I suppose I should start this post by talking about my background. When I was putting myself through hair school I worked at Whole Foods Market (WFM). One of this things that happens when you work there is you learn about how horrible artificial ingredients are. ( some I guess would say slightly brainwashed, eh)
I always knew about aspartame and saccharin but Splenda was newer to the market when I started at WFM. I am sure I don’t need to tell you about the dangers of aspartame of saccharin but since it is still being put in products, I guess not everyone cares. Aspartame has been linked to neurological disorders like ms, lupus, and fibromyalgia. Saccharin was shown to damage cells and be a carcinogen. What freaks me out the most about saccharin, also known as sweet and low is that it is a common practice among hair stylists to mix a packet or two with permanent hair color if a client is sensitive to it. The fact that there is something in there that can prevent hair color from aggravating a person’s scalp makes me never want to ingest it!
What I wanted to talk about mostly is Sucralose, sold under the brand Splenda. Splenda was discovered in 1976 when a British scientist was trying to make a new pesticide (yum). Many people think that Splenda is natural because all the advertising says that it is made from sugar. While that may be true, it goes through a lot of science to get to what it is today. Now for the ultra science geeks Splenda is produced when three hydroxyl groups are removed from the sugar molecule and replaced with chlorine. That’s right chlorine. Horrible right?
Some “industry experts” say that this new compound is close to table salt and sugar but researchers area saying it is definitely more closely related to pesticides. This is because the bonds holding the chlorine molecules together are more characteristic of chlorocarbon which is what most pesticides are.
Some people say that just because a product has chlorine in it doesn’t mean that it is toxic. While this could be true. And for many people eating Splenda the body does not recognize the substance once it is in the gut (maybe only 15%) which is why it has no calories. But the reality is that when your body tries to remove something that is unrecognizable it attempts to digest it. So
the healthier your body is the more you will most likely absorb of the chlorine. Splenda is too new for us to know the long term effects of it, so do you really want to be a part of this giant experiment? Not I.
Sucralose’s side effects are vast. Splenda’s own studies showed that it caused a shrunken Thymus gland, enlarged livers, and kidney disorders in lab rats. But the FDA agreed to let it slide because these effects were in lab rats not humans, but the largest test group on humans was only 128 people. That is not enough to see these issues.
Splenda is a known migraine trigger, can cause skin rashes, stomach pain, diarrhea, bladder issues, panic like agitation, intestinal issues, muscle aches, intestinal cramping, and it also reduces the flora in the gut.
How does Splenda sound now?
There are a lot of natural sweeteners that have less calories that sugar. Try stevia a sweetener made from the stevia leaf. Or agave nectar is another great sweetener that is low glycemic and low calorie that comes from a succulent plant. Maltitol, sorbitol, or xylitol are sugar alcohols and are also suitable for diabetics and people watching their sugar levels.
With all these alternatives why would you want to consume something made in a lab with a bunch of chemicals? I realize it is harder to find the natural sweeteners in foods that we want, like diet sodas, tea, candy,etc but this is where we can speak with our dollar. Companies only make what sells so if we start gravitating away from the chemicals and more towards the natural products those companies will start incorporating more into their products.