC = 50 mg/mL) and DPD2794 (MLIC = 100 mg/mL). It is also observed in neotame in the DPD2544 (MLIC = 2 mg/mL) strain. On the other hand, the induction response pattern may be observed in its response in saccharin in TV1061 (MLIndC = 5 mg/mL) and DPD2794 (MLIndC = 5 mg/mL) strains, aspartame in DPD2794 (MLIndC = 4 mg/mL) strain, and ace-k in DPD2794 (MLIndC = 10 mg/mL) strain. The results of this study may help in understanding the relative toxicity of artificial sweeteners on E. coli, a sensing model representative of the gut bacteria. Furthermore, the tested bioluminescent bacterial panel can potentially be used for detecting artificial sweeteners in the environment, using a specific mode-of-action pattern.
Project description:The extent to which taste receptor specificity correlates with, or even predicts, diet choice is not known. We recently reported that the insensitivity to sweeteners shown by species of Felidae can be explained by their lacking of a functional Tas1r2 gene. To broaden our understanding of the relationship between the structure of the sweet receptors and preference for sugars and artificial sweeteners, we measured responses to 12 sweeteners in 6 species of Carnivora and sequenced the coding regions of Tas1r2 in these same or closely related species. The lion showed no preference for any of the 12 sweet compounds tested, and it possesses the pseudogenized Tas1r2. All other species preferred some of the natural sugars, and their Tas1r2 sequences, having complete open reading frames, predict functional sweet receptors. In addition to preferring natural sugars, the lesser panda also preferred 3 (neotame, sucralose, and aspartame) of the 6 artificial sweeteners. Heretofore, it had been reported that among vertebrates, only Old World simians could taste aspartame. The observation that the lesser panda highly preferred aspartame could be an example of evolutionary convergence in the identification of sweet stimuli.
Project description:The heterodimer of Tas1R2 and Tas1R3 is a broadly acting sweet taste receptor, which mediates mammalian sweet taste toward natural and artificial sweeteners and sweet-tasting proteins. Perception of sweet taste is a species-selective physiological process. For instance, artificial sweeteners aspartame and neotame taste sweet to humans, apes, and Old World monkeys but not to New World monkeys and rodents. Although specific regions determining the activation of the receptors by these sweeteners have been identified, the molecular mechanism of species-dependent sweet taste remains elusive. Using human/squirrel monkey chimeras, mutagenesis, and molecular modeling, we reveal that the different responses of mammalian species toward the artificial sweeteners aspartame and neotame are determined by the steric effect of a combination of a few residues in the ligand binding pocket. Residues S40 and D142 in the human Tas1R2, which correspond to residues T40 and E142 in the squirrel monkey Tas1R2, were found to be the critical residues for the species-dependent difference in sweet taste. In addition, human Tas1R2 residue I67, which corresponds to S67 in squirrel monkey receptor, modulates the higher affinity of neotame than of aspartame. Our studies not only shed light on the molecular mechanism of species-dependent sweet taste toward artificial sweeteners, but also provide guidance for designing novel effective artificial sweet compounds.
Project description:The breakdown of the intestinal epithelial barrier and subsequent increase in intestinal permeability can lead to systemic inflammatory diseases and multiple-organ failure. Nutrition impacts the intestinal barrier, with dietary components such as gluten increasing permeability. Artificial sweeteners are increasingly consumed by the general public in a range of foods and drinks. The sweet taste receptor (T1R3) is activated by artificial sweeteners and has been identified in the intestine to play a role in incretin release and glucose transport; however, T1R3 has not been previously linked to intestinal permeability. Here, the intestinal epithelial cell line, Caco-2, was used to study the effect of commonly-consumed artificial sweeteners, sucralose, aspartame and saccharin, on permeability. At high concentrations, aspartame and saccharin were found to induce apoptosis and cell death in intestinal epithelial cells, while at low concentrations, sucralose and aspartame increased epithelial barrier permeability and down-regulated claudin 3 at the cell surface. T1R3 knockdown was found to attenuate these effects of artificial sweeteners. Aspartame induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production to cause permeability and claudin 3 internalization, while sweetener-induced permeability and oxidative stress was rescued by the overexpression of claudin 3. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that the artificial sweeteners sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin exert a range of negative effects on the intestinal epithelium through the sweet taste receptor T1R3.
Project description:To identify molecules that could enhance sweetness perception, we undertook the screening of a compound library using a cell-based assay for the human sweet taste receptor and a panel of selected sweeteners. In one of these screens we found a hit, SE-1, which significantly enhanced the activity of sucralose in the assay. At 50 microM, SE-1 increased the sucralose potency by >20-fold. On the other hand, SE-1 exhibited little or no agonist activity on its own. SE-1 effects were strikingly selective for sucralose. Other popular sweeteners such as aspartame, cyclamate, and saccharin were not enhanced by SE-1 whereas sucrose and neotame potency were increased only by 1.3- to 2.5-fold at 50 microM. Further assay-guided chemical optimization of the initial hit SE-1 led to the discovery of SE-2 and SE-3, selective enhancers of sucralose and sucrose, respectively. SE-2 (50 microM) and SE-3 (200 microM) increased sucralose and sucrose potencies in the assay by 24- and 4.7-fold, respectively. In human taste tests, 100 microM of SE-1 and SE-2 allowed for a reduction of 50% to >80% in the concentration of sucralose, respectively, while maintaining the sweetness intensity, and 100 microM SE-3 allowed for a reduction of 33% in the concentration of sucrose while maintaining the sweetness intensity. These enhancers did not exhibit any sweetness when tasted on their own. Positive allosteric modulators of the human sweet taste receptor could help reduce the caloric content in food and beverages while maintaining the desired taste.
