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Switch to Splenda May Not Be So Sweet
by Dee Woods
From Reporter Oak Lawn-Evergreen Park - 2001-05-15

Mixing It Up For Good Health

Last week I revisted the latest findings on aspartame and cited further studies showing another possible downside of the artificial sweetenr. I cited a recent disclosure in the European Journal of Oncology that displayed a study on mice showing a link between Leukemia/tumors and aspartame.

People are beginning to question the safety of aspartame as can be seen by the huge increase in sales of Splenda (sucralose), another artificial sweetener. In fact, many times when I make a comment about aspartame, someone will invariably make mention of the fact they use Splenda instead of aspartame, implying that it is somehow healthier.

Okay now. Be prepared. You are all going to look at me like the grinch who stole Christmas! I decided to look for information on Splenda, and it seems the available data does not support Splenda as a good substitute for aspartame. I must say that in the laternative health field there has been an admission among many physiciansthat Splenda is less dangerous than aspartame, but there are other unique problems people face with the artificial sweetener. Some rats and mice tested with Splenda showed shrinkage of the thymus gland, enlarged liver and kidneys, atrophy of lymph follicles in the spleen and thymus, decreased red blood cell counts, decreased fetal body weights and placental weights as well as bouts of diarhea.

Splenda hit the ground running and was approved as a food additive before all of the six human trials were completed. In the total human trials only 23 participants were given Splenda for testing. The trials lasted four days and were conducted in relation to tooth decay, not toleration in human subjects, said Dr. Joe Mercola.

What is Splenda? Splenda initially begins as a natural sugar "sucrose," but its clearly a chemically-produced product because it goes through a process. Chlorine molecules are substituted for three hydrogen-oxygen groups on each sucrose molecule, according to researcher Janet Hull, Ph.D. In other words, the sweetner is no longer a natural substance and has gone through a process that now makes it a chlorocarbon. Chlorocarbons are known to cause organ, genetic and reproductive damage. Alternative health professionals state that chlorine as never meant to be taken internally and is carcinogenic. For taht reason, they recommend that even chlorinated tap water be filtered before consumption to remove the chlorine and other pollutante.

One of the claims made of Splenda is that the body does not digest it. However, depending on the individual, that may not be true and it can be absorbed by the system. Further claims on Splenda are that is the most tested food additive in history. Exactly the same was said of aspartame. All but six studies were tested on mice and rates. Many studies were very short term.

Acccording to Dr. Janet Hull, sucralose is not found as a natural substance. She points out that some of the processes used to create Splenda are also used in creating pesticides. How reassuring.

As you can see, Splenda may not be all that good for you. In fact, only the artificial sweetner saccharin was deemed worse for health than either NutraSweet (aspartame) or Splenda (sucralose), according to Mercola.

The best alternative to sugar is considered to be Stevia, a truly unadulterated and natural substance. Dr. Mercola suggests, though, we merely must get a handle on those "sweet-tooth" cravings and avoid all sugars and sweeteners. That's a big order, but until I can do that, I will use Stevia.

Dee Woods can be reached at .


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