I just received an email from by best friend from splenda.. Please read below:
The Potential Dangers of Sucralose
Check out my book, The No-Grain Diet, to help you conquer grain and sugar
addictions for good!
There's a new artificial sweetener on the block and it is already in a wide range of products (CLICK HERE to see list), some even sold in health food stores and manufactured by nutritionally-oriented companies. But is it proven safe? Does it provide any benefit to the public? Does it help with weight loss? Are there any long term human studies? Has it been shown to be safe for the environment? The answer to all of these questions is unfortunately a resounding NO.
The artificial sweetener sucralose, which is sold under the name Splenda™, is one of the up-and-coming "next generation" of high-intensity sugar substitutes. It is non-caloric and about 600 times sweeter than sucrose (white table sugar), although it can vary from 320 tp 1,000 times sweeter, depending on the food application. The white crystalline powder tastes like a lot like sugar, but is more intense in its sweetness.
How it is Manufactured
Sucralose is produced by chlorinating sugar (sucrose). This involves chemically changing the structure of the sugar molecules by substituting three chlorine atoms for three hydroxyl groups.
Sucralose was discovered in 1976 by researchers working under the auspices of Tate & Lyle Ltd., a large British sugar refiner. In 1980, Tate & Lyle arranged with Johnson & Johnson, the world's largest health care company, to develop sucralose. Johnson & Johnson formed McNeil Speciality Products Company in 1980 to commercialize sucralose.
In 1991, Canada became the first nation to approve the use of sucralose.
In April, 1998 the US Food and Drug Administration granted approval for sucralose to be used in a variety of food products (CLICK HERE for complete list of products using sucralose). Diet RC cola was the first US product with sucralose, introduced in May 1998.
Sucralose is not yet approved for use in most European countries, where it is still under review.
Few human studies of safety have been published on sucralose. One small study of diabetic patients using the sweetener showed a statistically significant increase in glycosylated hemoglobin (Hba1C), which is a marker of long-term blood glucose levels and is used to assess glycemic control in diabetic patients. According to the FDA, "increases in glycosolation in hemoglobin imply lessening of control of diabetes.
Research in animals has shown that sucralose can cause many problems in rats, mice, and rabbits, such as:
Shrunken thymus glands (up to 40% shrinkage)
Enlarged liver and kidneys.
Atrophy of lymph follicles in the spleen and thymus
Increased cecal weight
Reduced growth rate
Decreased red blood cell count
Hyperplasia of the pelvis
Extension of the pregnancy period
Decreased fetal body weights and placental weights
According to one source (Sucralose Toxicity Information Center), concerning the significant reduction in size of the thymus gland, "the manufacturer claimed that the sucralose was unpleasant for the rodents to eat in large doses and that starvation caused the shruken thymus glands.
[Toxicologist Judith] Bellin reviewed studies on rats starved under experimental conditions, and concluded that their growth rate could be reduced by as much as a third without the thymus losing a significant amount of weight (less than 7 percent). The changes were much more marked in rats fed on sucralose. While the animals' growth rate was reduced by between 7 and 20 percent, their thymuses shrank by as much as 40 percent. (New Scientist 23 Nov 1991, pg 13)"
A compound chemically related to sucrose, 6-chloro-deoxyglucose, is known to have anti-fertility and neurotoxic effects, although animal studies of sucralose have not shown these effects.
According to the FDA's "Final Rule" report, "Sucralose was weakly mutagenic in a mouse lymphoma mutation assay." The FDA aslo reported many other tests as having "inconclusive" results.
Just how few studies currently exist on sucralose is an issue. Endurance News provides the following table illustrating this fact:
# of Studies*
19 *Number of studies determined by MEDLINE search.
In terms of safety, it is not just the original substance (sucralose) that one needs to worry about. As the FDA notes, "Because sucralose may hydrolyze in some food products...the resulting hydrolysis products may also be ingested by the consumer."
Is There Any Long-Term Human Research?
None. According to the Medical Letter on Drugs & Therapeutics, "Its long-term safety is unknown." According to the Sucralose Toxicity Information Center, the "Manufacturer's '100's of studies' (some of which show hazards) were clearly inadequate and do not demonstrate safety in long-term use."
