Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Is Splenda splended?

My short answer: No.

Why is Splenda less than splendid?  First, chlorine.  Second, no long-term studies of the side effects of Splenda in humans.

To add confusion to the shopping list, the FDA issued a press release asserting that sucralose (Splenda) is "made from sugar."

What is Splenda?  It is not sugar...it is a synthetic compound discovered in 1976 by British scientists researching a new pesticide.  The Splenda molecule is comprised of sucrose (sugar) — except that three of the hydroxyl groups in the molecule have been replaced by three chlorine atoms. 

Chlorinated sugar...yum. 

"While some industry experts claim the molecule is similar to table salt or sugar, other independent researchers say it has more in common with pesticides. That’s because the bonds holding the carbon and chlorine atoms together are more characteristic of a chlorocarbon than a salt — and most pesticides are chlorocarbons.

Once it gets to the gut, sucralose goes largely unrecognized in the body as food — that’s why it has no calories. The majority of people don’t absorb a significant amount of Splenda in their small intestine — about 15% by some accounts," Marcelle Pick.

There have not been long-term studies on Splenda's health effects.  The good news is that we can sit on the side lines and choose out of this public health experiment.


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