Do you put Splenda in your coffee? Or use it in your baked goods, instead of regular sugar or other natural alternatives? You may think you are making a better choice, but in fact, you are doing more harm than good. Many foods labeled as “healthier for you,” low calories, no/low fat, are typically worse for you than the real thing. Ingredients that are chemically altered and processed are not better for you. Although long-term studies performed on Splenda and their effects on humans have not been performed, willingly ingesting possibly carcinogenic materials is unsafe.
The many problems with Splenda
Splenda, also known as sucralose, is a combination of maltodextrin and dextrose and is 600 times sweeter than regular sugar. Splenda is a synthetic compound discovered in 1976 by scientists in Britain seeking a new pesticide formation and is similar in chemical composition to DDT. Splenda is found in countless products and advertised as a “safe” alternative to sugar. “The inventors of Splenda admit around fifteen percent (15 percent) of sucralose is absorbed by the body, but they cannot guarantee us (out of this 15 percent) what amount of chlorine stays in the body and what percent flushes out” (Brahmini, 2012). Chlorine is considered a carcinogen. Possible side effects of Splenda include: “gastrointestinal problems (bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea), skin irritations (rash, hives, redness, itching, swelling), wheezing, cough, runny nose, chest pains, palpitations, anxiety, anger, moods swings, depression, and itchy eyes.” (Brahmini, 2012)
A 12-week study performed by Duke University on rats determined that Splenda caused pH imbalances in the body, disrupted absorption in the intestinal tract, depletion of good bacteria, swollen livers, kidney calcification and promoted weight gain (Gerson, 2008). No long-term studies have been performed regarding the dangerous effects of Splenda on humans, yet this product continues to be put on the shelves of our grocery stores, advertised and bought by “health conscious” consumers, trying to make healthier decisions.
Our society needs to get away from the common perception that sugar substitutes are safer, healthier options; they are NOT! Agave is an example of a natural sweetener that is not chemically processed. Sugar in the raw form and Stevia are some other examples of natural, healthy sweeteners. Organic honey can also be used to sweeten many things naturally. Just because a product is on the shelf, does not mean it is safe. The Food and Drug Administration has approved many unsafe products for human consumption. NutraSweet is a known neurotoxin that has been proven to cause tumors and had been previously banned in Europe; yet was previously deemed safe for human consumption, like Splenda has been today. The truth is, the long-term consequences of ingesting man-made chemical substitutes are unknown, but it is better to be safe than sorry, and avoid products containing such ingredients at all costs.
Always read labels and question anything that has a long name that you cannot pronounce; more than likely it is a chemical you should steer clear of.
Myths and facts about aspartame and sucralose: a critical review Maganti Brahmini*, Tanikonda Keerthi, Birudugadda Priyadarshini, Idpuganti Sudheerbabu Sir C.R. Reddy College Of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Santhinagar, Eluru-534007 India
Splenda, The Calorie-Free Artificial Sweetener, May Leave Consumers with Something Worse
Than a Bitter Aftertaste. (Total Health, Mar/Apr2009, Vol. 30 Issue 4, p17-17, 1/2p)
Gerson Healing Newsletter, Nov2008, Vol. 23 Issue 6, p8-9, 2p (http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.nycc.edu)