By Audrey Amara
| July 7th 2008 11:48 AM | Print
Upon opening a shelf in the kitchen of a Splenda, or sucralose, addict it is certain one will find a treasure trove of regular foods that have been touched by the most popular sugar substitute in the U.S. Vitamin C drops, cookies and canned fruit—all with Splenda are a few examples of the extensive list of over 3,000 Splenda products.
On the surface the zero-calorie Splenda, marketed with the catchy phrase “made from sugar so it tastes like sugar,” may seem like the sweetener of all sweeteners. However, similar to the mantra that getting a little requires giving a little, the consumption of Splenda doesn’t come free.
The book “Splenda—Is it Safe or Not?” by Dr. Janet Starr Hull, who studies the effects of artificial sweeteners, talks about the illusions behind the modified sugar. She describes the artificial birthing process as the crest of the harmful wave Splenda brings.
“Basically, the chemists force chlorine into an unnatural chemical bond with a sugar molecule, resulting in a sweeter product,” said Hull who goes on to describe the toxicity of sucralose in the process of becoming a low-calorie product. “A huge amount of artificial chemicals must be added to keep sucralose from digesting in our bodies. These toxic substances also prevent (hopefully) the dangerous chlorine molecules from detaching from the sugar molecule inside the digestive system, which would be a carcinogenic hazard.”
Hull, who was diagnosed with Graves Disease, an incurable illness she discovered was a result from aspartame poisoning, points out some of the effects of sucralose. She uses the delicate make-up of children to exemplify her point.
“We wonder why the younger generation is angry, ill, and ridden with ADHD, depression, hypoglycemia and diabetes. How many kids do you see taking a sip of mom’s diet cola or chewing a stick of dad's sugar-free gum?” asks Hull who also provides the answer. “Children raised on chemical diets are more likely to develop physical and mental disorders and, the evidence is surfacing at epidemic levels in America and other developed countries using chemical sugar substitutes.”
“Weight” is a word that is associated with Splenda. Whether the word that follows “weight” is “loss,” or “gain” varies. Many sucralose consumers eat or drink Splenda products for weight control. Information from American Psychological Association on results of tests in lab rats given yogurt sweetened with Splenda can be found in the February 2008 article “Artificial Sweeteners Linked to Weight Gain” on the sciencedaily website.
Authors Susan Swithers, PhD, and Terry Davidson, PhD, said that rats given yogurt sweetened with a zero-calorie sugar substitute later consumed more calories, gained more weight, put on more body fat, and didn't make up for it by cutting back later.
In fact, the list of professionals who are part of the “anti-sucralose club” is ongoing. Marcelle Pick who is an OB/GYN talks about the scientific properties of the substitute in order to prove their toxicity on the health website called “women to women.”
“While some industry experts claim the molecule is similar to table salt or sugar, other independent researchers say it has more in common with pesticides. That’s because the bonds holding the carbon and chlorine atoms together are more characteristic of a chlorocarbon than a salt — and most pesticides are chlorocarbons,” said Pick who also points out sucralose as having caused shrunken thymus glands and enlarged livers and kidneys in rodents.
Skin rashes or coloring, anxiety, dizziness and numbness, diarrhea, muscle aches, headaches, intestinal cramping, bladder issues, and stomach pain are some of the side-effects Pick lists in her comprehensive article on sucralose and other artificial sweeteners. Her recommendation for living a healthy lifestyle when it comes to sugar has to do with living the natural life.
“Use refined sugar rarely, if ever. Instead, sweeten sparingly with the more nutritionally complex natural sugars such as honey, rice syrup, molasses, and maple syrup,” said Pick who points out that sugar-eating habits have to do with ones lifestyle and there is no such thing as a free ride. “After taking a closer look at what you eat, it may also be useful for you to examine the role sweet food plays in your life,” she said.