Splenda was invented by scientists trying to find a better pesticide. Splenda is only “made from sugar” because they took a sugar molecule and substituted three of its atoms with chlorine. Chlorine when ingested in your body turns to methanol then in turn gets absorbed as formaldehyde. The same kind of stuff used to embalm and preserve bodies. The FDA says splenda and aspartame are both safe and there are parties both for and against each. If you HAVE to have it, small amounts are not bad for you. Buying it in bulk and making sweet tea with it and using it for everything is potentially horrible for you.
Foodfacts.com Blog research indicates that these could be good alternatives if you are diabetic or just cant do sugar. Agave necter is extremely low on the glycemic index. Stevia is a sweet plant they make juice out of and is a 0 on the glycemic index. I’m also a very high promoter of honey, but that is relatively high in glucose, not recommended for diabetics in high amounts but is great for most others.
From Splenda’s website:
SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener is made from sugar, tastes like sugar but it’s not sugar. SPLENDA® is made with sucralose, so it does not contain aspartame. It has an outstanding safety profile and is an ideal sugar alternative for the whole family.
Over the past 20 years, more than 100 studies have been conducted to support the safety of SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener (sucralose). Today, millions of people around the world can enjoy more than 4000 foods and beverages sweetened with SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener.
SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener (sucralose) can be used by the whole family, including people with diabetes as part of a healthy diet designed for their unique needs. Since SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener is low in calories and carbohydrates, and because it can be used by people with diabetes, it provides an ideal sugar-alternative as part of a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing taste
A further analysis:
“Low-sugar” is the successor to the “low–carb” craze, even though they are essentially the same thing. According to the New York Times, by the end of this summer 11% of the food items on supermarket shelves will be labeled “reduced sugar” – most of those targeted at kids and their health-conscious moms. Sales in granulated sugar have dropped four percent in the past six months. What’s behind this trend? Splenda.
Products featuring Splenda are perceived as “natural” because even the FDA’s press release about sucralose parrots the claim that “it is made from sugar” -an assertion disputed by the Sugar Association, which is suing Splenda’s manufacturer, McNeil Nutritionals.
The FDA has no definition for “natural,” so please bear with us for a biochemistry moment: Splenda is the trade name for sucralose, a synthetic compound stumbled upon in 1976 by scientists in Britain seeking a new pesticide formulation. It is true that the Splenda molecule is comprised of sucrose (sugar) – except that three of the hydroxyl groups in the molecule have been replaced by three chlorine atoms.
While some industry experts claim the molecule is similar to table salt or sugar, other independent researchers say it has more in common with pesticides. That’s because the bonds holding the carbon and chlorine atoms together are more characteristic of a chlorocarbon than a salt – and most pesticides are chlorocarbons. The premise offered next is that just because something contains chlorine doesn’t guarantee that it’s toxic. And that is also true, but you and your family may prefer not to serve as test subjects for the latest post-market artificial sweetener experiment — however “unique.”
Once it gets to the gut, sucralose goes largely unrecognized in the body as food – that’s why it has no calories. The majority of people don’t absorb a significant amount of Splenda in their small intestine – about 15% by some accounts. The irony is that your body tries to clear unrecognizable substances by digesting them, so it’s not unlikely that the healthier your gastrointestinal system is, the more you’ll absorb the chlorinated molecules of Splenda.
So, is Splenda safe? The truth is we just don’t know yet. There are no long-term studies of the side effects of Splenda in humans. The manufacturer’s own short-term studies showed that very high doses of sucralose (far beyond what would be expected in an ordinary diet) caused shrunken thymus glands, enlarged livers, and kidney disorders in rodents. (A more recent study also shows that Splenda significantly decreases beneficial gut flora.) But in this case, the FDA decided that because these studies weren’t based on human test animals, they were not conclusive. Of course, rats had been chosen for the testing specifically because they metabolize sucralose more like humans than any other animal used for testing. In other words, the FDA has tried to have it both ways – they accepted the manufacturer’s studies on rats because the manufacturer had shown that rats and humans metabolize the sweetener in similar ways, but shrugged off the safety concerns on the grounds that rats and humans are different. In our view, determining that something is safe (or not) in laboratory rats isn’t a definitive answer, as we’ve seen countless examples of foods and drugs that have proved dangerous to humans that were first found to be safe in laboratory rats, both in short- and long-term studies.
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.
And now, are our children the next trial group? Thanks to an agreement between McNeil Nutritionals (makers of Splenda) and PTO Today, which provides marketing and fund-raising aid to parents’ associations, your elementary school’s next bake sale may be sponsored by Splenda – complete with baked goods made with the product.
Splenda side effects
Evidence that there are side effects of Splenda is accumulating little by little. Sucralose has been implicated as a possible migraine trigger, for example. Self-reported adverse reactions to Splenda or sucralose collected by the Sucralose Toxicity Information Center include skin rashes/flushing, panic-like agitation, dizziness and numbness, diarrhea, swelling, muscle aches, headaches, intestinal cramping, bladder issues, and stomach pain. These show up at one end of the spectrum – in the people who have an allergy or sensitivity to the sucralose molecule. But no one can say to what degree consuming Splenda affects the rest of us, and there are no long-term studies in humans with large numbers of subjects to say one way or the other if it’s safe for everyone.
If this sounds familiar, it should: we went down the same path with aspartame, the main ingredient in Equal and NutraSweet. Almost all of the independent research into aspartame found dangerous side effects in rodents. The FDA chose not to take these findings into account when it approved aspartame for public use. Over the course of 15 years, those same side effects increasingly appeared in humans. Not in everyone, of course – but in those who were vulnerable to the chemical structure of aspartame.
As food additives, artificial sweeteners are not subject to the same gauntlet of FDA safety trials as pharmaceuticals. Most of the testing is funded by the food industry, which has a vested interest in the outcome. This can lead to misleading claims on both sides.
But one thing is certain: some of the chemicals that comprise artificial sweeteners are known hazards – the degree to which you experience side effects just depends on your individual biochemistry. Manufacturers are banking on the fact that our bodies won’t absorb very much of these compounds at any one time. And many of us don’t. But what happens when we are ingesting a combination of artificial sweeteners like Splenda dozens of times a week through many different “low-sugar” or “sugar-free” products?
People have been using artificial sweeteners for decades. Some react poorly, some don’t – the problem is, you never know until you’re already sick. Scientists are calling Splenda a mild mutagen, based on how much is absorbed. Right now, it’s anyone’s guess what portion of the population is being exposed to the dangers of Splenda or already suffering from Splenda side effects. Until an independent, unbiased research group conducts long-term studies on humans (six months is hardly long-term!), how can we be certain? With all the new Splenda products on our shelves, it looks as if we are now in the process of another grand public experiment – without our permission. And we may not know the health implications for decades. As with all things, time will unveil truth.
Source: Wiki Answers
Image: CV Coffee