The Chemical Cuisine report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a detailed guide to artificial food additives, sheds new light on sucralose – the artificial sweetener commonly known by the brand name Splenda.
Although Splenda has so far been seen as safe for consumption, mounting evidence arises that links this sweetener to leukemia in mice.
Other artificial sweeteners including saccharin, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium have received “avoid” ratings by the CSPI; this is the group’s lowest score. On the other hand, rebiana, a natural high-potency sweetener made from stevia is still labeled “safe.”
Splenda is in fact the brand name and registered trademark of a sucralose-based artificial sweetener, owned by the British company Tate & Lyle and American company Johnson & Johnson. Its full chemical name is 1,6-dichloro-1,6-dideoxy-Β-D-fructofuranosyl-4-chloro-4-deoxy-α-D-galactopyranoside. It’s the most popular artificial sweetener in the world, with over $200 million annual sales profit in the USA only.
The alarming thing about this product is that sucralose is not obtained from nature. Instead, it’s made by replacing three hydrogen-oxygen groups on sucrose (table sugar) molecules with three chlorine atoms. Then sucralose is mixed with dextrose and maltodextrin, both sugars “generally recognized as safe.”
The harmful effects of sucralose have been confirmed by several studies. One study found that Splenda “suppresses beneficial bacteria and directly affects the expression of the transporter P-gp and cytochrome P-450 isozymes that are known to interfere with the bioavailability of drugs and nutrients. Furthermore, these effects occur at Splenda doses that contain sucralose levels that are approved by the FDA for use in the food supply.”
A 2013 review published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health brings new evidence to light.
“Although early studies asserted that sucralose passes through the GIT [gastrointestinal tract] unchanged, subsequent analysis suggested that some of the ingested sweetener is metabolized in the GIT, as indicated by multiple peaks found in thin-layer radiochromatographic profiles of methanolic fecal extracts after oral sucralose administration. The identity and safety profile of these putative sucralose metabolites are not known at this time. Sucralose and one of its hydrolysis products were found to be mutagenic at elevated concentrations in several testing methods. Cooking with sucralose at high temperatures was reported to generate chloropropanols, a potentially toxic class of compounds. Both human and rodent studies demonstrated that sucralose may alter glucose, insulin, and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) levels. Taken together, these findings indicate that sucralose is not a biologically inert compound.”
According to Dr. Mercola, splenda and other artificial sweeteners are promoted as health foods due to deceptive marketing practices.
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