Project description:The method for the determination of acesulfame-K, saccharine, cyclamate, aspartame, sucralose, alitame, neohesperidin dihydrochalcone, neotame and five common steviol glycosides (rebaudioside A, rebaudioside C, steviol, steviolbioside and stevioside) in soft and alcoholic beverages was developed using high-performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry with electrospray ionisation (HPLC-ESI-MS/MS). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work that presents an HPLC-ESI-MS/MS method which allows for the simultaneous determination of all EU-authorised high-potency sweeteners (thaumatin being the only exception) in one analytical run. The minimalistic sample preparation procedure consisted of only two operations; dilution and centrifugation. Linearity, limits of detection and quantitation, repeatability, and trueness of the method were evaluated. The obtained recoveries at three tested concentration levels varied from 97.0 to 105.7%, with relative standard deviations lower than 4.1%. The proposed method was successfully applied for the determination of sweeteners in 24 samples of different soft and alcoholic drinks.
Project description:In China, white spirit is not only an alcoholic drink but also a cultural symbol. A novel and accurate method for simultaneously determining nine sweeteners (most authorized for use in China) in white spirits by ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) with a photo-diode array detector (PDA) and charged aerosol detector (CAD) was developed. The sweeteners were acesulfame, alitame, aspartame, dulcin, neotame, neohesperidine dihydrochalcone, saccharin, sodium cyclamate, and sucralose. The sweeteners were separated within 16 min using a BEH C18 column and linear gradient-elution program. The optimized method allowed low concentrations (micrograms per gram) of sweeteners to be simultaneously detected. The CAD gave good linearities (correlation coefficients > 0.9936) for all analytes at concentrations of 0.5 to 50.0 ?g/g. The limits of detection were 0.16 to 0.77 ?g/g. Acesulfame, dulcin, neohesperidine dihydrochalcone, and saccharin were determined using the PDA detector, which gave correlation coefficients > 0.9994 and limits of detection of 0.16 to 0.22 ?g/g. The recoveries were 95.1% to 104.9% and the relative standard deviations were 1.6% to 3.8%. The UHPLC-PDA-CAD method is more convenient and cheaper than LC-MS/MS methods. The method was successfully used in a major project called "Special Action against Counterfeit and Shoddy white spirits" and to monitor risks posed by white spirits in China.
Project description:PURPOSE:This study investigated the effect of food additives, artificial sweeteners and domestic hygiene products on the gut microbiome and fibre fermentation capacity. METHODS:Faecal samples from 13 healthy volunteers were fermented in batch cultures with food additives (maltodextrin, carboxymethyl cellulose, polysorbate-80, carrageenan-kappa, cinnamaldehyde, sodium benzoate, sodium sulphite, titanium dioxide), sweeteners (aspartame-based sweetener, sucralose, stevia) and domestic hygiene products (toothpaste and dishwashing detergent). Short-chain fatty acid production was measured with gas chromatography. Microbiome composition was characterised with 16S rRNA sequencing and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). RESULTS:Acetic acid increased in the presence of maltodextrin and the aspartame-based sweetener and decreased with dishwashing detergent or sodium sulphite. Propionic acid increased with maltodextrin, aspartame-based sweetener, sodium sulphite and polysorbate-80 and butyrate decreased dramatically with cinnamaldehyde and dishwashing detergent. Branched-chain fatty acids decreased with maltodextrin, aspartame-based sweetener, cinnamaldehyde, sodium benzoate and dishwashing detergent. Microbiome Shannon ?-diversity increased with stevia and decreased with dishwashing detergent and cinnamaldehyde. Sucralose, cinnamaldehyde, titanium dioxide, polysorbate-80 and dishwashing detergent shifted microbiome community structure; the effects were most profound with dishwashing detergent (R2?=?43.9%, p?=?0.008) followed by cinnamaldehyde (R2?=?12.8%, p?=?0.016). Addition of dishwashing detergent and cinnamaldehyde increased the abundance of operational taxonomic unit (OTUs) belonging to Escherichia/Shigella and Klebsiella and decreased members of Firmicutes, including OTUs of Faecalibacterium and Subdoligranulum. Addition of sucralose and carrageenan-kappa also increased the abundance of Escherichia/Shigella and sucralose, sodium sulphite and polysorbate-80 did likewise to Bilophila. Polysorbate-80 decreased the abundance of OTUs of Faecalibacterium and Subdoligranulum. Similar effects were observed with the concentration of major bacterial groups using qPCR. In addition, maltodextrin, aspartame-based sweetener and sodium benzoate promoted the growth of Bifidobacterium whereas sodium sulphite, carrageenan-kappa, polysorbate-80 and dishwashing detergent had an inhibitory effect. CONCLUSIONS:This study improves understanding of how additives might affect the gut microbiota composition and its fibre metabolic activity with many possible implications for human health.
