While artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are understood to be dangerous, not as many people are aware of any Splenda warnings. I must admit that I used to be a huge fan of this stuff. I never liked stuff like ‘sweet n’ low’ because I actually thought it tasted salty. But when Splenda hit every Starbucks, I fell in love. Tastes just like sugar, but with zero calories?! But a part of me knew that it’s too good to be true, so I did some research on the matter. In this article I’ll go over some of the things I learned about Splenda. So before grabbing those yellow packets and using them to sweeten your Starbucks coffee, read this article!
Splenda is the marketing name of sucralose, an artificial sweetener hailed as being more healthy than the rest because it is made from sugar, therefore making it natural. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. While sucralose does start with sucrose, aka sugar, it then goes through a chemical process of chlorination. This means that scientists replace 3 hydrocxyl groups of sugar with the same amount of chlorine atoms. The scary part here is that chlorine atoms have been demonstrated to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing) when consumed in large quantities. Do you still agree with the Splenda marketing team that sucralose is ‘natural’?
Another huge problem with Splenda is that there just isn’t enough research done to see if it’s safe. Since the only studies on the stuff before it was released into the market were done b the company itself, or other companies marketing Splenda, I find it hard to completely trust the results., even though they are far from positive. These research studies found that rats consuming Sucralose developed enlarged kidneys and liver, shrinkage of the thymus glands, reduced growth rate in younger rats,lowered red blood cell count, aborted pregnancy, and decreased fetal weight and placenta amounts. This makes me wonder why the FDA approved it in Canada and the US at all. Additionally, NO long-term studies have been done on it at all. This means that if you are a Splenda consumer, then you’re a long-term study subject.
You may wonder why the rats had these symptoms. Thsi is probably due to the fact that sucralose is chlorinated. Some studies show that up to 40 percent of the chlorine can be absorbed when consuming Splenda! When absorbed, the liver, kidneys, and digestive tract are where most of it goes.
Even though the FDA approved Splenda, there are many organizations that cite the dangers of the stuff. For example, the US Sugar Association stated that Sucralose is a chlorocarbon, and thus quite toxic. Additionally, as I already mentioned earlier, it stated that no long term studies have been performed on Splenda. Finally, it noted that up to a quarter of the Splenda consumed by an individual is absorbed by his/her digestive system.
Here are some reports of negative side effects from Sucralose from individuals who consumed it: rash, diarrhea, migraines, dizziness, bladder problems, stomach pain, swelling, muscle aches, and intestinal problems.
So, I suggest that unless you want to become a human lab-rat for Splenda side effects, you stay away from it! Remember that health is most important in losing weight and that you should not be making yourself sick in order to avoid the calories from sugar. If you want to get an actual natural sweetener that is lower in calories than sugar, I suggest Stevia or Sorbitol, which are both natural and healthy.
If you have any Splenda stories of your own, share them with me and the other readers by posting it on the comments section of my blog!