Is Splenda Bad for You?

  • Posted on: 16 January 2010
  • By: mokshalom
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Just once, it would be great to see a no calorie sweetener that had no controversy. One that wouldn't only make your food taste amazing, but actually be good for you! An anti-oxident-rich sweetener that would end heart disease and cure blindness! Wouldn't that be great?

Alas, we are stuck with possibly harmful sugar alternatives. Even the much-vaunted herbal stevia is surrounded with questions. But what about Splenda, which is touted as being "natural" because it is made from sugar?

Well...natural is relative. Splenda is created by replacing hydrogen and oxygen atoms with chlorine atoms. Chlorine, as in chlorine bleach? Yes! But really, that in and of itself is no reason to freak out. A chlorine atom isn't the same thing as bleach.

Some claim that this makes Splenda similar to a pesticide, but it's good to note that chemically speaking, just because something is similar to one thing, doesn't mean it is that thing.

Splenda isn't really digested, so in small doses it is probably OK for most people. Some people do report adverse affects to Splenda, but they may be allergic. (Some people also report adverse affects to otherwise benign foods such as peanuts.)

The problem is, we're not sure of the long-term effects of Splenda. As Marcelle Pick writes on Women to Women:

Here are two other reasons for our concern: first, in the eleven years after Splenda was put on the market, no independent studies of sucralose lasting more than six months have been done in humans. Second, none of the trials that were done was very large — the largest was 128 people studied for three months, making us wonder, what happens when you’ve used sucralose for a year, or two, or ten? Then there’s the fact that Splenda, as a product, consists of more than just sucralose—it’s made with dextrose, and sometimes also with maltodextrin, neither of which were included in the original studies and trials of sucralose. So the reality is that we are the guinea pigs for Splenda.

Here's an alternative perspective from someone who criticizes the anti-Splenda "hysteria":

Readers of this column may recall that one of my previous articles covered the alleged dangers of fluoride, another chemical that elicits paranoia among select groups of people, namely those with a vested interest in perpetuating a series of untruths about medicine and personal safety. Like Splenda, the hysteria about fluoride is really about the misbegotten belief that anything "chemical" is dangerous.

This distorted point of view ignores the basic precept of toxicology: The dose makes the poison. In other words, almost any substance—including water—is dangerous in large quantities. Aspirin may cure a headache, but a whole bottle could have awful effects. A glass of wine may help lower blood pressure, but twelve glasses will leave a person drunk and probably sick, as well. Put another way, reasonable quantities of Splenda—used as intended—will have zero effect on the body.

My feeling is this. If you are suffering serious effects of obesity, including diabetes, now, you're probably doing more harm to yourself by eating sugar than a tiny bit of Splenda. You already know that too many calories are killing you - are you willing to take on definitive health problems just because you might get other side effects from Splenda, years and years from now?

Splenda, like everything else, should be taken in moderation. If you eat too much soy, it's bad for you. If you drink too much wine, it's bad for you. But a glass of wine a day is good for your heart, and soy taken with a balanced diet is an excellent source of protein and nutrients.

And there is of course, the herbal alternative, stevia, but we're also not sure what the long-term effects of stevia intake are. So you're back to square one in terms of question marks if you switch to stevia. Perhaps one way to approach it would be to use both Splenda and stevia in small quantities, so you are not overdosing on just one sugar alternative.

Comments

The reason why some say Splenda looks like pesticide is because the fact is, it was orginally developed as an insecticide. For possible reactions to splenda go to www.healthsachoice.com/uncategorized/what-is-so-bad-about-splenda/

As far as stevia is concerned, it has been used for 1500 years, and there has never been any reported documentation of adverse effects. It is used in many countries, and in Japan since the 70s, with no documented evidence of any adverse reactions. It has been used by probably hundreds of millions of people over a very long period of time. This cannot be said of Splenda.

However, most stevia products are impure and have additives, such as various forms of sugar, and some in large quantities. Therefore, people could possibly have reactions to these additives. After such an extended use, I feel confident in saying that pure, natural stevia is safe to ingest. It's important, however, for the consumer to check the ingredients on labels for additives and Rebiana, which actually is not the same thing as stevia.

I use SweetLeaf Stevia, and as far as I'm concerned it is the most pure stevia product on the market. It has 0 calories, 0 carbs, and a 0 glycemic index. I understand it is the only stevia product to retain all three of these properties from the stevia leaf.

"The reason why some say Splenda looks like pesticide is because the fact is, it was orginally developed as an insecticide."

Sure, but I think it's important to re-iterate that even if they were looking to create a pesticide and discovered something entirely different in the process...it does not mean that Splenda is automatically bad for you.

I know this sounds weird but it made 3x3 inch patch of hair to fall out and for my hair to thin almost to the point of baldness too.

It also madem my head itch horribly.

Read up on it and the reason for the hair falling out is due to it blocking the absorbption of many minerals and vitamins required to keep our bodies going such as vitamin D, iron etc...

Have been off of it for 4 months and my hair is just now growing back in but still falls out too.

Just google Splenda and hair loss and you will see how many hundreds of people have encountered the same situation.

Hope this helps you.
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