With all the negative media I’ve been reading lately in regards to sucralose, it started to make me think…can sucralose really be that bad for you?
As a type 1 diabetic, lets just say I had a lot of WOW moments when deciding to research what was going into my body. If you think sucralose is safe, you may want to think again. Why they consider and promote this as safe for the diabetic community disturbs me on a lot of levels, lets take a look why!
When it comes to sucralose and diabetes, it seems like a perfect match. Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that is nearly 600 times sweeter than the ordinary (table) sugar. It contains zero calories and hence, is popular as a zero-calorie sweetener. It is widely used by diet and weight conscious people all over the world. Sucralose is sold under the brand name Splenda, which is commonly available in the market. Some claim sucralose is also better than other artificial sweeteners as it can be used in baking… me personally, I think there are healthier alternatives when it comes to cooking.
Thing is, most artificial sweeteners cannot be used in baking due to their instability. But, this is not the case with sucralose as it remains stable even when exposed to heat for a longer time (gotta love that chemical structure). This additional property makes it a favored choice among other artificial sweeteners including aspartame. Also, due to its extra sweet property, it is used for making a variety of sweets and desserts like jams, jellies, candies, sweet fillings, fruits juices, etc. However, you should be aware of the negative side effects that sucralose can pose.
Sucralose And Chlorine:
One possible side effect from Splenda unrelated to allergies is the possibility of chlorine poisoning. Sucralose is one of the few artificial sweeteners that claims to be made from sugar; chlorine atoms are added. The constant consumption of sucralose, compounded daily, year after year can reek some major havoc on your body as your body does not fully get rid of what you consume.
There is one study shows negative metabolic effects and weight gain in today’s younger population with the consumption of artificial sweeteners, you can check that out here.
Another study shows that Sucralose vastly depletes our intestine flora as it destroys the beneficial bacteria which is a main driver for a healthy immune system. Our stomach houses over 70 of the the cells that make up our immune system to help protect us from various disease and sickness.
A randomized controlled trial was performed by Abou-Donia et al46 in 2008, in which male rats were randomly assigned to 1 of 5 groups: control, or sucralose plus maltodextran in the following doses (mg/kg/day): 1.1, 3.3, 5.5, or 11. Fecal pH and bacterial analysis were conducted weekly, and after 12 weeks half of the rats from each group were sacrificed. Small intestinal tissue was used to evaluate the effects of sucralose and maltodextran on levels of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and cytochrome P-450 (CYP450). The remainder of the animals underwent a 12 week recovery period after which further assessment of pH/bacteria/P-gp, CYP450 was performed.
During the duration of the study, no diarrhea in any of the rats was observed. In terms of the effect on the microbiome, they found that the total number of anaerobes decreased significantly in all sucralose plus maltodextran groups. At the lowest dose, total anaerobes were reduced by approximately 50% compared with controls. Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, andBacteroides were significantly reduced at the lowest dose as well. Aerobic bacteria decreased significantly in all sucralose plus maltodextran groups except at the lowest dose (decreased by 51–68% of controls).
The enterobacteria count was not different from the control population in any group. In the recovery period, the total anaerobes remained significantly lower in all groups, as did bifidobacteria (other specific bacteria were not significantly different from the controls). The mean fecal pH significantly increased in all sucralose plus maltodextran groups at end of 12 weeks and stayed significantly elevated in all groups except the lowest sucralose plus maltodextran group after 12 weeks of recovery. Sucralose plus maltodextran enhanced the intestinal expression of P-gp up to 2.4-fold, and increased CYP3A4 and CYP2D1 intestinal expression (though these effects were not seen in the group that received the lowest dose of sucralose plus maltodextran).
In summary, sucralose plus maltodextran significantly decreased beneficial intestinal bacteria (ie, Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Bacteriodes), but had no effect on enterobacteria. Sucralose plus maltodextran also resulted in elevated fecal pH and enhanced intestinal expression of P-gp and CYP450 enzymes. Several parameters continued to differ after 12 weeks of recovery, including a decrease in the total number of anaerobes and enhanced P-gp and CYP expression.
Sucralose and Gastrointestinal Problems:
According to Vanderbilt University, about 27 percent of the sucralose in Splenda is absorbed by the body, meaning the substance will stay in the bloodstream and organs for long periods of time. This can not only potentially damage the internal organs, but also has negative gastrointestinal effects, like bloating, painful gas or diarrhea.
Others reports are also starting to connect the rising rates of inflammatory bowel disesse with the consumption of artificial sweeteners, sucralose in paticular due to the impairment of digestive proteases (enzymens in our stomach that help us digest food, protein in paticular).
