Research: An Overview of Sucralose (Splenda)

Sucralose Facts
n  More commonly known by the product name “Splenda” consisting of Sucralose, Maltodextrin, and Dextrose
n  Marketed as healthier than Nutrasweet and Sweet and Low because it’s “the only 0 calorie sweetener made from real sugar!”
n  Replaces 3 alcohol groups with 3 chlorine groups so it goes through the body unchanged and unmetabolized
n  Categorized as a chlorocarbon, insoluble in fat and does not break down or dechlorinate
n  600 times sweeter than sugar
n  Splenda actually has 3 calories per tsp
n  Heat Stable for baking and cooking like sugar, maltodextrin increases its stability
n  Discovered in 1978
n  Approved by FDA in 1998
n  Over 100 Animal-Human Studies show it is safe to use, no warnings required
n  Most popular artificial sweetner in the US since 2005, now a 62% market share
n  American Dietetic Association promotes artificial sweeteners in small amounts for weight control
Potential Health Risks
n  Some hypothesize it could be related to tumor development, no research proving this however
n  Some find it to increase appetite for real sugary food
n  Some find correlation with weight gain, others find the opposite
n  Some case studies found Sucralose to be a migraine trigger
n  Adverse health affects estimated after 75 packets of Splenda per day
n  Thyroid and DNA damage found in rats from equivalent of thousands of packets of sucralose per day
n  70% does not leave GI tract and is excreted directly.
n  20-30% of Absorbed Sucralose enters bloodstream and filtered by kidneys, excreted as urine.
n  Broken down by microorganisms in the environement but not by wastewater treatment plants, may accumulate in water supplies

Works Cited
n  Karstadt, Myra L. Testing needed for acesulfame potassium, an artificial sweetener. (Correspondence). Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives. 114.9 (Sept 2006): pA516(1).  
n  Migraine Triggered by Sucralose-A Case Report. Headache: Journal of Head and Face Pain. 47.3 (March 2007): p447(1).
n  Szalavltz, Maia. The sweetener standoff: Maia Szalavltz weighs in on the controversy involving artificial sweetners. Psychology Today. 39.5 (Sept-Oct 2006): p60(1) .

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