Sucralose a Good Alternative to Natural Sugar – Is There a Difference?

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Sucralose – The Truth is Out There

spleda artificial sugarIn the December 2003 issue of Dr. Hull’s Newsletters (http://www.sweetpoison.com/newsletter) Dr. Janet Starr Hull was interviewed about her opinions on sucralose (Splenda®).

We asked Dr. Mark Crapo, OMD, DAc, BS, CA, LAc, and Vice President of Product Technology & Training for Symmetry Direct, to rebut Dr. Hull’s remarks in an effort to point out inaccuracies, inconsistencies and just plain untruths in what many people are saying about sucralose. Dr. Crapo’s remarks follow the text of the original interview

12 Questions You Need to Have Answered Before You Eat Splenda®

Q: What exactly is Splenda?

A: In a simple sentence, you would just as soon have a pesticide in your food as sucralose because sucralose (Splenda) is a chlorocarbon.
[mrc] Ridiculous. Chlorine is an essential part of our diet. There are things that contain chlorocarbons that are bad and there are those that are good. That does not mean that the individual elements are bad.

Q: So sucralose is not found as a natural compound in nature, like real sugar?

A: Absolutely not. No sugar molecule is compounded with chlorine anywhere in nature
[mrc] True, but sucralose is not a sugar molecule… it started out as one though.

Q: Do you know how it is made in the laboratory?

artificial sugar splendaA: I found this information from a statement from the manufacturer, actually. ‘Sucralose is made from sugar, but is derived from sucrose (sugar) through a process that selectively substitutes three atoms of chlorine for three hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sucrose molecule. No artificial sweetener made in the laboratory is going to be neither natural to the body nor safer than unprocessed sugar’, they claim.

People need to stop searching for excuses to eat all the junk food they want without penalty. In the long run, no one benefits from this product but the corporations.
[mrc] Very untrue. Thousands upon thousands of people with blood sugar problems benefit from this every day, as do those seeking to diet and regulate their sugar/calorie intake. It is very true that people should reduce (greatly) their junk food and their processed carbs. Processed sugar may be what this author calls natural, but it is naturally bad for you… very, very bad. Splenda in my drink is a hundred times better than sugar in my drink. 

Q: The corporate researchers claim that the chlorine atoms are so tightly bound; they create a molecular structure that is exceptionally stable under extreme pH and temperature conditions. Do you agree?

A: They are testing these conditions in lab rats, and these types of corporate studies have forced and ‘selective’ results, in my opinion. Aspartame research is the proof of this!
[mrc] Let’s stick to the facts… because she has a problem with aspartame (and I do as well) you can’t blindly paint everything else with the same brush. One bad apple need not spoil the whole barrel, if you remove that bad one. 

Test these chemicals on a child and see how stable it is–but that would be cruel. So, why then do we buy it and give it to our children? I don’t buy into manufacturers’ claims when it comes to human beings using ANY man-made chemical. Plus, I have learned over the past 25 years of aspartame research to value independent research above that which is funded by corporations.
[mrc] The real stability issue here is not in cooking but in digestion. Because of the extra atoms the sugar took on, the body can not absorb it and the sucralose passes through the intestinal tract without being broken down, is not taken into the body at all, it does not, can not react with other chemicals in the body since it doesn’t come into the body.

Q: The corporations say sucralose is safe.

A: They said the same thing about aspartame, and look at the rampant disease and obesity taking over America since aspartame was put into the food supply over 20 years ago.

[mrc] Once again trying she is trying to paint sucralose with the aspartame brush… not very scientific or even rational.

Q: Can sucralose cause cancer?

spleda factA: Any animal that eats chlorine (especially on a regular basis) is at risk of cancer.

[mrc] True, but irrelevant since we aren’t talking about chlorine but Splenda and they are not the same thing.

