Giving new meaning to the phrase “sickly sweet,” researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have found that artificial sweeteners are toxic to digestive gut microbes.

Published in the journal Molecules, the joint study with Nanyang Technological University in Singapore discovered that bacteria in the digestive system can became toxic when exposed to as little as 1 milligram per milliliter of aspartame, Sucralose, saccharine, neotame, advantame and acesulfame potassium-k, as well as 10 sport supplements containing the sweeteners.

All of the supplements and sweeteners are currently FDA-approved and E.U.-approved.

Researchers warned that the consumption of artificial sweeteners has been linked to metabolic disorders, weight gain, cancer, Type 2 diabetes and the alteration of gut microbes.

They also revealed that artificial-sweetener traces are beginning to appear in drinking and surface water, as well as underground aquifers.