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Promoted for decades as a “safe” sugar alternative, presumably to prevent or reduce symptoms of diabetes, Splenda (sucralose) has been found to have diabetes-promoting effects in human subjects.
The artificial sweetener sucralose, which is approximately 600 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar), and marketed under a variety of brand names, such as Splenda, Cukren, Nevella and SucraPlus, has recently been found to have diabetes-promoting effects in human test subjects, despite containing no calories and being classified as a ‘nonutritive sweetener.’
A study published in the journal Diabetes Care, lead by researchers at the Center for Human Nutrition, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, set out to test the metabolic effects of sucralose in obese subjects who did not use nonnutritive sweeteners.
Seventeen subjects underwent a 5-hour oral glucose tolerance test on two separate occasions preceded by consuming either sucralose (experimental condition) or water (control condition) 10 min before the glucose load in a randomized crossover design.
The results were reported as follows:
Compared with the control condition, sucralose ingestion caused 1) a greater incremental increase in peak plasma glucose concentrations (4.2 ± 0.2 vs. 4.8 ± 0.3 mmol/L; P = 0.03), 2) a 20 ± 8% greater incremental increase in insulin area under the curve (AUC) (P < 0.03), 3) a 22 ± 7% greater peak insulin secretion rate (P < 0.02), 4) a 7 ± 4% decrease in insulin clearance (P = 0.04), and 5) a 23 ± 20% decrease in SI (P = 0.01).
In other words, a single dose of sucralose lead to a .6 mmol/L increase in plasma glucose concentrations, a 20% increase in insulin levels, a 22% greater peak insulin secretion rate, and a 7% decrease in insulin clearance, an indication of decreased insulin sensitivity.
These data demonstrate that sucralose affects the glycemic and insulin responses to an oral glucose load in obese people who do not normally consume NNS.
Despite the fact that preapproval research on sucralose found a wide range of adverse health effects in exposed animals [see The Bitter Truth about Splenda], national and international food safety regulatory bodies, including the FDA, now consider it completely safe for daily human consumption.*
Industry influence largely accounts for the fact that synthetic chemicals like aspartame, neotame, saccharin and sucralose are being foisted onto the public as ‘safe’ non-calorie sweeteners, despite obvious research to the contrary, and the fact that stevia, the non-calorie natural alternative, has over 1500 years of documented safe use.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA), for instance, does nothing to hide its explicit partnership with McNeil Nutritionals, maker of Splenda, despite the obvious conflict of interest. On its website, the ADA describes McNeil Nutritionals as a “national strategic partner ” and lauds them as “committed to helping people and their families with diabetes by focusing on the overall nutritional needs of the diabetes community.” McNeil Nutritionals sponsors the ADA’s “Recipe of the Day,” along with a variety of educational tools and information for consumers and healthcare professionals.
Despite these cozy relationships, the research on sucralose’s adverse health effects continues to accumulate. Some of the more recent research on the chemical indicate that it may contribute to the following health and environmental problems:
*The FDA approves 1.1 mg/kg bodyweight, or the equivalent of 75 mg a day (about 6 packets) for a 150 lb adult.