What possible Splenda side effects can you get from using this sweetener? Find out here.
In this article:
- Splenda and Gut Bacteria
- The Effects of Sucralose to Gut Health
- The Dangers of Splenda to the Gastrointestinal Tract
- More Splenda Side Effects
- Is Splenda Bad for You?
Splenda Side Effects on Your Digestive Health
Splenda and Gut Bacteria
The search for alternatives to sugar has led many people to use artificial sweeteners like sucralose, also known as Splenda.
While there are many natural ways to make your cup of coffee sweeter or even your herbal iced tea, many people do what we’re all guilty of—reach for the quickest and easiest solution.
In this case, that solution is a pack of Splenda. This artificial sweetener is about 600 times as sweet as sugar and is easily the most popular artificial sweetener on the market.
It’s not an ideal sweetener—not any better than refined or processed sugar—for maintaining blood sugar levels. I recently released a study, which found that Splenda is, well, not so splendid for the gut microbiota, especially those with Crohn’s disease.
The Effects of Sucralose to Gut Health
The study found that in mice, the artificial sweetener Splenda negatively impacts the intestinal microbiota and promotes Crohn’s-like disease in genetically susceptible hosts.
The findings of this study suggest that consuming Splenda may be a serious risk factor for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The Dangers of Splenda to the Gastrointestinal Tract
Over a six-week period, Splenda was found to worsen gut inflammation in mice with Crohn’s-like disease, but had no substantive effect on those without the condition.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease of the digestive tract, which often causes abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, bloody stools, weight loss, and fatigue.
About 10-15% of humans who suffer from Crohn’s disease report that sweeteners make their symptoms worse.
My colleagues and I found that the numbers of Proteobacteria, a large phylum group of microbes, increased in the intestines of mice drinking water with Splenda.
Proteobacteria Definition: A group of gram-negative pathogens including Escherichia, Salmonella, Vibrio, Helicobacter, Yersinia, and Legionellales.
The artificial sweetener was found to stimulate the intestinal overgrowth of E. Coli (a member of the Proteobacteria group) and increased bacterial penetration into the gut wall.
More Splenda Side Effects
Our findings didn’t end there. For the mice with bowel disease, we found that Splenda increased myeloperoxidase activity in the intestines.
Myeloperoxidase Definition: An enzyme in leukocytes (white blood cells) that kills a variety of microorganisms.
Our conclusion is that the presence of E. Coli intensified the activity of myeloperoxidase as it tried to fight off the invader.
Is Splenda Bad for You?
With the conclusion of this study, is the sucralose Splenda still a suitable alternative to processed sugar?
It is my belief that because Splenda may increase myeloperoxidase in humans with a pro-inflammatory predisposition, like Crohn’s disease or other inflammatory bowel diseases, it could greatly intensify the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and IBD and affect long-term health.
Learn Dr. Ghannoum’s recent discovery in this video from BIOHM Health:
My hope is that people suffering from Crohn’s disease or other forms of IBD reconsider consuming Splenda or other products with sucralose and maltodextrin.
Additional Information on our study can be found at Science Daily Research News.
For improved gut health, you can opt to take carefully formulated supplements.
Do you consume Splenda, Stevia, or other sucralose products? Have you experienced health problems because of them? Share your observations and experiences in your gut health in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 3, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.