How Splenda Affects Your Gut
The search for alternatives to sugar has led many people to use artificial sweeteners like sucralose. Also known as Splenda. But is sucralose bad for you? Not everyone is aware of the Splenda dangers present in over-consumption. There are many natural ways to give some sweetness to a cup of coffee. Or even your herbal iced tea. However, many people do what we’re all guilty of. They reach for the quickest and easiest solution. In this case, that solution is a pack of Splenda. This artificial sweetener is about 600 times as sweet as sugar. And is easily the most popular artificial sweetener on the market. I recently released a study, which found that Splenda is, well, not so splendid for the gut microbiota.
On the surface, Splenda appears to offer people a low-calorie alternative for their cooking. There are many natural ways to give some sweetness to a cup of coffee, or even your herbal iced tea. However, many people do what we’re all guilty of. They reach for the quickest and easiest solution. In this case, that solution is a pack of Splenda. This artificial sweetener is about 600 times as sweet as sugar. And is easily the most popular artificial sweetener on the market. But many people are not aware of sucralose side effects. As well as the Splenda dangers that they are at risk of.
How They Make Splenda Sweetener
Are you regularly consuming Splenda or other artificial sweeteners? If so, you need to be knowledgeable about what you are eating. Especially how they make Splenda. How they create Splenda sweetener may surprise you. As well as the associated Splenda dangers. So, how do they make this type of artificial sweetener? Combining sucralose and other digestible sweeteners. Originally, human consumption was never the intended purpose of sucralose. However, discovered later was how it could be made into an artificial sweetener. As a result, there may be some unwanted sucralose side effects. Asking, "is sucralose bad for you?" is then the obvious question most people would have.
Sucralose comes from sugar but contains chlorine. The chlorine is where the sweetness of sucralose comes from. Therefore, the process of making Splenda involves replacing some atoms with more chlorine.
Although sucralose is only 5 percent of Splenda’s ingredients. This is enough to allow for sucralose side effects. Bulking agents make up the other 95 percent.
Is Splenda Sweetener Safe for Consumption?
While Splenda offers a good alternative to those who are calorie conscious. Is it really good for your health? Approved for use in the United States are five artificial sweeteners. One of these approved artificial sweeteners is Splenda. To be approved, however, they do not have to go through strict safety trials. Therefore, the Splenda dangers are likely not all known. The food industry will fund most of the testing. Which of course has an invested interest in whether it passes or fails. As we have discussed already, there are some associated sucralose side effects. But what about research studies? Continue reading to find out what some studies have found out about the consumption of Splenda.
I recently released a study, which found that Splenda is, well, not so splendid for the gut microbiota. The study found that in mice, the artificial sweetener Splenda negatively impacts the intestinal microbiota. And promotes Crohn’s-type disease in genetically susceptible hosts. The findings of this study suggest that consuming Splenda may be a serious risk factor for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Over a six-week period, Splenda was found to worsen gut inflammation in mice with Crohn’s-like disease. But had no substantive effect on those without the condition. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease of the digestive tract. Which often causes abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, bloody stools, weight loss, and fatigue. About 10-15% of humans who suffer from Crohn’s disease report that sweeteners make their symptoms worse.
My colleagues and I found that the numbers of Proteobacteria, a large phylum group of microbes, increased in the intestines of mice drinking water with Splenda. The artificial sweetener was found to stimulate the intestinal overgrowth of E. Coli (a member of the Proteobacteria group) and increased bacterial penetration into the gut wall. This was only found in mice with Crohn's disease.
Our findings didn’t end there. For the mice with bowel disease, we found that Splenda increased myeloperoxidase activity in the intestines. Myeloperoxidase is an enzyme in leukocytes (white blood cells). This kills a variety of microorganisms. Our conclusion is that the presence of E. Coli intensified the activity of myeloperoxidase as it tried to fight off the invader. As you can see here, the sucralose side effects are huge.
Side Effects from Splenda
Associated with the consumption of the artificial sweetener named Splenda, are many sucralose side effects. Linked to Splenda dangers have been many health conditions. Some of these include causing leaky guy, irritable bowel syndrome, and even diabetes. Toxic compounds are believed to be the cause of this. Toxic compounds develop when Splenda is heated for various uses. Weight gain has also been linked. Which is the complete opposite of what many people use it for.
In addition, it can be affecting your health in other ways. Consumption has also been linked to causing digestive problems and metabolic syndrome. Sucralose can alter your body’s normal levels of insulin and glucose, causing health concerns. Sucralose can also kill off good probiotics.
Is Stevia a Better Sugar Substitute?
Around now, you may be thinking, “but what about stevia?”. Stevia is a popular sugar substitute. Being plant-based is another benefit to stevia. Stevia is a more natural sugar substitute; however, it comes with limited long-term research. We are not aware of the associated risks or potential ones. Despite it being FDA approved. The consumption of stevia could potentially pose risks that are not yet clear.
Things to Consider Before Consuming Splenda
It is my belief that because Splenda may increase myeloperoxidase in humans with a pro-inflammatory predisposition. For instance, like Crohn’s disease or other inflammatory bowel diseases. It could greatly intensify the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and IBD.
My hope is that people suffering from Crohn’s disease or other forms of IBD reconsider consuming Splenda. As well as other products with sucralose and maltodextrin.
Additional Information on our study can be found at Science Daily Research News.
Lastly, I recommend that you consider the pros and cons of consuming Splenda. Most people who use Splenda do so as a low-calorie alternative. You should consider the whether the consumption of Splenda is beneficial. By outweighing it against the associated risks that are linked with sucralose.