The Merck Manual and OSHA 40 SARA 120 Hazardous Waste Handbook states that chlorine is a carcinogen and emergency procedures should be taken when exposed via swallowing, inhaling, or through the skin.

[mrc] See above.

It all depends upon how much you use and how often, your present and past health status, and the degree of other toxins you are putting inside your body. Good luck with this one.

[mrc] Remember, table salt is sodium chloride… while too much may negatively impact some people’s blood pressure, it doesn’t cause cancer and it is essential for life and even sodium chloride is not Splenda

Q: Sucralose has been thoroughly tested, they claim. Actually they have stated that sucralose is the most tested food additive in history. I quote, “… more than 100 studies on the safety of sucralose designed to meet the highest scientific standards have been conducted and evaluated over the course of 20 years.”

A: I don’t believe that for a second. They stated verbatim the same thing about aspartame. We are looking at the same scenario in so many ways. As with NutraSweet®, no human studies, corporate payrolled researchers, selective result reporting, government involvement and personal financial interests and controlled media. I will say that sucralose is not as dangerous as aspartame.

[mrc] While this person may not believe this, they offer no proof to the contrary and all the sited studies to the safety of the product do exist. As for government involvement… the US government tried to keep sucralose out of the country (and was successful) for years because of the aspartame lobby. They were looking for a way to keep it out. Sucralose has a long history of safe use in over 30 countries around the world and the US was one of the last ones to get on board.

Q: Splenda is approximately 600 times sweeter than sugar. How can that be?

A: As I stated before, the product is a forced product, not a natural sugar the body uses for fuel. People forget that sweetness is a by-product of foods–a bonus so to say. Forced sweetness, revved-up sweetness, and artificial sweetness–all altered foods that are a trap for people to get addicted to the sweeter tastes. People with eating disorders, children who are just learning about food, and people with illnesses are all being ‘sold a bill of rubbish’ in my opinion.

[mrc] And that’s all this is, one person’s unscientific, no proof offered, very biased and uninformed opinion… nothing more. You should take this information with a grain of sodium chloride (salt).

Q: The manufacturer claims sucralose doesn’t react with other substances in the body and is not broken down in the body.

A: They claimed the same thing about saccharin…

[mrc] No, the people that make sucralose never have claimed anything about saccharin except that it’s not a good product. Please try to get at least a few of the facts straight.

…even though I feel saccharin is the only artificial sweetener with true merit.

[mrc] This really shows this person is lost, as this was listed by the government as a cancer-causing agent.

To answer your question, if the body is digesting properly, anything you put into the body will be assimilated.

[mrc] They don’t seem to know much about the GI system. Even high school kids should know we eat fiber all the time and you will never assimilate it, humans can’t digest fiber. There are a lot of things we can’t assimilate. Not too long ago “fake fats” were legalized and we can’t assimilate them either. It doesn’t matter how much of them you eat, you will never, ever assimilate them, digest them or absorb them… it just can’t be done.

If it happens to be rancid, the stomach will throw it out immediately by vomiting or diarrhea. It is totally out of the realm of biological science to think the body will not immediately attack a toxic chemical. Henceforth, migraines from aspartame and diarrhea from Splenda.

[mrc] She has her facts wrong. Diarrhea is not associated with Splenda it is one of the side effects of the sugar alcohols such as sorbitol when ingested in large amounts, in some people. Splenda, or sucralose, doesn’t have this effect.

Now, to add a note to this: if the body is fed an indigestible product such as plastic (like in margarine) that it is incapable of dissolving through normal digestion, it will pass through undigested (if it doesn’t get stuck in the gall bladder, that is.)

[mrc] Again this shows a total lack of understanding of the most basic human anatomy… food never goes through the gall bladder. The gall bladder stores and concentrates bile made in the liver and releases that bile into the small intestine to break down fat, among other things.

So, if sucralose is indigestible due to its laboratory compounding, then we have yet another serious health problem to consider, don’t you think?