Is Sucralose Absorbed or Metabolized?
Despite the manufacturer's claims to the contrary, sucralose is significantly absorbed and metabolized by the body. According to the FDA's "Final Rule" report, 11% to 27% of sucralose is absorbed in humans, and the rest is excreted unchanged in feces. According to the Japanese Food Sanitation Council, as much as 40% of ingested sucralose is absorbed.
Plasma sucralose has been reported to have a half-life of anywhere from 2 to 5 hours in most studies, although the half-life in rabbits was found to be much longer at about 36 hours.
About 20% to 30% of absorbed sucralose is metabolized. Both the metabolites and unchanged absorbed sucralose are excreted in urine. The absorbed sucralose has been found to concentrate in the liver, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract. According to The Sucralose Toxicity Information Center, sucralose is broken down "into small amounts of 1,6-dichlorofructose, a chemical which has not been adequtely tested in humans."
According to Consumers Research Magazine "Some concern was raised about sucralose being a chlorinated molecule. Some chlorinated molecules serve as the basis for pesticides such as D.D.T., and accumulate in body fat. However, Johnson & Johnson emphasized that sucralose passes through the body unabsorbed."
Of course, this assertion about not being absorbed is complete nonsense. As shown above, a substantial amount of sucralose is absorbed, so the argument is not valid.
According to the HAD, "The manufacturer claims that the chlorine added to sucralose is similar to the chlorine atom in the salt (NaCl) molecule. That is not the case. Sucralose may be more like ingesting tiny amounts of chlorinated pesticides, but we will never know without long-term, independent human research."
The FDA acknowledges that sucralose "is produced at an approximate purity of 98%." While that may sound pretty pure, just what is in that other 2%? It turns out that the final sucralose product contains small amounts of potentially dangerous substances such as:
Heavy Metals (e.g., Lead)
Although manufacturing guidelines do specify limits on these substances there is no guarantee that such limits will always be met.
Despite the fact that a portion of sucralose is metabolized into some chemicals of questionable safety, a majory of the consumed sucralose is excreted unchanged in the feces and urine. While that may be good for the person using the product, it may not be so great for the environment.
Although sucralose is being flushed down toilets wherever sucralose is approved for sale, what happens to it next is simply a matter for speculation. I know of no studies showing what happens to the chemical when the raw sewage is treated and then released back into the environment.
Does it remain stabile or react with other substances to form new compounds?
Is the sucralose or any resulting chemicals safe for the environment?
How will this chemical affect aquatic life such as fish, as well as other animals?
Will sucralose begin to appear in our water supplies, just as some drugs are beginning to be found.
Of course, we will likely not know the answers to these questions for many years, if at all. One of the main reasons for this is that the FDA did not require an Environmental Impact Statement for sucralose, because in their words, "the action will not have a significant impact on the human environment."
One study did find that sucralose is metabolized by microrganisms in both the water and soil (Labare 94). However, the ecological impact of this new chemical being introduced into the environment is unknown.
Is There a Benefit for Consumers?
According to Consumers' Research Magazine, sucralose provides some benefits for the corporations making and using it, but not for consumers. They state:
But are such foods truly beneficial and desirable? Diabetics, weight watchers, and the general public might make better food choices by selecting basic, rather than highly processed foods; for example, apples, rather than turnovers; or plain, rather than sweetened, dairy foods.
They note that non-caloric artificial sweeteners are not replacing, but rather supplementing conventional sweeteners. They note that as of 1990 Americans were consuming an average of 20 pounds (sugar sweetness equivalency) of artificial sweeteners, and as consumption of sugar-substitutes has risen so too has consumption of sugar.
Does Sucralose Help with Weight Loss?
According to Consumers' Research Magazine "There is no clear-cut evidence that sugar substitutes are useful in weight reduction. On the contrary, there is some evidence that these substances may stimulate appetite."
Where is Sucralose Found?
