Moderately high doses of the artificial sweetener saccharin potentially induce sleep disorders in mice.
Nutrition. 2016 Mar 26. Epub 2016 Mar 26. PMID: 27189909
OBJECTIVES: Caloric sweeteners such as sugar and honey are replaced in thousands of food products by noncaloric artificial sweeteners (NASs). The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of chronic NAS intake on circadian sleep regulation.
METHODS: Circadian rhythms of sleep and locomotor activity were evaluated in mice after consumption of drinking water containing 0.1% (w/v) saccharin for 2 wk.
RESULTS: The intake of saccharin ad libitum significantly reduced wakefulness and increased non-rapid eye movement sleep during the first half of the active (dark) phase, whereas wakefulness was significantly increased at the start of the sleep phase. Saccharin consumption obviously reduced spontaneous activity during the first half of the dark period.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that NASs disturb the circadian sleep-wake cycle and cause behavioral inactivity in mice.