Sucralose (SugarFree Natura, Splenda)
Profile: Splenda is marketing sucralose as made from the natural sugar hence tastes like sugar. It is 600 times sweeter than sugar. Found in Sugarfree Natura, Splenda.
Infamous for: A report from National Industrial Chemical Assessment Scheme claiming that Sucralose causes thymus glands to shrink (up to 40% shrinkage) and enlargement of liver and kidneys.
Serious Charges: Companies claim that Sucralose is not metabolized in the body and passes as it is in the urine, hence safe. But according to some reports about 20% to 30% of absorbed sucralose is metabolized. The absorbed sucralose has been found to concentrate in liver, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract. According to The Sucralose Toxicity Information Center, sucralose is broken down "into small amounts of 1, 6-dichlorofructose, a chemical which has not been adequately tested in humans".
The Verdict: It is the safest among all Artificial Sweeteners. There are few research studies on Sucralose so more long term studies are required to ascertain its safety.
Straight from the Horse’s mouth
These are the opinions of different nutritionists and doctors on the safety of Artificial Sweeteners:
Dr.Selvin D souza, Ayurvedic Practitioner: “I have tried Artificial Sweeteners on my mother and found that it actually increases the blood sugar levels.”
Dr. Shweta Iyengar, Homeopath and Nutritionist: “We generally advice our patients to get used to taking tea, coffee without sugar. But if they find it difficult to have it, we advice them to go for artificial sweeteners without aspartame as it is found to be harmful to the body.”
Sweety Das, Nutritionist at DENMARC (Diabetes Endocrine Nutrition Management Research Centre): "The most commonly prescribed artificial sweetener at the moment is derivative of Sucralose. Artificial Sweeteners are safe for consumption as they are certified by ISI and AGMARK but should be avoided by pregnant women, children under 12 and those who are suffering from phenylketonuria."
Mrs. Sheela Paul, head of Department of Nutrition, M. V Hospital of Diabetes and Diabetes Research Centre: “Other than Aspartame no other artificial sweeteners is found to cause any side effect.”
Dr. Girish Parmar, DNB in General Medicine: “There were reports that artificial sweeteners can cause side effects but there is not much evidence to prove it right. At present they are safe to consume.”
Final Verdict: There is a need for more research on artificial sweetener to safely conclude that they are completely safe for consumption. As of now, Sucralose is deemed safe for consumption by most of the experts. Aspartame on the other hand, with innumerable claims of side effects needs to be taken off markets until it is proven to be completely safe.
Some of the products that contain Sweeteners:
Cough drops Diet Soft drinks Chewing gums Jams and Jellies Candies
With references from: