A review on the synthetic sweetener sucralose (marketed as Splenda), published in the journal Toxicology and Environmental Health, overturns widely held misconceptions about the purported safety of this ubiquitous artificial sweetener.

Found in tens of thousands of products and used by millions of consumers around the world, sucralose’s unique ability to dissolve in alcohol and methanol as well as water, makes it the most versatile and therefore most widely used artificial sweetener in production today. Yet, its popularity is no indication nor guarantee of its safety, as is evidenced by the widespread use of other artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which while being safely approved around 90 nations, has been linked to a wide range of health issues including possible neurotoxicity.

The Center for the Public Interest in Science downgraded Splenda from “safe” to “caution,” citing their need to evaluate a forthcoming Italian study linking the artificial sweetener to leukemia in mice as a basis for their decision.

Another human study published around that time linked Splenda to diabetic-like conditions, calling into question its value as a non-calorie sweetener for those suffering with, or wishing to prevent, blood sugar disorders.

  • Both animal and human research indicates sucralose may raise blood sugar and insulin levels indicating it may have diabetogenic properties.
  • While classified as a food additive, sucralose’s organochlorine structure indicates it interferes with a wide range of organochlorine class drugs and activates detoxification pathways and enzymes in a manner similar to these xenobiotic chemicals.
  • Sucralose (delivered as Splenda) has been found to reduce the number of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointesintal tract (e.g., lactobacilli, bifidobacteria), while  increasing the more detrimental bacteria (e.g., enterobacteria). One study found the adverse effects on flora did not return to normal (baseline) after a 3-month recovery period. Sucralose also altered the pH of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Cancer-causing dioxins and dioxin-like compounds are formed when Splenda (Sucralose) is cooked.

Long gone are the days that this artificial sweetener can be marketed as natural, safe, and a healthy alternative to sugar. To the contrary, today’s research clearly indicates that sucralose is a chemical that we should go to great lengths to avoid exposure to rather than something we should intentionally add to our food. You will also find a growing body of research that indicates that sucralose not only does not break down in the environment, but survives water treatment plant purification techniques, with the inevitable consequence that it is accumulating in concentrations in our drinking water and the environment that may adversely impact humans and wildlife alike.

Avoiding this natural sweetener, leaves us looking at the following alternatives:

As always, bring any uncertain food to your appointment. We can check what is a “yes” and what is a “no”.

Remember, food is either a dangerous toxin or phenomenal medicine used to heal the body.

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