Canada was the first country to approve the use of sucralose, and it was allowed to be used as a tabletop sweetener in breakfast cereals, beverages, desserts, toppings, fillings, chewing gum, breath mints, fruit spreads, salad dressings, confectionary, bakery products, processed fruits and vegetables, alcoholic beverages, puddings and table syrups (8). Interestingly, the study by Wrobel et al (9) reported that the incidence of pediatric IBD in Southern Alberta was 2.3 (per 100,000 population) between 1983 and 1987, 2.5 between 1988 and 1992, 5.0 between 1993 and 1998, and 6.5 between 1999 and 2005 (9), indicating a dramatic increase in the early 1990s.
In additional, the gas some people experience when eating foods or drinking beverages with sucralose is due to the fact that the natural bacteria that occurs in the stomach metabolizes parts of Splenda once it’s ingested to produce nitrogen gas.
Have you noticed that the new diet Pepsi commercials you see on television say that the drink is now aspartame free? This is not surprising as aspartame or as its been so conveniently renamed “Amino Sweet” comes with a host of negative attention over the past couple of years so it only makes sense that we look and see why manufacturers claim it to be a “healthy” choice when it comes to sweeteners.
Personally when you compare aspartame along with its not so healthy counterpart sucralose, aspartame has much more warning signs as well as side effects. So lets take a closer look!
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used widely throughout the United States. According to Elmhurst College, aspartame is 180 times sweeter than sugar, and it contains only 4 calories per gram. Its added to many sugar free foods and drinks and is also available in individual packets for personal use. While the use of aspartame does have some benefits, there is controversy over the safety and possible side effects. Elmhurst College states that aspartame breaks down into aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol in the body when it’s consumed which can cause side effects such as headache, dry mouth, diarrhea and gas just to name a few. Sound fun? Lets examine further.
Aspartame And Cancer:
Per Medicinenet.com, In an initial study, 12 rats out of 320 developed malignant brain tumors after receiving aspartame in an FDA trial. There have been other studies to both support and contradict this finding. A recent study, conducted by Italian and French researchers indicates there is no association between low-calorie sweeteners and cancer. The researchers evaluated a variety of studies between the years of 1991 and 2004. These studies assessed the relationship between low-calorie sweeteners and many cancers, including oral and pharynx, esophagus, colon, rectum, larynx,breast, ovary, prostate, and renal cell carcinomas. The researchers examined the eating habits of more than 7,000 men and women in their middle ages (mainly 55 years and over).
Based on the data evaluated, there was no evidence that saccharin or other sweeteners (mainly aspartame) increase the risk of cancer in humans.
All in all several studies have researched the connection between aspartame consumption and cancer,but there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that aspartame increases the risk of cancer in humans
Needless to say, the debate continues while more research is conducted.
Ahhhh, the question that arises everywhere…are artificial sweeteners safe? You may put artificial sweeteners in your coffee, drink them in your diet soda and use them to limit sugar intake and cut calories.
So what’s the deal with artificial sweeteners and diabetes? As diabetics, they are forced down our throats as being a “safe alternative” to sugar and “diabetic friendly” but are they really all that safe, and could they actually be more hazardous to your health? Are you aware of the dangers of artificial sweeteners? Lets take a closer look at the 4 most common types of artificial sweeteners!
What Are Artificial Sweeteners?
Per the national institute of health, artificial sweeteners are classified as substances that are used in place of sweeteners with sugar (sucrose) or sugar alcohols. They may also be called sugar substitutes, non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS), or noncaloric sweeteners. This question is critical since the average American consumes 24 pounds of artificial sweeteners each year. Soda is the most common place they’re found, but did you know that sugar substitutes are also added to nearly 8,000 other products sold in the US, including baby foods, frozen foods and even yogurt and flavored water.
They state that using artificial sweeteners in place of sugar can help prevent dental decay and aid in blood sugar control, but are they really that safe for you to consume and why are the names of artificial sweeteners changing? Interesting to say the least, but I’m not a fan on any level and here’s why.
Artificial Sweeteners, Aspartame:
More formerly know as Equal and recently renamed “NutraSweet”
What’s in it?
- aspartic acid
Reported side effects: Headaches, fibromyalgia, anxiety, memory loss, arthritis, abdominal pain, nausea, depression, heart palpitations, irritable bowel syndrome, seizures, neurological disorders, vision problems, brain tumors and weight gain.
Concerns: Phenylalanine and aspartic acid directly impact brain and central nervous system functions; evidence shows they play a role in mood disorders, memory problems and other neurological illnesses, here is a great study by the NIH that you can check out.
Methanol is converted into formaldehyde when metabolized. Makers of aspartame say methanol and its byproducts are quickly excreted. But research has found measurable amounts of formaldehyde in the livers, kidneys and brains of test subjects after ingestion of aspartame.
At high temperatures, phenylalnine breaks down into diketopiperazine (DPK), a known carcinogen. Phenylalnine is especially dangerous for people with the hereditary disease, phenylketonuria.