April 6, 2009

Sucralose - Risky Sweetener?


Sucalose is a zero-calorie sugar substitute -- brand name Splenda®. On the internet, you will find unfounded claims regarding the safety of sucralose.

The Facts:
* Sucralose is made from sugar, altered chemically and actually has a sweeter taste than sugar -- about 600 times sweeter! Chemically, three hydrogens are replaced with chlorine molecules. The reason sucralose is "calorie-free" is our bodies do not have enzymes to break it down.

* Much of negative claims against sucralose revolve around the issue of chlorine. While it is not evident that the elemental chlorine is released from sucralose, consider that chlorine is part salt's chemical structure (NaCl) and is in thousands of other foods that contain some form of chlorine.

* No scientific data links sucralose to negative effects -- just observations. Two case studies have been published regarding the relationship of migraines and sucralose:
(1) Bigal ME, Krymchantowski AV. Migraine triggered by sucralose--a case report. Headache. 2006 Mar; 46(3):515-7
(2) Patel RM, Sarma R, Grimsley E. Popular sweetener sucralose as a migraine trigger. Headache. 2006 Sep; 46(8):1303-4
>>> Flawed -- ALL patients in these studies had a variety of other possible migraine triggers. The writers were not researchers rather physicians writing about their observations in patients they were treating for migranes. No cause and effect was established with a single subject and only two were found who reported that sucralose might have been a trigger.

* Center for Science in the Public Interest (a consumer advocacy group) ranked sucralose as "safe". Sucralose is the only artificial sweetener they have given this ranking.

* The FDA reviewed more than 110 studies (in both humans and animals) many of which tried to identify possible bad side effects. No such effects were found thus FDA approved sucralose for human consumption in 1998.For more information on sucralose, go to:http://www.sucralose.org/about/default.asp
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Written by: Laura S. Garrett, RD-- Registered Dietitian & ACE Certified Personal Trainer-- Keep Laura's advice at your fingertips, wherever you and your cell phone go with "Text ur R.D." -- Learn more at: http://www.NutrActive.com