Your gut is teeming with bacteria. This ecosystem of microbes keeps you healthy — but when it’s thrown off balance, it can lead to a variety of diseases. Now, a new study finds that artificial sweeteners, such as the ones found in diet soda, can damage some of these bacteria.
But there’s one important caveat to keep in mind: The new study was done in the lab, in test tubes — not in people or lab animals. Still, the researchers speculated that the findings could apply to humans; namely, the chemicals in artificial sweeteners could harm the human gut microbiome, according to the study, published Sept. 25, in the journal Molecules.