In the United States, the FDA has granted approval for the use of sucralose in 15 food and beverage categories: (For a complete list of products containing sucralose CLICK HERE)
Baked goods and baking mixes
Confections and frostings
Fats and oils (salad dressings)
Fruit and water ices
Jams and jellies
Processed fruits and fruit juices
Sweet sauces, toppings and syrups
Beverages and beverage bases
Coffee and tea
Dairy product analogs
Frozen dairy desserts and mixes
Gelatins, puddings and fillings
For a complete list of products containing sucralose CLICK HERE
Comparison to Other Sweeteners
Its promoters cite several benefits over other sweeteners, such as:
Unlike saccharin, sucralose leaves no bitter aftertaste.
Unlike other artificial sweeteners, it remains stable at high temperatures.
Unlike sugar, it does not raise blood glucose levels
As a comparison to sucralose's 600-fold sweetness increase over sugar, consider the other artificial sweeteners on the market:
Saccharin (Sweet-and -Low) - 300 to 500 times sweeter
Aspartame (NutraSweet and Equal) - 150 to 200 times sweeter
Acesulfame K (Sunette) - 200 times sweeter.
A 1998 report in Chemical Week states that the high-intensity sweetener market is about $1.5-billion/year. About 70%-80% of that market is made up of soft drink sweeteners, of which aspartame has a near monopoly. They note that although sucralose is 50% sweeter than aspartame, it will be difficult to persuade many soft drink producers to give up NutraSweet (aspartame) since it is widely accepted by consumers.
Is Anyone Monitoring Post-Approval Reactions?
Apparently not. With no established system for monitoring and tracking post-approval adverse effects, how can it ever be established whether large-scale and long-term consumption of sucralose is safe?
Sucralose is made from sucrose by substituting three chlorine atoms for three hydroxyl groups to yield 1,6-dichloro-1,6-dideoxy-BETA-D-fructofuranosyl-4-chloro-4-deoxy-alpha-D-galactopyranoside. This is accomplished in a five-step process.
Prolonged storage, particularly at high temperatures and low pH, causes the sucralose to break down into 4-chloro-4-deoxy-galactose (4CG) and 1,6-dichloro-1,6-dideoxyfructose (1,6 DCF),
The Chemical Abstracts Service Registry number (CAS Reg. No.) for sucralose is 56038-13-2.
Should Sucralose be Avoided?
The Holistic Medicine Web Page cites the following reasons to avoid sucralose:
Pre-approval tests indicated potential toxicity of sucralose.
There are no *independent* controlled human studies on sucralose (similar to 15 years ago for aspartame).
There are no long-term (12-24 months) human studies of sucralose's effects.
There is no monitoring of health effects. It took government agencies decades to agree that there were countless thousands of deaths from tobacco. Why? Simply because there had been no monitoring or epidemiological studies. Without such monitoring and studies, huge effects can easily go unnoticed.
Do Products with Sucralose Carry Any Warning Labels Or Information Statements?
No. The regulatory agencies and scientific review bodies that have endorsed the safety of sucralose have not required any warning information to be placed on the labels of products sweetened with sucralose.
The Sucralose Toxicity Information Center concludes that:
While it is unlikely that sucralose is as toxic as the poisoning people are experiencing from Monsanato's aspartame, it is clear from the hazards seen in pre-approval research and from its chemical structure that years or decades of use may contribute to serious chronic immunological or neurological disorders.
The Consumer's Research Magazine concludes that:
As Americans continue to choose ever-increasing amounts of such foods and beverages, sweeteners may soar to higher consumption levels. The long-range health effects from such escalation need careful evaluation. Do additional approved sweetening agents truly contribute to good health? Do they really meet special dietary needs? Or, do they merely further encourage poor dietary choices?
Recent Examples of What Splenda Can Do To You
Dear Dr. Mercola,
I wanted to thank you for posting your article regarding sucralose, and to inform you of my reaction to eating it today.
I bought a low-carb bar called "Ultimate Lo Carb" by Biochem at a local health food store. I have been eating foods low in starchy carbs and thought this might be a good snack bar. Well, almost immediately after eating eat I became nauseous. Then my stomach starting cramping and I began dry heaving.
I wondered what could have caused this and decided to try and read the label. The only ingredient I did not recognize was "sucralose".
