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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

SWEET!! (or NOT)

You guys all know (I think) that I was on the Atkins diet a ways back. The Atkins people are big supporters of the Sucralose/Splenda sweetener. This sweetener is now in a LOT of food and drink. I used quite a bit of it, and we still have it in the house and I use it occasionally. However, those of you that see me regularly also know I do NOT use it for most of my sweetener needs. I did some research on it and was convinced it was not good for humans, especially in any quantities. I came across this today. It is a study from Duke University that shows that the sweetener is NOT healthy. You folks that know me also know that I have strong feelings about health, supplements and foods. I will not be using Splenda any longer at all, when given a choice (it is in so much of the diet foods and drinks, I do not know if I can avoid it totally). I would advise you to do the same. As for what you should be using, who knows. It may be that in small amounts sugar (cane, not fructose or corn syrup) is the best. I will use the pink packets, and maybe stevia. Here is the study info: This study, from Duke University, isn't the first warning that heavy intake of sucralose (better known by the brand name Splenda) may be linked to health problems. Several years ago an HSI member wrote to ask if sucralose was as bad as other artificial sweeteners. In response, HSI Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D., noted that any claim about sucralose being "natural," is naturally false. Dr. Spreen: "The stuff is patented and involves taking sugar molecules and treating them with (ulp) chlorine. "The argument is that the chlorine is not absorbed at all, so therefore the agent is harmless. There have since been reports of up to 30% being absorbed and symptoms being caused. I don't really know what percentage, if any, is absorbed (though I bet it's higher than zero). However, I don't trust the stuff, though it may have less after-taste than stevia." According to the sucralose "Final Rule" issued by the FDA, the body may absorb from 11 to 27 percent of ingested sucralose. But research from the Japanese Food Sanitation Council doesn't agree, estimating that as much as 40 percent is absorbed. ------------------------------------------------------------------ Cake & coffee ------------------------------------------------------------------ How chlorine absorption from sucralose affects us isn't clear. But something in the sweetener appears to prompt stomach pains and gas pains – the two primary complaints about sucralose. This new study may explain the indigestion discomfort, while also raising the possibility of greater harm. For 12 weeks, Duke researchers fed varying amounts of sucralose to rats. Fecal samples were examined weekly. Analysis showed that sucralose altered pH balance in the intestines and prompted weight gain. But two additional results were quite worrying: Good bacteria in the intestines were dramatically reduced – by 50 percent! – while P-glycoproteins were increased – a condition that limits the absorption of oral drugs. According to James Turner, chairman of the consumer advocacy group Citizens for Health, just two slices of sucrose-sweetened cake and two cups of coffee with Splenda might be enough to affect P-glycoproteins and compromise drug absorption – a potentially devastating situation for patients undergoing chemotherapy. Mr. Turner has called on the FDA to insist that Splenda products carry a warning label to caution patients on medications and those with gastrointestinal issues. Of course, more research will be needed to confirm these findings. But anyone following the Atkins diet should know that most of the Atkins snack and dessert products are sweetened with Splenda. In keeping with the Atkins diet, Splenda use avoids blood sugar spikes that lay the groundwork for type 2 diabetes – a benefit that may come packaged with potential risks.

1 comment:

hpt said...

I never felt good about Splenda. I know they always said it was natural and made from sugar, but how could it be both things and have no calories?

And, thanks to you, I figured out that my chronic headaches were from Nutrasweet. I'm sticking with good old sugar in moderation. Things from nature HAVE to be better for you than chemicals.