Consumption of Diet Soda Sweetened with Sucralose and Acesulfame-Potassium Alters Inflammatory Transcriptome Pathways in Females with Overweight and Obesity

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Molecular Nutrition and Food Research








artificial sweeteners; diet soda; inflammation; metabolism; obesity; sucralose


Scope: Low-calorie sweetener (LCS) consumption is associated with metabolic disease in observational studies. However, physiologic mechanisms underlying LCS-induced metabolic impairments in humans are unclear. This study is aimed at identifying molecular pathways in adipose impacted by LCSs. Methods and results: Seven females with overweight or obesity, who did not report LCS use, consumed 12 ounces of diet soda containing sucralose and acesulfame-potassium (Ace-K) three times daily for 8 weeks. A subcutaneous adipose biopsy from the left abdomen and a fasting blood sample were collected at baseline and post-intervention. Global gene expression were assessed using RNA-sequencing followed by functional pathway analysis. No differences in circulating metabolic or inflammatory biomarkers were observed. However, ANOVA detected 828 differentially expressed annotated genes after diet soda consumption (p < 0.05), including transcripts for inflammatory cytokines. Fifty-eight of 140 canonical pathways represented in pathway analyses regulated inflammation, and several key upstream regulators of inflammation (e.g., TNF-alpha) were also represented. Conclusion: Consumption of diet soda with sucralose and Ace-K alters inflammatory transcriptomic pathways (e.g., NF-κB signaling) in subcutaneous adipose tissue but does not significantly alter circulating biomarkers. Findings highlight the need to examine molecular and metabolic effects of LCS exposure in a larger randomized control trial for a longer duration.

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