Saccharin and other sweeteners: mutagenic properties

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Science  02 Dec 1977:
Vol. 198, Issue 4320, pp. 944-946
DOI: 10.1126/science.337489


Saccharin preparations commonly distributed as artificial sweeteners exhibited mutagenic activity in bacterial tests. When administered orally to mice, mutagenic activity was demonstrable in the urines of these animals as well as in a host-mediated assay. Highly purified saccharin was not mutagenic in the direct assay, but the urines of mice to which this material had been administered exhibited mutagenic effects on one tester strain (Salmonella typhimurium TA100). Two other sweeteners, neohesperidin dihydrochalcone and xylitol, had no detectable mutagenic activity in any of these assays using his- Salmonella typhimurium strains TA100 or TA98.