So, I jumped on the internet and did a search for it and found your article. In the meantime I was heaving and feeling even worse. Well, I am allergic to chlorine, as well as having a liver that doesn't function very well (I take a natural supplement called "Lipogen" for liver support as prescribed by my ND), and when I saw what you had to say about sucralose, I figured that was what was causing it.
I kept feeling worse, and I decided I needed to get it out of my system and took some ipecac (maybe not the best move, but the only thing I could think of). By the time the syrup got into my stomach the heaving was getting worse and intestinal distress was setting in. It was like eating bad seafood. I nearly died of food poisoning by crab legs a number of years back, and this was the closest thing to that feeling.
Finally everything in my system started coming out, and my body didn't stop until my entire digestive tract was cleared out. I have never reacted this violently to anything I have eaten except for when I have had food poisoning.
Something needs to be done to get this product off the market.
I can't help but be convinced that the FDA takes payoffs. No ethical person could approve the use of things like MSG (another thing I cannot tolerate eating), which is classified by the FDA as an excitotoxin and is known to be harmful to the central nervous system. I will do everything to get people to read your article and get the word out on the FDA's latest blunder.
Dear Dr. Mercola,
THANK YOU so much for your informative site! I am currently "detoxing" from using sucralose after a terrible reaction. It all began with purchasing a box of Splenda. The changes (in my opinion) were subtle.
However, my family and friends noticed immediately. I became withdrawn and disinterested in my usual hobbies. Everything became a "chore." I was tired during the day, but couldn't sleep at night either. I play flute which requires a quick mental process and fingering skills to match but suddenly I was struggling to play. Typing is difficult, as well.
During the past three weeks I noticed myself "zoning out." I'd become forgetful and moody. I thought perhaps it was the Splenda, because that was the only thing different in my daily habits.
I quickly dismissed the thought - despite having experienced a similar situation with Equal a few years back. I called it "Jekyl v. Hyde Syndrome." But it seemed I noticed the changes much quicker with Equal than with Splenda.
I really suffered yesterday. I was an emotional wreck. I cried and cried. I felt like I was losing my mind. My husband and son discussed my disturbing behavior while I was in the shower. Our son, Tim, recalled that the changes began with that little yellow box. Steve, (my husband,) mentioned it to me. Little by little, things fell into place, including the unexplainable accident I recently had in our truck.
I had just stopped at a stop sign and the trooper said that I couldn't have been going over 15 miles an hour when I nearly rolled our truck. Even he said that I narrowly escaped injury. I nearly had a second accident last week.
My senses had become SO dulled, I could barely function.
I could not focus on anything. Even playing my flute was so hard. I normally stand to play, but for the past two weeks at practice, I sat a lot. I felt "dazed."
This morning, I feel MUCH better than I have in the recent weeks. Not quite "normal," but much better. Even the acne (on my otherwise clear skin) is fading away. Yep! I had a patch of acne, which appeared when I began using Splenda!
How many people are suffering from what appears to be diseases - or even acne, when it is simply a reaction to a chemical they are ingesting? If companies were forced to list the ingredients of these products, such as arsenic, they'd sure be a lot more careful! I mean, who would intentionally poison themselves?
Dear Dr. Mercola,
Four years ago I began to have panic attacks and was on BuSpar for about a year. I started reading about aspartame and consumed the product daily -- mostly in diet drinks and was a big consumer of Diet Rite. After learning about problems other people were having I quit completely consuming the stuff. And have been panic free for 3 years.
In December I started using splenda and at the same time started having a great deal of anxiety and had a couple of panic attacks but didn't think about the link of Splenda and the anxiety until about a week ago. I also had my mom visiting and introduced her to Splenda -- guess what -- she started having panic attacks during her visit and actually cut her visit short due to her feeling bad.
I haven't consumed anymore of it for a week but am still having problems. Oh, I also was having an irregular heart beat which I did see my doctor about. He assured me that my blood pressure was excellent and cholesterol also good and I shouldn't worry about my heart.
I consume very little to no caffine. Local doctors don't put much faith in the idea that Nutra Sweet caused problems. I'm sure my new theory about Splenda would carry even less weight. By the way, I have a very stess-free life-style. I run my own little business and set my own hours. I don't believe my environment is causing any irregular stress.
