Why Splenda isn’t so Splendid

February 3rd, 2009

If you’re using Splenda and think it’s a safe alternative to sugar, there’s some alarming information you need to know!

Splenda is an artificial sweetener that has become very popular based on it’s origin from sugar, and more notably, the claim that it has zero calories. Splenda also goes by the chemical name of sucralose. The simple fact that Splenda even has a chemical name should be the first sign of danger.

A Frightening Similarity to Outlawed Pesticide DDT

Sucralose is produced by replacing three oxygen-hydrogen groups of a sugar molecule with chlorine atoms. Based on this addition of chlorine, sucralose is a member of the chlorocarbon family of chemicals which are known to cause damage to organs, genes, and the reproductive system in addition to causing a host of other smaller problems.

As a chlorocarbon, Splenda shares some of the risk that’s associated with highly toxic chemicals such as DDT and dioxins. DDT was a popular pesticide used in the 1940s that killed insects by disrupting their nervous system. After realizing the effects it has on humans, animals, and the environment, it’s use in the United States was outlawed in the early 1970s.

If you’re still not concerned about the chemical nature of Splenda, keep in mind that it was accidentally discovered during the development of a new insecticide.

Bittersweet Irony

What’s ironic about Splenda is that the FDA approved it while making claims that the natural plant based sweetener stevia is dangerous. The FDA also approved aspartame which has been surrounded by a lot of controversy and is arguably a lot more dangerous than Splenda.

Adding to the irony, Splenda is advertised in a clever way to make you think it’s a natural product. Although it does start out as a regular sugar molecule, it’s anything but natural after it goes through it’s patented chemical processing. This should be abundantly clear based on it’s similarity to DDT and dioxins.

There’s more irony behind the claim of Splenda being a zero calorie sweetener. Splenda actually does contain calories because because it is mixed with various forms of sugar to make it more palatable and affordable. The reason why Splenda can be marketed as being sugar free and zero calorie sweetener is because it contains less than 0.5 grams of sugar and less than 5 calories per serving.

In addition, despite the claims by the manufacturer that Splenda is not absorbed by the intestines, some of it is absorbed. With Splenda’s similarity to other toxic chlorocarbons, this absorption is part of what makes Splenda so dangerous.

The Duke University Study

Based on the lack of integrity that has plagued modern scientific research, I’m always hesitant to rely on it. However, since this study correlates with the rational notion of synthetic chemicals being unhealthy and relates to an important aspect of good health, I decided to mention it.

Late in 2008, Duke University completed a study concluding that Splenda reduces the population of beneficial intestinal flora. Don’t be fooled by the temptation to think this is insignificant. A healthy digestive tract is the foundation of good health, and once the digestive system becomes impaired, everything else goes downhill. The beneficial intestinal flora that Splenda interferes with play a significant role in keeping our digestive system healthy and functioning well.

We all have potentially harmful flora in our intestines. This is normal, and under conditions of good health, the balance of good and bad flora is kept in check. Once an imbalance occurs and the harmful flora increase in population, they begin to damage the intestines and produce toxins. As a result of the damage, toxins and food particles may be more readily absorbed into the blood stream where they can provoke problems anywhere in the body. Furthermore, the intestinal damage impairs digestion and assimilation, and in turn, leads to malnutrition and additional health problems. Keep in mind that regular sugar can cause all of this as well.

The study also concluded that Splenda interferes with the absorption of prescription medication, but since you should be striving for optimal health to eliminate your need for medication, I’ll leave it at that.

The one potential weakness of this study is that the research was done on rats rather than humans. However, it’s important to realize that the research used by the FDA to justify their approval of Splenda was also done on rats.

A Final Word of Caution

Although it’s all anecdotal, you can find plenty of personal stories on the internet outlining the significant problems that Splenda has caused people. Many of the stories mention rashes, anxiety, depression, migraines, digestive issues, and even kidney failure. If you’re still considering the use of Splenda, I recommend you start reading these stories and seriously ask yourself if it’s worth it.

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