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Effect of natural and artificial sweeteners on the hemolymph glucose level (HGL) in Drosophila melanogaster

Research Paper | July 1, 2015

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Paul Mark B. Medina, Jovynel S. Cabaccan, Joannes Luke B. Asis

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Int. J. Biosci.7( 1), 119-131, July 2015

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12692/ijb/7.1.119-131


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Natural sweeteners are used by consumers to enhance the flavor of food while artificial sweeteners were developed for the same purpose with the added benefit of minimizing the risk of hyperglycemia. Fasting HGL (hemolymph glucose level) of Drosophila melanogaster were measured and followed a normal curve distribution. Female flies fasted for 8 hours were fed with reagent-grade and consumer-grade sweeteners and their hemolymph was collected after 1 hour for glucose determination. There was no significant difference in HGL between fasted flies and the flies fed with artificial sweeteners (aspartame, acesulfame-K, saccharin, and sucralose). Flies fed with natural sweeteners increased their HGL in the following order: white sugar > light brown sugar > dark brown sugar > muscovado sugar > coconut sugar > stevia = fasting level. Except for stevia, all the tested natural sweeteners significantly increased HGL compared to fasting HGL (P < 0.05). Our study shows that among the natural sweeteners, coconut- and stevia-derived sweeteners, along with muscovado sugar, do not increase HGL as much as the white and brown varieties of cane sugars in D. melanogaster. This is the first report to test the effects of an extensive list of sweeteners on circulating glucose levels in a single experimental organism, unlike previous reports. Our findings reveal the suitability of natural sweeteners stevia, coconut sugar, and muscovado sugar as healthier substitutes for white sugar, and may be beneficial for individuals on low calorie diets or those with, or at risk of, hyperglycemia or diabetes mellitus.


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Effect of natural and artificial sweeteners on the hemolymph glucose level (HGL) in Drosophila melanogaster

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