Friend or foe?

Low-calorie sweeteners and glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes
Friend or foe?
Project Status: In progress
Project administered by: The University of Adelaide

Artificial sweeteners are consumed widely but we have recently shown that their diet supplementation can impair control of blood glucose in health. Patients with type 2 diabetes might be at even higher risk of this disruption due an existing defect in gut sweet sensing.

This project investigates whether blocking gut sweet sensing improves blood glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes test

The gut controls how ingested sugars enter the bloodstream and subsequent blood glucose levels, but little is known of how this occurs. Artificial sweeteners are widely considered to be ‘inert’, but high habitual intake of them in drinks is linked to a substantially higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

It is essential we known why and the implications of this for glycaemic control.

This study will capitalise on our clinical findings of sweetener-evoked dysglycaemia in health, established access to patients and track record of interventional clinical research. It will determine whether blocking gut sweet taste receptors improves control of postprandial hyperglycaemia in patients with Type 2 diabetes and the underlying mechanisms. It will involve clinical research in the Royal Adelaide Hospital and lab-based analyses of human gut biopsies and bloods at SAHMRI.

This knowledge has the potential to yield new targets that improve control of blood glucose levels in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

This project is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council