I found this website while researching the new sweetener SPLENDA, a sweetener
included in the DIET ICE BOTANICALS drink made by Talking Rain Beverage Co., Preston WA. 98050 Ph. 1-800-734-0748, WWW.TALINGRAIN.COM
, currently sold at SAMS warehouse club.
The shocking thing I read at the end of your article on this is the Food Poisoning like symptoms. I've probably drank about 30 -16oz bottles of the stuff, which supposedly contains St, Johns Wort, Kava-Kava, and Ginseng, among other "good" things for you. My son has been sneaking a few bottles to past Mom, despite my apprehension.
We both came down with a similar food poisoning which lasted nearly 10 days for him, and is going on day 3 for me, and I'm throwing the stuff out today.
Thanks for your information,
Dear Dr. Mercola:
Thank you so much for your webpage. I recently drank my first bottle of Virgin Diet Cola, and experienced a mind-numbing headache. I was literally seeing spots. I read the label, thinking there must be something crazy in the cola. The one ingredient I didn't recognize was "Sucralose." My husband, a doctor, said he'd never heard of the ingredient either.
After having read your site, I've cleaned my cupboards of Pure Protein bars, which I had no idea contained this deadly chemical, and, needless to say, will NOT be purchasing any of the other products you've listed. Thank you for your thorough research and intelligent, accessible data.
Best -- Megyn Cotner
I was horrified to read some of the letters on your website. I was excited at first to find an artificial sweetener that did not give me Migraines like Aspartame (which also caused some depression). Although I did not use it a lot, after about 6 months of OCCASIONAL use, I detected a pattern in my Splenda use and severe altered emotional state. I became irate, impatient, hyper-sensitive to noise, clutter and children. I really thought this was a mental breakdown, or spiritual attack of some sort. These episodes only came periodically, but they really scared me. Then I noticed a pattern - use of sucralose, followed in hours (or the next morning) by one of these events (lasting 3 to 5 hours). What a relief! I'm not really going nuts - and I can fix this, by never using the product again. What really upsets me is that how many people are suffering and will NEVER make any connection.
How many doctors are treating these people with anti-depressants? How many body-conscious teenagers are committing suicide because of this severe alteration of emotional function? I realize that not all people have the same symptoms, but I would really like to join a support group, or get involved in a chat room or join a campaign and GET THE INFORMATION OUT!!!
I also would be interested in knowing if there is any information on exactly what component of Sucralose affects the brain/nervous system and causes altered emotional states.
I was looking up the sweetener Sucralose which is in ACTII kettle corn. I was trying to find out if it was the same as nutra sweet or aspertine. Whenever I eat anything that has that in it, I get pains in my leg and knee. I can not sleep because of the pain, it hurts to walk up the stairs and so on. The pain will go away when I stop eating anything with that in it, within one to two weeks. I had a friend who got pain all over her body after drinking diet soda.
I wish to share with the medical field the terrible reations I experienced after eating the product "splenda" .
I do not know who to tell, but I do feel it is important.
I am not diabetic; however, I had two good friends come to dinner, and they brought this big "yellow box of Splenda"...my life, my health was so messed up for the next week I didn't know what was wrong.
I am healthy. I am 44, in great health, 125 pounds, no medicine presc. at all...and yet the morning after I ate this product "Splenda" I was in terrible, terrible pain.
I only ate it, because I cooked two pies for my diabetic friends.
The next 6 days were full of such excruciating pain, I hated to have to go to a doctor but I had to. I cried, the pain in my chest hurt so much.
I want someone that is doing research on this product to understand it really can hurt healthy people, without their knowing it.
I thought I had a heart problem. Forturnately it was a reaction to this product; yet the doctor I saw that ran all kinds of tests, never asked me if I had "ate" anything new!!!!
If I can provide you with anything else I would be pleased to; I don't want anyone else to have to experience the terrible pain in the chest that I did. It was "EXCRUCIATING"...no doubt about it.
You can add me to the list of people who have had a bad experience with sucralose. I purchased and ate a bag of jelly beans yesterday afternoon.
