When I wrote that post about Splenda last week, I realized a couple things.
I have never heard of any major bad studies showing ill effects of Splenda (hereafter to be known as sucralose). I know that sucralose is made from sugar, But I don't know what else it is. Caramel is also made from sugar, but there are a few more ingredients, so that isn't enough for me. I didn't know what the daily expected intake should be. I don't eat sucralose. I don't care for the flavor. And as you know, I have issues with no calorie sweeteners because of how they trick the body into believing that calories will be digested, yet provide no calories. But I know alot of people who do eat sucralose. And for many people, the knowledge that sucralose is made from sugar is enough for them. So this post is for all those that eat sucralose. This post is also for all those people for whom the questions surrounding sucralose are scratching at the back of their heads.
Facts About Sucralose as I have found on the Internet
1) Sucralose is an artifical sweetener. It has no calories because your body doesn't break it down. You poop it out. Well, that's the official version. But according to Wikipedia, in the body of the article, you do absorb or metabolize somewhere between 11 and 30% of all sucralose ingested.
2) Each 1 gram yellow packet of sucralose contains 3.31 calories. I am not saying that this is some kind of heresy. It is only 3.31 calories. But you ought to know, right? One Splenda packet has the sweetness level of 2 teaspoons of sugar. Two teaspoons of sugar contains 30 calories.
3) The FDA acceptable daily intake level of sucralose is set at 5 mg per day per kg. For the average 150 pound person, this means just over 3 tenths of a gram. I found this confusing, because several sites said that one sole Splenda packet contained 1 gram. Yet Wikipedia referred to packets as being just over one hundredth of a gram-or one mg. Then I realized my mistake. Splenda is NOT sucralose. One packet of Splenda contains 95% dextrose and/ or maltodextrin (hyper processed corn sugars), and only the remaining 5% (or .05 grams, or 5 mg) is actual sucralose. Once I figured this out, I realized pretty easily, that a 150 pound person should consume no more than 68 packets of Splenda according to the FDA. And easily enough, that is exactly one packet for every kilogram you weigh. To get your weight in kg, just divide your weight in pounds by 2.2. And furthermore for all you math freaks out there, each packet is a quarter of a teaspoon, so at 150 pounds you can eat just one quarter cup (plus one extra tablespoon) each day of traditional Splenda. I don't know about their Granular product. Not sure if the makeup of that is different than what's in the packets.
4) Pure Sucralose is about 300-1000 times sweeter than sugar to the human tounge.
5) According to Wikipedia, sucralose "is manufactured by the selective chlorination of sucrose (table sugar), which substitutes three of the hydroxyl groups with chloride. The selective chlorination is achieved by selective protection of the primary alcohol groups followed by acetylation and then deprotection of the primary alcohol groups. Following an induced acetyl migration on one of the hydroxyl groups, the partially acetylated sugar is then chlorinated with a chlorinating agent such as phosphorus oxychloride, followed by removal of the acetyl groups to give sucralose" Did ya' catch that? So yeah, I guess it's true, sucralose is made from sugar. But it isn't like bread is made from grains. It is a little more complicated than that. But hey, now you know.
6) The Sugar Association (Washington DC Sugar Lobby) doesn't like Splenda. In fact, while they settled their lawsuit which alleged that McNeil Specialty Products falsely advertised Splenda since it is NOT a natural product, our lovely Sugar Lobby has set up a website dedicated to the undoing of Splenda. And for once I am in agreement with the Sugar Association. Splenda is not natural, it IS a chlorinated artificial sweetener.
7) The above website I mentioned cites a Duke University study (as does the Wikipedia article) that shows that sucralose intake of within the FDA approved limit "suppresses beneficial bacteria and directly affects the expression of the transporter P-gp and cytochrome P-450 isozymes that are known to interfere with the bioavailability of drugs and nutrients." So ingesting sucralose at certain levels (well within the FDA safe levels) can decrease many of the good bacteria. But it can also create an environment within the body known to reduce it's ability to absorb and utilize nutrients and medication.
So there you go! That is all the things I learned about Splenda in just one night of searching. What if I had spent more time searching? No major studies linking sucralose and Splenda to cancer. But at the very least, now I am educated. I am still not gonna eat sucralose and Splenda. But maybe, just maybe, someone who reads this will stop.
Just eat real food. Eat honey, rapadura, pure maple syrup. Don't eat alot of it, because it is also not good for you. But first and foremost, ask questions of your food. Google search until you find answers. Be skeptics. And once you find out what you are eating, make a good decision about whether you should continue.
Wikipedia, Sucralose Entry
Wikipedia, Spelda Entry
Food Additives Permitted for Direct Addition to Food for Human Consumption; Sucralose. Food and Drug Administration, Department of Heath and Human Services.
This Post is entered in Real Food Whole Health's Fresh Bites Friday
and Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday