Intestinal microbiota are built to digest sugars, but they are less capable of handling artificial sweeteners.What has occurred in that the frequent intake of artificial sweeteners has in some cases altered the digestive bugs in people, such that they have developed glucose intolerance -- they no longer have the ability to digest glucose (Suez et al., 2014).
Safety Thus, the evidence concurs with the FDA -- that artificial sweeteners are safe.
If one needs a non-American source due to mistrust of the FDA, fine.
They have a number of benefits that make them attractive -- they do not cause tooth decay, and they can be used to control both weight and diabetes (Mayo Clinic, 2015).
Many people feel that artificial sweeteners are dangerous, however, and that they should be banned.
The human tongue loves sweetness, and we are inherently attracted to sweetness in foods.
Because of this, and our rising living standards throughout the 20th century, people became gradually more obese, and rates of diabetes increased along with that.The FDA's default position is to allow any food additive that has been shown to be safe.The FDA's default position is the only reasonable one to take, it should be noted.This assertion, however, is not supported by science, and in any event it violates the fundamental role of government regulation with regards to food products. Default Position Since the question at hand is whether or not artificial sweeteners should be banned, the starting position for the argument has to be aligned with that of the FDA, which is the regulatory body that governs whether or not a food or additive is allowed or not.In the case of artificial sweeteners, each one has been subject to specific approval from the FDA, as a food additive.Counterarguments There are several counterarguments with respect to the apparently healthful nature (according to the FDA) of artificial sweeteners.One is that they change the gut microbiota, thus inducing glucose intolerance.Thus, this decision must be made on the basis of the available science.The primary benefit of an artificial sweetener is that it delivers sweetness without delivering calories.The result is that they deliver the needed sweetness to a food or beverage, but do not deliver any calories in the process.It is for this reason that artificial sweeteners have become popular, and they are found in many food products, including those that are specifically marketed as diet products.