Non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS), non-caloric sweetening devices, have been widely commercialized to reduce sugar consumption. This intent has associated NNS with health benefits, though reports have correlated the consumption of these substitutes with noncommunicable diseases. The interaction between NNS and distinct physiological processes has been examined, though research into the broader implications of these interactions, toward longevity, for instance, is lacking. The purpose of this study was to compare the impact of three recently FDA-approved NNS - acesulfame-Potassium (ace-K), stevia, and monk fruit - on the survival of Drosophila melanogaster, a model species for longevity research, to discern the possible impacts on human longevity, and further, the rationality of their use. It was hypothesized that if D. melanogaster were fed these three NNS, those fed with ace-K would have the lowest survivorship rates, as ace-K is associated with microbial dysbiosis, which is further linked to reduced longevity. Fifteen male and female age-synchronized flies were allocated to vials containing a sweetener incorporated into a base diet, with sucrose as the control. Survivorship was recorded every three to four days for 32 days. Survival from each diet was significantly lower than the control, and this difference was most pronounced with ace-K, χ2 (9, N=240)=244.2, p﹤.00001. Survivorship between the diets halfway through the trial period (day 15) was also significantly different, χ2 (3, N=240)=78.3, p﹤.00001. Ace-K, therefore, had a detrimental effect on the longevity of D. melanogaster, which suggests a potential paralleled effect of this sweetener in humans.

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