Splenda – Should You Consume It?

One of my clients asked me an important question today. “Is Splenda OK fo my diet?” And here was my response. “For now. Eventually you shouldn’t eat any artificial sweeteners. I’ll do a little research on Splenda and get back to you.”

My reason for saying “For now..” is that I know he is making a commitment to change his nutrition and lose some weight. He wants to use the Splenda in his coffee. By reducing calories when he consumes coffee it will help with his goal of losing weight. I’m hoping that the success he’s about to experience will build some momentum to make some other changes, including not using artificial sweeteners.

The reason I’m against the use of Splenda and other artificial sweeteners is because they are “artificial”. I’m a proponent of eating whole and natural food.

But the reason that I didn’t give him an absolute no is because I’ve spent very little time researching Splenda. So I decided to keep my word and do a little research. Here is what I learned.

Splenda is the brand name of a chemical called Sucralose. Sucralose was discovered in 1976 by scientists while researching ways to use sucrose as a chemical intermediate in non-traditional areas. They found the compound to be exceptionally sweet.

Sucralose is a molecule of sugar chemically manipulated to surrender three hydroxyl groups (hydrogen + oxygen) and replace them with three chlorine atoms. Natural sugar is a hydrocarbon built around 12 carbon atoms. When turned into Splenda it becomes a chlorocarbon, in the family of Chlorodane, Lindane and DDT (pesticide).

Here is its chemical name – 4,1′,6′-trideoxygalactosucrose,

Sucralose has been accepted by several national and international food safety regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Joint Food and Agriculture Organization / World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives, The European Union’s Scientific Committee on Food, Health Protection Branch of Health and Welfare Canada, and Food Standards Australia-New Zealand (FSANZ). Sucralose is one of two artificial sweeteners ranked as “safe” by the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest. The other is “Neotame”. According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, the amount of sucralose that can be consumed on a daily basis over a person’s lifetime without any adverse effects is 9 mg/kg/day.

In determining the safety of sucralose, the FDA reviewed data from more than 110 studies in humans and animals. Many of the studies were designed to identify possible toxic effects, including carcinogenic, reproductive, and neurological effects. No such effects were found, and FDA’s approval is based on the finding that sucralose is safe for human consumption.

So, with the approval of all of those agencies Splenda must be safe? The truth is, we just don’t know yet. There are no long-term studies of the side effects of Splenda in humans. The manufacturer’s own short-term studies showed that very high doses of sucralose (far beyond what would be expected in an ordinary diet) caused shrunken thymus glands, enlarged livers, and kidney disorders in rodents. (A more recent study also shows that Splenda significantly decreases beneficial intestinal flora.)

Since Splenda has been on the market, no independent studies of sucralose lasting more than six months have been done in humans. Of those trials that were done, none were very large — the largest was 128 people. So, what happens when you’ve used sucralose for a year, or two, or ten?

Evidence that there are side effects of Splenda is accumulating little by little. Sucralose has been implicated as a possible migraine trigger, for example. Self-reported adverse reactions to Splenda or sucralose collected by the Sucralose Toxicity Information Center include skin rashes/flushing, panic-like agitation, dizziness and numbness, diarrhea, swelling, muscle aches, headaches, intestinal cramping, bladder issues, and stomach pain. These show up in the people who have an allergy or sensitivity to the sucralose molecule. But no one can say to what degree consuming Splenda affects the rest of us, and there are no long-term studies in humans with large numbers of subjects to say one way or the other if it’s safe for everyone.

Now for some information on how consuming Splenda can help with weight loss.

Eating sugar shoots our blood sugar levels up and triggers a spike in the hormone insulin, which is needed to prep our cells to absorb the sugar. If there are no other nutrients to sustain our blood sugar level, it crashes as quickly as it rises — and we crave another hit. This is how sugar addiction begins.

Moreover, sugar floods us with pleasure by stimulating the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin, and probably other mood-elevating substances.

And so our brains have learned over time to equate the taste of “sweet” with a rapid infusion of energy and pleasure. Even now when we eat sweet foods, special taste buds trigger enzymes that prime our brain to anticipate this extra boost. With a balanced diet and a healthy metabolism, a calorie–control mechanism kicks in after a few minutes to regulate the desire for more food, including the satiety hormone leptin. But with too much sugar, we eat and eat and can’t get satisfied.

So even if the “Sweet” taste comes from a zero-calorie artificial sweetener, our body still responds with increases of insulin. This allows the body to store extra calories (fat) more easily. Plus you’ll be more likely to turn to more food, more quickly to fill the hunger that wasn’t satisfied by the sweet tasting food.

So do I recommend the use of Splenda? NO!

I know that there are many legitimate an well meaning organizations that have deemed Splenda safe.

But if you want to be healthy then I advocate a nutrition plan consisting of whole and natural foods. And Splenda is not natural.

If you want to lose weight then I recommend avoiding sweet foods, natural or otherwise. Even if the sweetness comes from a zero-calorie source, the body still reacts the same physiologically. Making weight loss more difficult.

The information in this post is from the following sources;


  1. Jamun seeds, leaves, fruits and juice from syszygium cumin is beneficial as well.
    When compared to diabetes rates in Caucasians, the risk of diabetes is 18 percent
    higher in Asian Americans. Check out the National Institute of Health’s Portion Distortion website for more examples and pictures of portion distortion.

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