Sucralose, also called, Splenda, is that artificial sweetener that is very popular in the US since the 1990s.

For a long time, sucralose has been in the center of the debate concerning artificial sweetener because of sucralose dangers and side effects. Some are of the opinion that sucralose dangers and side effects are being exaggerated, while the other school of thought has the opinion that sucralose is safe. What is sucralose? Is it safe like some say? Or does it lead to alteration of the DNA?

From everything, especially by analysing ‘what is sucralose’, it is quite easy to say that sucralose is lying in the middle.

Research done has shown that sucralose dangers and side effects can’t be ignored, but one thing you should note is that the research was done on rats, which have a different genetic makeup from humans. This has made it hard to know if truly the sucralose dangers and side effects are there, or they should be ignored. Should we say that sucralose is safe or not?

What Is Sucralose?

Sucralose can be said to be a sugar alternative and sweetener. Usually, a large part of sucralose that is consumed is usually not digested by the human system. This makes sucralose a noncaloric substance, meaning that one can consume it without being scared of getting fat.

Currently, it is also called E955 in EU, and it is formed when sucrose is chlorinated.

Currently, sucralose can be said to be about a thousand times sweeter than the normal sucrose. It is also three times sweeter than acesulfame potassium and aspartame. As for sodium saccharin, it is two times sweeter than it. Though a lot of people bear the thought that sucralose can help in losing weight in long term, there is little evidence to back this up.

Sucralose uses

Currently, sucralose has a lot of uses, and it can be seen in a lot of beverage and food products. Why is this so? The fact that it has zero calorie means that it can’t cause dental cavities. To an extent, it can be consumed by both nondiabetic and diabetic because it doesn’t need to use insulin to digest.

This means that it has nothing to do with insulin. It is important to note that Splenda, a derivative of sucralose has ninety-five percent of both maltodextrin and dextrose that can affect the level of insulin. A diabetic should avoid Splenda.

Sucralose is currently used in replacing other natural and artificial sweeteners like acesulfame potassium, aspartame, and high-fructose corn syrup.

In products like soft drinks, breakfast bars and candy, it is common to see sucralose there. What of in canned fruits? Sucralose and water are used in them to replace those syrups that have high calories.

McNeil Nutritionals sells dextrose or maltodextrin mixed with sucralose and calls it Splenda.

It is easy to see this mixture a lot in Canada and US in restaurants. Yellow packets signify Splenda, the blue ones are for those that contain aspartame, while the pink ones are for those that contain saccharin.

Sometimes, the yellow packets are used a lot to pack the SugarTwin variation of the cyclamate sweetener.

Sucralose cooking

Since sucralose has the heat stable characteristic, it is used a lot in cooking. The fact that it has zero calories sealed the deal, since it doesn’t have the negative effects of sugar, and is quite sweet.

Sucralose can be bought in the granulated form that can easily be used instead of sugar. There is currently a lot of granulated sucraloses that comes in many sizes, and there is hardly anyone that doesn’t dissolve well in water.

Usually, the granulated sucrose can offer similar sweetness seen in sugar, but when used in baking, the texture may seem different.

While using sucralose to bake, it is important to note that it is far from being hygroscopic, meaning that baked foods may become so dry.

Sucralose is different from sucrose being that even when put under high heat, its granular shape is still retained. The same can’t be said for sucrose, which can melt when it faces hot temperature.

Once sucralose is in its pure state, without any additive, it can decompose at 246°F.

For those recipes that need the sugar to be sprayed on it after being baked, making use of sucralose won’t do the trick, as it will be noticeable. If you want to make such recipes like crème brûlée, sucralose won’t be great because the crispness, texture, and crystalline structure won’t be the same thing as sugar.

History Of Sucralose

Before we go on to talk about sucralose dangers and side effects, it is only right that we speak about its history. In the year 1976, sucralose was found by those scientists that were working for Tate & Lyle. These scientists were collaborating with researchers from King’s College London, Shashikant Phadnis and Leslie Hough.

They were seeking to find new uses of sucrose, as well as its derivatives when Phadnis decided to ‘test’ a compound that turned out to be a chlorinated sugar. At that moment, Phadnis ‘tasted’ it, thinking that Hough told him to do that. He realized that the chlorinated sugar compound was very sweet.

In 1976, this substance was patented by Tate & Lyle. Since 2008, the only parts that are protected by the patent are some particular manufacturing processes.