[mrc] Ah… no, not if we understand how the body really works. Remember, we don’t digest or assimilate fiber either but it’s very important for our well-being.

Technology is great, but we sure don’t need to be eating it!

[mrc] That all depends. I don’t want to be eating transistors or my cell phone but I would certainly like to see sugar replaced with sucralose in most products for the safety and well-being of people everywhere.

Q: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and government food authority committees and the Health Ministries in countries such as Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Argentina, and Brazil have confirmed the safety of sucralose. So have the countries of Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Uruguay, Romania, Lebanon, Qatar, Bahrain, Pakistan, Tajikistan, China, South Africa, and Tanzania. What do you think of all these countries confirming Splenda’s safety?

A: The history of aspartame has unfortunately proven that individuals within government agencies cannot and should not be trusted to make such empowering public decisions behind closed doors.

Now, re-read this list of countries … Mexico, Jamaica, Tajikistan and Tanzania? These are the countries in which Splenda is now marketed? (See the final question.) As an international geographer, I can comfortably say that these countries are not nations with the same technology and mass marketing strategies to be compared with the United States. These countries are more concerned with birth control, food staples, hostile take-overs, and drought–not diet sweeteners. Compare apples to apples.

[mrc] I’m not sure exactly what they are trying to say here except to tip us off to the fact that they, the writer, have training in geography – which might explain their total lack of understanding of even basic biology. (Although my kids all know this stuff.) This person has stirred up a great controversy with their writing on the web and they don’t even have a background in science to understand the basics of what they are trying to instruct… or rather scare you away from.

Q: Is Sucralose safe for children?

A: The manufacturer actually made this statement for disclosure: “One should note, however, that foods made with low-calorie sweeteners are not normally a recommended part of a child’s diet, since calories are important to a growing child’s body.”

[mrc] I’m not too worried about your kids NOT getting enough calories… have you looked around lately? Obesity is a huge (no pun intended) problem in the schools these days.

Pay attention … Children should not be encouraged to grow up on fake foods. But just like cigarettes and alcohol, do what I say and not what I do? And we wonder why the younger generation is angry, ill, and ridden with ADD/ADHD and diabetes?? How many kids do you see taking a sip of mom or brother’s diet cola?

[mrc] The problem with ADD/ADHD is sugar along with food colorings but sugar is the biggest problem. I’ve worked with these kids clinically for over 20 years, take them off the sugar and the problem gets better or even goes away.

About Dr. Mark Crãpõ

Holding degrees from both Central Michigan University and the California Acupuncture College, Mark Crapo was the first board-certified acupuncture physician and doctor of Oriental Medicine to practice in the state of Michigan. While studying in several fields, including religion, sports medicine, and education, Mark earned numerous honors and memberships. While still in college, he became the first non-MD to be published in an international medical journal. He has practiced in California and Michigan and written many articles on health, nutrition, herbs, and oriental medicine, as well as publishing a college textbook.
A specialist in herbal medicine and an advocate of holistic health care, Mark is also a practitioner of several self-defense and martial arts styles. A student of the martial arts for over 30 years, Mark is a 6th degree black belt in Aikido and is the Chief Instructor of the Aikido Institute of Michigan. He is an inductee to the Christian Martial Arts Hall of Fame, listed in the Who’s Who of Aikido, published in Japan, and has produced a series of martial arts training videos.
As Vice President of Product Technology & Training, Mark works continuously to instruct distributors throughout the entire Symmetry world on the benefits and proper use of Symmetry’s products. He is also a member of Symmetry’s TRAC (Technical Research and Advisory Committee), helping to oversee the formulation and production of Symmetry’s product lines.

About Dr. Janet Starr Hull

Dr. Hull holds a doctorate in nutrition, a master’s degree in environmental science, is an international geographer and geologist, a former university professor, firefighter and hazardous waste specialist and emergency responder. She is a licensed certified nutritionist, certified fitness professional, author and considers herself an aspartame victim.

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