Project description:Non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS), especially in form of diet soda, have been linked to metabolic derangements (e.g. obesity and diabetes) in epidemiologic studies. We aimed to test acute metabolic effects of NNS in isolation (water or seltzer) and in diet sodas.We conducted a four-period, cross-over study at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (Bethesda, Maryland). Thirty healthy adults consumed 355 mL water with 0 mg, 68 mg, 170 mg, and 250 mg sucralose, and 31 individuals consumed 355 mL caffeine-free Diet Rite Cola™, Diet Mountain Dew™ (18 mg sucralose, 18 mg acesulfame-potassium, 57 mg aspartame), and seltzer water with NNS (68 mg sucralose and 41 mg acesulfame-potassium, equivalent to Diet Rite Cola™) in randomized order, prior to oral glucose tolerance tests. Blood samples were collected serially for 130 min. Measures included GLP-1, GIP, glucose, insulin, C-peptide, glucose absorption, gastric emptying, and subjective hunger and satiety ratings.Diet sodas augmented active GLP-1 (Diet Rite Cola™ vs. seltzer water, AUC, p = 0.039; Diet Mountain Dew™ vs. seltzer water, AUC, p = 0.07), but gastric emptying and satiety were unaffected. Insulin concentrations were nominally higher following all NNS conditions without altering glycemia. Sucralose alone (at any concentration) did not affect metabolic outcomes.Diet sodas but not NNS in water augmented GLP-1 responses to oral glucose. Whether the trends toward higher insulin concentrations after NNS are of clinical importance remains to be determined. Our findings emphasize the need to test metabolic effects of NNS after chronic consumption.The data for this manuscript were gathered from clinical trial #NCT01200940.
Project description:The goals of this study are to use Next-generation sequencing (NGS) to detect bacterial mRNA profiles of wild-type Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1 and Pwh1266 plasmid, and their mRNA response under the exposure of four artificial sweeteners, including saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium. 3 mg/L of each sweetener was used to treat the mixture of bacteria cell and plasmid. The group without dosing any artificial sweeteners was the control group. Each sample was conducted in triplicate. By comparing the mRNA profiles of experimental groups and control group, the effects of these four artificial sweeteners on the transcriptional levels can be revealed. Illumina HiSeq 2500 was applied. The NGS QC toolkit (version 2.3.3) was used to treat the raw sequence reads to trim the 3’-end residual adaptors and primers, and the ambiguous characters in the reads were removed. Then, the sequence reads consisting of at least 85% bases were progressively trimmed at the 3’-ends until a quality value ≥ 20 were kept. Downstream analyses were performed using the generated clean reads of no shorter than 75 bp. The clean reads of each sample were aligned to the Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1 reference genome (NC_005966) using SeqAlto (version 0.5). Cufflinks (version 2.2.1) was used to calculate the strand-specific coverage for each gene, and to analyze the differential expression in triplicate bacterial cell culture. The statistical analyses and visualization were conducted using CummeRbund package in R (http://compbio.mit.edu/cummeRbund/). Gene expression was calculated as fragments per kilobase of a gene per million mapped reads (FPKM, a normalized value generated from the frequency of detection and the length of a given gene. Overall design: Bacterial mRNA profile of wild-type Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1 in response to 3 mg/L artificial sweeteners for 2 hours, bacteria and plasmid without dosing artificial sweeteners are the control group, in triplicate, using Illumina HiSeq 2500
Project description:The family C G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) T1R2 and T1R3 heterodimer functions as a broadly acting sweet taste receptor. Perception of sweet taste is a species-dependent physiological process. It has been widely reported that New World monkeys and rodents are not able to perceive some of the artificial sweeteners and sweet-tasting proteins that can be perceived by humans, apes, and Old World monkeys. Until now, only the sweet receptors of humans, mice and rats have been functionally characterized. Here we report characterization of the sweet taste receptor (T1R2/T1R3) from a species of New World primate, squirrel monkey. Our results show that the heterodimeric receptor of squirrel monkey does not respond to artificial sweeteners aspartame, neotame, cyclamate, saccharin and sweet-tasting protein monellin, but surprisingly, it does respond to thaumatin at high concentrations (>18 ?M). This is the first report demonstrating that species of New World monkey can perceive some specific sweet-tasting proteins. Furthermore, the sweet receptor of squirrel monkey responses to the such sweeteners cannot be inhibited by the sweet inhibitor lactisole. We compared the response differences of the squirrel monkey and human receptors and found that the residues in T1R2 determine species-dependent sweet taste toward saccharin, while the residues in either T1R2 or T1R3 are responsible for the sweet taste difference between humans and squirrel monkeys toward monellin. Molecular models indicated that electrostatic properties of the receptors probably mediate the species-dependent response to sweet-tasting proteins.