This article investigates the effects of commercially available artificial (aspartame, saccharin,
sucralose) and natural sweeteners (brown sugar, white sugar, molasses) on the immune system.
Human whole blood cultures were incubated with various sweeteners and stimulated in vitro with
either phytohemagglutinin or endotoxin. Harvested supernatants were screened for cytotoxicity and
cytokine release. Results showed that none of the artificial or natural sweeteners proved to be
cytotoxic, indicating that no cell death was induced in vitro. The natural sweetener, sugar cane
molasses (10 ug=mL), enhanced levels of the inflammatory biomarker IL-6 while all artificial
sweeteners (10 ug=mL) revealed a suppressive effect on IL-6 secretion (P<0.001). Exposure of
blood cells to sucralose-containing sweeteners under stimulatory conditions reduced levels of the
biomarker of humoral immunity, Interleukin-10 (P<0.001). The cumulative suppression of
Interleukin-6 and Interleukin-10 levels induced by sucralose may contribute to the inability in
mounting an effective humoral response when posed with an exogenous threat.