The Direct and Indirect Impact of Sucralose on Immune Function

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Taylor Jefferson Gray (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: 1 , 6-dichloro-1 , 6- dideoxy-[beta]-D-fructofuranosyl-4-chloro-4-deoxy -[alpha]-D-galactopyranoside , or Sucralose , is a highly popular NAS (Non-caloric artificial sweetener) used by millions across the globe for sweetening consumable products. The compound is a derivative of the naturally occurring sugar , sucrose , with three chlorine atoms substituted for sucrose' respective three hydroxyl groups. This simple change in molecular structure makes the compound un-digestible in the human body , resulting in no calories. This has made sucralose particularly favorable for not only those with sugar-intolerant disorders , but also those interested in weight loss. As sucralose has been approved by food safety agencies for markets around the globe , it has become very popular for sweetening a wide variety of consumables , especially as the key ingredient in the iconic sweetener brand Splenda. Though initially believed to be safe for consumption , health risks have already been identified with the usage of this product. Research has shown that sucralose may affect the normal gut flora of the gastrointestinal tract , which are responsible for not only playing a direct and indirect role in both vitamin production and various metabolic processes , but also in co-modulating specific immune responses. As the normal gut flora play an essential role in the body's various immune functions , concerns have been raised regarding the effect of sucralose on the immune system. In addition to this indirect means of impacting mounted immune responses , recent studies suggest a mechanism where sucralose may also pose a direct effect as well by interfering with normal immune cell activities. Here we hypothesize that sucralose will pose a direct and or indirect negative response on immune function. In order to test this prediction , immune cells , as well as representative species of bacteria associated with co-modulating immune responses with Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue (GALT) were treated with sucralose and specific conditions such as the rate of phagocytosis , migration , and the level of cytotoxicity were evaluated. The results presented here support our hypothesis and suggest that sucralose plays a role in influencing gut-mediated immunity.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
GALT, gut associated lymphoid tissue

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