No carbs sounded wonderful, and they really did taste great, so I grabbed another bag on my way home
Unfortunately, a couple of hours later, I started experiencing food poisoning-like symptoms. It was clear to me that my system is trying to rid itself of something, so I looked at the packaging of the only thing I ate last night and found your web page. I was up all night and my normally flat and trim tummy is distended to the point that, when I lay on my back, I look seven months' pregnant!
I am grateful I now know what is causing my discomfort -- I will definitely avoid this product at all costs when shopping for my family!! Thank you for an informative article!!
Dear Doctor Mercola,
I'm not expecting an answer to my email, however I do want to say thank you. After reading your site I am certain now that I was poisoned by Splenda. I knew I was poisoned and I knew it wasn't "food poisoning" from a bacteria. The pain in my body was definitely neurological. I am still experiencing some of the pain and am flushing my Splenda down the drain today. The pain was excruciating, in every part of my body. I am a nurse and I knew instantly that I was experiencing neurological symptoms. I had diarrhea for 3 days also. I came very close to calling 911. I am a 53 year old female in excellent health. These symptoms hit me like a brick very quickly. My blood pressure sky rocketed and I almost fell on my face in a parking lot. I'm on my way now to whole foods to purchase some granular vitamin c to detoxify my body. You saved my life. Thank you again for your information.
Gypsie Mahrou, RN
I've just been reading up on sucralose because I realized just this past week that I've been having a bad reaction to a product I've been using since December - Splenda. I started using Splenda in my coffed and tea since late December and shortly after I began itching in various place on my body and bright red rashed and welts appeared as well. It seemed to be the worst in the evening and only a little in the day. I didn't relate it to the Splenda at all, but I had my coffed in the morning, two cups, the second I rarely finished, and I would have two to three cups of hot tea in the evenings. I finally saw my doctor in March and after seeing my rash and how badly I itched and hearing what I discribed, he told me that I was allergic to something I was ingesting. I still didn't put it together, at least I didn't want to.
I knew that Splenda was the only thing I had changed and had still been using since the itching started, but I didn't want to go back to sugar and the other substitutes weren't options for me because of the aspertame. Splenda "had" to be alright since it was made from sugar, I thought. The doctor put me on some medication to stop the itching and clear up the rash. While I took it for a week and˝, the itching stopped. The rash would still be visible, but now it just looked sort of like it was underlying the skin, as if it were just dormat. Two weeks after my first doctor visit, I had a follow-up and the doctor said I looked fine and to see him again in three months just to make sure, unless, of course, it started again.
Well, it did start again, that very night, in fact. I itched and itched. I waited a few days, but the itching got so bad, I took some of the medication that I still had, since I hadn't used it up. I would just take it at night so I could sleep and then only every two or three days so the pills would last until I could get to the doctor again. The rash would still appear and it would be that very bright red color, different size spots and some odd shapes as well. Sometimes I would get streaks. One day last week I had two streaks going up my neck side by side, each almost as wide as my finger and at the base of my neck a large red splotch.
Wednesday night the itching was terrible again and I finally gave in to the inescapable fact that Splenda had to be the root of this problem, so I stopped using it in my tea that night, and have not used it in anything since. I have still had the rash appear periodically as before, but not as often and not so bright red, no welts appear, and I have not been itching nearly as much or as badly. I'm guessing that it may take time for the stuff to get out of my system completely. I guess I am writing this to you to have my experience with Sucralose documented in some way, even if it's just an email. I would love to know, though, if you know of anyone else who has had a similar experience. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
DR. MERCOLA'S COMMENT:
Don't let these large companies fool you. There is no magic alternative to sugar when it comes to sweeteners. You simply can not have your cake and eat it too when it comes to this area. It is far too early to tell, as not enough people have consumed this product to observe large numbers of adverse effects.
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However, I have had a number of patients in our Wellness Center who have had some severe migraines and even seizures possibly from consuming this product.
I am fond of telling people that if something tastes sweet you probably should spit it out as it is not likely to be to good for you. This of course, is a humorous exaggeration, but for most people who struggle with chronic illness, it is likely to be a helpful guide.
PLEASE note this article is being written in 2000. This is one of the first comprehensive clear investigative reports and warnings on sucralose on the Internet.
The Dangers of Chlorine and Issues With Sucralose
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