Sorry, But the Artificial Sweeteners in Halloween Candy May Be What’s Causing Your Stomach to Hate You

Everyone loves a good Halloween candy: Reese’s, Butterfinger, Mars Bar, Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, etc (I could go on forever). During the special month of October it’s impossible to resist the urge to dive into a jumbo pack of your favorite treats while binge watching every Halloween movie ever made. But, we all know how your stomach feels after. You feel bloated, achy and sometimes straight up nauseous.

We usually assume it’s due to the hundreds of calories consumed in record time, but according to Bustle, it could be specifically the artificial sweeteners that cause this pain.

A study published in Molecules highlights our worst fears: The candy that we crave and love to indulge in may be connected to some not so great health problems. It is has been established that artificial sweeteners are seriously not beneficial to your health. The study links them to problems like cancer, weight gain, metabolic disorders, type-2 diabetes and messing up your gut microbiome. Um, so what the heck is your gut microbiome?

via Wikimedia Commons

Your gut microbiome is the collection of microorganisms in your belly. The microbe living there are very important to your well-being. When they are being treated correctly they properly digest certain foods, maintain your digestive functioning and play a key role in helping your immune system. Messing with these guys is a bad idea.

What this study helped to shed some light on was the effects of 6 different artificial sweeteners and 10 sport supplements. The researchers used E.Coli (a family of bacteria living in your body) to measure reactions of toxicity against these chemicals. What they found did not look so bright for the candy addicts out there. When the bacteria was introduced to fairly small levels of the sweeteners the bacteria showed immediate toxic effects.

These results don’t set anything in stone, but it does help to show the effect that artificial sweeteners can have on your gut bacteria. I mean, I know I don’t want to have anything near toxic being found in my stomach.

There are still way too many uncertainties needing answers before we rule out our beloved treats all together, but we are getting closer to finding out some of them. For now, enjoy your candy, but keep it in lower quantities if you don’t want your gut hating you. We all know the pain we get in after the deep hole of a candy bender.