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Sucralose (Splenda)


Splenda is the brand name of the artificial sweetener sucralose, which was was introduced in 2000 as a ‘diet’ alternative to table sugar (sucrose). It is 600 times sweeter than sucrose, is heat-stable so it can be used for cooking and baking, and has no calories.

Sucralose is made in a laboratory by selectively substituting three hydroxyl (hydrogen-oxygen) groups on the sucrose molecule with three atoms of chlorine. This is why manufacturers can claim that sucralose is a derivative of sugar in an attempt to make it sound safer and more ‘natural’ than other sweeteners. That people have been persuaded by these claims is evident from the rising consumption of this sweetener, as opposed to the former #1 sweetener aspartame, consumption of which is falling rapidly.

But sucralose is no more natural than other chemical sweeteners. It is a chlorocarbon, a group of chemicals that have long been suspected of causing organ, genetic, and reproductive damage. Independent human tests to determine long-term safety have not been carried out, and the chemical has been licensed through a ‘fast track’ process (compare this with what has happened to stevia extract - a completely safe and genuinely natural ‘low cal’ sweetener).

The manufacturer of Splenda, Johnson & Johnson, claims that sucralose passes through the body without being absorbed, but strangely no-one else seems to agree with this assertion. According to the US FDA, the body may absorb from 11 to 27 percent of ingested sucralose, and research from the Japanese Food Sanitation Council estimates that perhaps as much as 40 percent is in fact absorbed. In addition, the Sucralose Toxicity Information Center (STIC) has determined that once sucralose is absorbed, as much as 20 to 30 percent may be metabolised by the body and unknown and possibly toxic metabolites could accumulate in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as in the liver and kidneys.

STIC research in the '90s demonstrated that years of sucralose use may lead to immune system and neurological disorders. In a study published in the FDA's Federal Register, rats that have been given sucralose have exhibited shrunken thalamus glands, enlarged liver and kidneys, reduced growth rate, reduced red blood cell count, and diarrhoea.

In effect, the introduction of sucralose on a widespread basis without proper toxicity testing amounts to an experiment on the human population with no purpose other than financial gain, and at an unknown cost to users who mistakenly believe that ‘approval’ by the authorities supposedly set up to protect them means complete safety.

The truth is, no one really knows about its safety, and reports of adverse reactions to sucralose, some serious, are accumulating. If you experience diarrhoea, red skin blotching or rashes, kidney pain, intestinal cramping, or an irritated bladder after using sucralose you should stop using it immediately and see your doctor.

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