Professor Tim Spector’s comments, made at the Food Vision event in London last month, drew criticism from the International Sweeteners Association (ISA).
Scientific studies had provided no evidence that low calorie sweeteners could affect human gut microflora, or have any impact on human gut function, the ISA said.
Helpful in weight loss
In contrast, a 2016 systematic review and meta-analysis by Rogers et al concluded that the evidence base was consistent in confirming that the use of low calorie sweeteners could help reduce energy intake, and thus could be helpful in weight loss, the organisation added.
Spector, who is professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, told Food Vision that “emulsifiers, preservatives and artificial sweeteners all have very negative effects on the gut microbiome”.