Study: Splenda not completely eliminated from body – leads to weight gain
Splenda advocates and defenders were given an inconvenient truth from a new study that put the brakes on Splenda’s parade of health claims for marketing purposes.
Splenda is the brand name for sucralose. One of the health claims for this chemically-altered sucrose is that its molecules are inert, they don’t produce internal biochemical changes.
And even though it sweetens much more efficiently than chemically-unaltered table sugar, it is completely eliminated from the body naturally after ingestion and not stored as fat or even used as energy. Therefore it is calorie free.
This most current sucralose animal study turns the claim that it is not stored in the body completely upside down:
“The average Splenda users should be informed that sucralose is accumulating in their bodies and that it forms metabolites whose effects are unknown. The long-range effects of sucralose are not understood. Furthermore, we already know that it has adverse biological effects,” stated study author Susan Schiffman, Ph.D. (Source)
The fact that metabolites are formed and detected proves that sucralose is not an inert substance. What those metabolites are, where they are stored, and what dangers they might create, has been addressed by this new study and other studies prior to 2018.
Detail Summaries From the 2018 Study on Sucralose
The title of this study is Intestinal Metabolism and Bioaccumulation of Sucralose In Adipose Tissue In The Rat, and it was peer-reviewed and published online by the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health in August of 2018.
The chemical formation of sucralose comes in packages labeled Splenda or labeled as a sweetener in several processed sweets, pastries, sodas, and chewing gums. It is produced by a process where chlorine ions replace three hydrogen/oxygen groups called hydroxyls in sucrose (common table sugar) molecules.
The result is a sweetener that by volume or weight is 350 to 600 times sweeter than sucrose sugar. This feature is used to market sucralose as no calorie sweetener without the neurotoxic dynamics of aspartame. It allows Splenda to market sucralose as natural since it contains chemically-modified sucrose molecules.
But the researchers for this study were not convinced that this chemically-altered sucrose was completely benign based on earlier independent studies that they referenced.
The researchers knew that industry studies used to get the FDA’s approval were short-sighted, as research author Schiffman mentioned when asked how come what was observed in the current study wasn’t evidence for FDA approval, which allowed sucralose for sweetening all foods and beverages since 1998:
There is no incentive for the manufacturer’s research team to do the proper research that revealed these findings. (Source)
What were these findings? Using state of the art analysis tools, they examined the feces and urine collected every 24 hours from 10 rats fed sucralose over a period of forty days. The dosages were in the same range as studies used to obtain FDA and other international regulatory agencies.
After the 40-day dosing period, a 13-day period of non-dosing continued for the rest of the 63-day study to determine if sucralose was completely cleared from the rats.
If not, that would leave the metabolites from sucralose to continue doing whatever damage, undetermined in this study, and continue causing problems.
The researchers discovered that sucralose created two previously undetected metabolites were present in urine and feces throughout the sucralose dosing period but were still detected at low levels in the urine 11 days after discontinuation of sucralose administration and 6 days after sucralose was no longer detected in the urine or feces.
Interestingly, the fact that all the rats in the study gained weight counters claims of non-calorie weight loss that’s promoted with sucralose. Two weeks after discontinuing sucralose, significant amounts of sucralose remained in adipose (fatty) tissue. Leaving the researchers to conclude:
These new findings of metabolism of sucralose in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and its accumulation in adipose tissue were not part of the original regulatory decision process for this agent and indicate that it now may be time to revisit the safety and regulatory status of this organochlorine artificial sweetener. (Complete study text source)
Other Studies on Sucralose
Although this is the latest animal study on sucralose, there have been others. Some involved human subjects.
The same Susan Schiffman, Ph.D., who was involved with this study was also involved with an earlier meta-analysis review of several studies in 2013 titled Sucralose, A Synthetic Organochlorine Sweetener: Overview Of Biological, published by the same journal as the 2018 study.
Many of the 476 independent studies reviewed that were not impressed with the marketing information used for sucralose and Splenda were conducted prior to its FDA approval. Apparently, they were not taken into consideration by the FDA for its 1998 final approval allowing sucralose as a sweetener for processed foods and beverages.
The review mentioned that several studies showed weight gain from using sucralose despite its zero calorie claims. The abstract concluded:
Cooking with sucralose at high temperatures was reported to generate chloropropanols, a potentially toxic class of compounds. Both human and rodent studies demonstrated that sucralose may alter glucose, insulin, and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) levels. Taken together, these findings indicate that sucralose is not a biologically inert compound. (Review available here.)
Note: GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) is produced by cells in the intestine after eating. It travels via the bloodstream to the pancreas, which produces the hormone glucagon to increase the amount of insulin that’s made. Several medications available to treat diabetes increase the effects of GLP-1. (Source)
For example, the 2013 massive critical review included:
Recent animal data suggest that habitual oral ingestion of high-potency sweeteners that do not provide calories may blunt GLP-1 release and produce hyperglycemia in response to subsequent oral glucose tolerance tests (Swithers et al., 2012).
This would indicate sucralose is not so good for diabetics as a sugar substitute. It’s wise to examine labels of any processed food, beverage, candy or gum to ensure sucralose or any artificial sweetener is not on the ingredient list.
A Closer Look at Chloropropanols
Dr. James Bowden, MD, became obsessed for over two decades with researching low and no-calorie sweeteners after aspartame toxicity induced his case of Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He cautions against using sucralose or Splenda despite its marketing claims based on chloropropanol dangers.
Splenda/sucralose is simply chlorinated sugar; a chlorocarbon. Common chlorocarbons include carbon tetrachloride, trichlorethelene, and methylene chloride, all deadly. Chlorine is nature’s Doberman attack dog, a highly excitable, ferocious atomic element employed as a biocide in bleach, disinfectants, insecticide, WWI poison gas, and hydrochloric acid.
Regarding Splenda and sucralose advocates who commonly defend this sweetener by comparing it with salt consumption, which is sodium chloride, Dr. Bowden unflinchingly responds:
It is logical to ask why table salt, which also contains chlorine, is safe while Splenda/sucralose is toxic? Because salt isn’t a chlorocarbon. When molecular chemistry binds sodium to chlorine to make salt carbon isn’t included. Sucralose and salt are as different as oil and water.
Unlike sodium chloride, chlorocarbons are never nutritionally compatible with our metabolic processes and are wholly incompatible with normal human metabolic functioning.
This arrangement adversely affects human metabolism because our mitochondrial and cellular enzyme systems are designed to completely utilize organic molecules containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and other compatible nutritional elements.
…chlorocarbons such as sucralose deliver chlorine directly into our cells through normal metabolization. This makes them effective insecticides and preservatives. Preservatives must kill anything alive to prevent bacterial decomposition.
The liver is a detoxification organ which deals with ingested poisons. Chlorocarbons damage the hepatocytes, the liver’s metabolic cells, and destroy them. (Source)
Ironically, organic cane sugar is healthier than all sugar substitutes. Raw or brown organic cane sugar, especially from dehydrated cane juice in moderation is healthier.
But the healthiest natural sweeteners are raw, unfiltered, honey, and even better, pure maple syrup, which is actually very nutritious and neuroprotective.