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Stevia May Inhibit Gut Microbiome Communication

BEER-SHEVA, ISRAEL / AGILITYPR.NEWS / December 02, 2020 / BGU Researchers and Colleagues Caution Stevia May Inhibit Gut Microbiome Communication

Scientists aver additional studies warranted

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researchers, alongside colleagues from Cyprus and Turkey, have found that the natural sweetener stevia may disrupt communications between bacteria in the gut microbiome leading to an imbalance.

Their findings were just published in the journal Molecules (https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25225480).

The microbiome relies on signaling molecules to communicate and coordinate between gut bacteria. The researchers examined the effect of stevia and purified stevia extracts on these communication pathways.

The team found that stevia inhibited these pathways but did not kill off the bacteria. The extracts exhibited more troubling communication inhibiting.

"This is an initial study that indicates that more studies are warranted before the food industry replaces sugar and artificial sweeteners with stevia and its extracts," says lead researcher Dr. Karina Golberg.

The research was carried out by Prof. Ariel Kushmaro, Dr. Karina Golberg and Prof. Robert Marks of the Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering at BGU, their students Orr Share and Victor Markus (Near East University). Prof. Kerem Terali from Near East University and Prof. Nazmi Ozer from Hacettepe University in Cyprus were also members of the research team.

The study was partially supported by the Israeli Council for Higher Education. 

Photo: Dr. Karina Golberg

Photo Credit: Dani Machlis/BGU

The photo may only be used in the context of articles about this research study or researcher

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Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) is the fastest growing research university in Israel. With 20,000 students, 4,000 staff and faculty members, and three campuses in Beer-Sheva, Sde Boker and Eilat, BGU is an agent of change, fulfilling the vision of David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s legendary first prime minister, who envisaged the future of Israel emerging from the Negev. 


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Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

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