Sucralose Dangers And Side Effects: Is Sucralose Bad For You?

A large part of this article will try to see if sucralose is really bad or not. The question a lot of persons have continuously asked is if sucralose causes cancer. Are sucralose dangers and side effects exaggerated?

Sucralose, years back, became so popular when Italian research realized that sucralose caused blood cancer or leukaemia in rats. Yes, you read that right. Let’s analyse the study.

The Italian scientists gave the different rats varying dosages of sucralose as they lived, from when they were still in the womb till when they died.

Those male rats that got high dosages of the sweetener had more cancer than those who didn’t.

This sounds scary, right? You are probably thinking that what they said about is sucralose is really true. Well, one thing you should know is that rats were used, and not humans. Rats have a different genetic makeup than humans. The rats that developed cancer had been fed about two thousand diet sodas daily from when they were in the womb to when they died. This shouldn’t jar you except you plan on taking a lot a lot of pure liquid sucralose.

Researchers went on to run a review at the effect of sucralose in humans, and it was seen that it was safe. One thing you should note is that the review done was great, but the study was sponsored by a firm that produced Splenda. Should we really take their words for it?

Should we say that at a normal dosage that one can view the sucralose dangers and side effects too in humans?

Let’s go further to analyse this.

Sucralose may destroy your gut bacteria

Another study done on sucralose spoke of the possibility of it destroying the useful gut bacteria. Some rats were then fed a similar amount that people consumed on an average, and it was noticed that the useful gut bacteria reduced by fifty percent. The pH of the intestine increased, with the enzyme levels being heightened. These changes affected the way that nutrients and drugs were absorbed by the body. Does it mean that the sucralose dangers and side effects are true?

Since Sucralose can end up destroying your gut bacteria, it is only wise if you reduce the way you consume it.

Sucralose metabolites may build up in your fat cells

Sucralose is usually by linking the molecules of chlorine to refined white sugar. The molecules of the chlorine are known to turn the sugar very hard for it to be digested by humans. This is why it is said that sucralose can’t be metabolized, instead, it is excreted from the body without being changed. The recent studies on rats seem to be poking holes into this theory.

Those rats that were given sucralose were seen to have metabolised it, and it was noticed that metabolites were crafted on the fat cells of the rats.

Scientists are clueless about what the metabolites can really do. Though this study was done on humans, it is important that you don’t try to risk the effects of this compound growing on your fat cells, especially since it is the way that your body is protected against toxins that it can’t excrete easily.

Heating sucralose creates carcinogens

Sucralose is known to be heat stable to a large extent. Why is this so? This is because of the chlorine molecules that it possesses. If you heat up sucralose, it turns into chloropropanols, which have been said to be potential carcinogens.

Many products that have sucralose have been heated one way or the other, meaning that they may have possible carcinogens. Should you risk it, and hope the sucralose dangers and side effects don’t show their heads?

Is sucralose safe for humans?

Studies have shown that Splenda has some connections to inflammatory bowel. One question that should be asked is if sucralose can be safely consumed by humans. You may want to hear, yes or no, but usually, that’s not how the answer comes.

A lot of studies on human beings have not been done, meaning that one can’t say for sure if the effects seen in rats can translate to humans. For now, much research has been done on only rodents, and the results have really left a lot of troubling thoughts on our minds, on how safe sucralose can be said to be.

For now, we can’t stay for sure if sucralose is really safe, but maybe in a decade or so, a lot of studies would have been done on a human to see its effects. Then, we may be able to be very sure that sucralose destroys the hit bacteria, forces metabolites to join the fat cells, and craft out carcinogens in our bodies.

Since we can’t be sure, is there really any need for us to take the risk? One can say that sucralose is not a great sugar substitute, as a result of its chemical aftertaste.

It will be a great idea if you opted for a well tested and natural sweetener like the following.

What’s the best alternative sweetener?

Xylitol

This is a natural sweetener that is gotten from both the corncob and birch tree. It is said to be closely linked to sugar and comes with similar taste. With the arrangement of its chemical molecules, the human body is unable to digest it. It merely moves through the body and excreted in urine and faeces. This means it has zero calories, and can’t tamper with your blood sugar level.

It has a quality that prevents the growth of bacteria in the mouth, meaning that one doesn’t have to worry about tooth decay. The gut bacteria are capable of fermenting it and leading to flatulence.

Others are Erythritol, monk fruit extract, and stevia.