Friday, January 04, 2008

Safety of Splenda

I am frequently asked about the safety of the articial sweetener Splenda. After all, they claim it's made from sugar so what could be the harm. Well . . . . .

They are now being sued in federal court. The accusation is that Splenda, a Johnson & Johnson company, is falsely advertising to consumers with its marketing slogan "Made from sugar so it tastes like sugar". Splenda is the synthetic compound sucralose, discovered in 1976 by scientists in Britain seeking a new pesticide formulation. The artificial sweetener is made by replacing hydroxyl groups in the sugar molecule with chlorine. So, no sucralose or Splenda is not the same as sugar at all.

There are no long-term studies of the side effects of Splenda in humans. The manufacturer's own short-term studies showed that sucralose caused shrunken thymus glands and enlarged livers and kidneys in rodents. But the FDA (always looking out for our best interests) decided that because these studies weren't based on human test animals, they were not conclusive. I wonder why given these results, further tests weren't made? Hm . . .

I recommend against using artifiical sweeters. No study has ever shown that using articifical sweeteners helps weight loss - in fact, the opposite has been found. Drinking diet soda can actually double your obesity risks (

Artificial sweeteners acutally can:

- Stimulate your appetite
- Increase carbohydrate cravings
- Stimulate fat storage and weight gain

Not to mention the possible risks to your health.

So what's safe to drink and good for you too????

WATER! (though not in plastic bottles - but that's another post.)


Andrea McMann said...

Thanks, Cathe. I have always steered clear of Splenda. Like yourself, I feel that they haven't tested it conclusively enough. I didn't, however, know that they were being sued. That is an interesting bit of information.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cathe, Not sure how I stumbled upon you but that is why it's called the "web". Thanks for the notes on Splenda. Good information. Thanks for researching and consolidating.
Wanted to alert you about our new web cooking show: Cookus Interruptus: how to cook fresh local organic whole foods despite life's interruptions. It's at WOuld love to have you post a review!
Cynthia Lair
author of Feeding the Whole Family

Cathe Olson said...


That's cool - I'll check it out.


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