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Sucralose IS Splenda

There are many questions about the safety of Splenda (sucralose) Photo: Medical

There are many questions about the safety of Splenda (sucralose) Photo: Medical

“Oh goodie, it’s got no artificial sweetener,”  you might be thinking when you read a label and see the word “sucralose.”  Every time you see SUCRALOSE on a label it is Splenda.

Sucralose (trade name SPLENDA) is used as a replacement for, or in combination with, other artificial or natural sweeteners such as aspartameacesulfame potassium (Ace K ) or high-fructose corn syrup. The stuff scares me, even though it’s supposed to be safe.  It’s in everything these days.

Industry studies – in other words – the people who MAKE IT – swear they’ve tested it time and again and it’s safe.  I don’t believe it. Splenda is the trade name for sucralose, a synthetic compound stumbled upon in 1976 by scientists in Britain reportedly seeking a new pesticide formulation. The Splenda molecule is comprised of sucrose (sugar) — except that three of the hydroxyl groups in the molecule have been replaced by three chlorine atoms.  Hmmmm….. what does THAT tell you?  In many ways sucralose chemically does resemble a pesticide more than food!

An Italian study  brought forth the possibilities of a link between sucralose (Splenda) & leukemia after its study involving almost 1000 rats, who metabolize sugars much like humans do.  This is in addition to a number of other studies involving sucralose.

Dr. Morando Soffritti, director of the Ramazzini Institute in Bologna, Italy:

“Our early studies in rats showed increases in several types of cancer, and, in our most recent aspartame studies, we observed a statistically significant increase of liver and lung tumors in male mice. This shows aspartame causes cancer in various places of the body in two different species. Health concerns over aspartame are leading consumers to switch to the widely promoted alternative: sucralose.

Now that we have found evidence of a link between sucralose and cancer in mice, similar research should be urgently repeated on rats, and large scale observational studies should be set up to monitor any potential cancer risk to human health.”

Additionally, while Splenda is touted to be safe for diabetics, another study has found that ingestion may indeed cause a blood sugar spike. Research in animals has suggested that insulin levels do rise after intake of an artificial sweetener.  This was also backed up in a study at the Washington University School of Medicine and published in the American Diabetes Association journal  Diabetes Care.

Yet another study has found that using Splenda reduces the good bacteria in your guts; the stuff that helps you fight off illness and compromises your immune system.  After consuming Splenda, the gut-friendly bacteria did not normalize for three months!  This would tell me that people are consuming something that is inherently unhealthy. If you destroy the good bacteria in your gut you throw your entire system off!

Additionally, the Center For Science In The Public Interest has downgraded Splenda (sucralose) from “safe” to “caution.

Study co-author Susan Schiffman, PhD, adjunct professor at North Carolina State University has concluded:

Reduces good gut bacteria: Sucralose alters the amount and quality of those beneficial microbes that hang out in your belly (the same ones found in yogurt) by 50% or more. “Alteration in bacterial counts is associated with weight gain and obesity,” says Dr. Schiffman.

Makes meds less effective: The sugar substitute limits the absorption of therapeutic drugs, such as those for cancer and heart disease, rendering them less effective.

Releases toxins: Many people bake with Splenda to reduce the calories in a recipe, but it decomposes during baking, which releases potentially toxic compounds called chloropropanols, which are suspected human carcinogens.

May alter your body’s responses: Sucralose can alter insulin responses and blood sugar levels, has been associated with inflammatory bowel disease, and may even alter genes, the researchers note.

From Prevention magazine:  Other research published in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2013 found that sugar substitutes are linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. So if you want something sweet, your best option is regular sugar in moderation—no more than 100 calories, or six added teaspoons a day, per the American Heart Association’s recommendations.

Now if all this doesn’t make you think twice about consuming anything with a “Splenda” label on it, I don’t know what will.  I’ll continue to read labels and notice if sucralose is listed because I’m not about to be lulled into the Splenda trap!  I’ll take good old-fashioned sugar any day!


Potential Dangers of Splenda


Author: Bernice Matherson

Humanitarian, environmental and food activist, blogging on current societal issues. My blogs cover what's in our food and how it affects our health; the effects of our seemingly small actions regarding chemical and pesticide use in and around our homes and its impact on our Earth.

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