With aspartame, I first discovered its potential problems from someone else's experience (my mother's and later my mother-in-law's), but for sucralose (known by the popular brand name Splenda), it was my own reaction that caused my doubts. So what happened?

Years ago, when my husband and I still consumed sugary pop, we were out shopping one day and stopped at a vending machine to get a can of soda. It must have been nearly empty because instead of getting our selection, we ended up with a diet drink (not mentioning any names). After checking and assuring ourselves that it contained no aspartame, we opened the can and began to enjoy. We hadn't finished the can before I had a throbbing headache. It may not seem like a big deal, but until then, I hadn't experienced any food sensitivities before.

So What Is Sucralose?
You're probably familiar with the brand Splenda, since you'll find the packets available at restaurants and in popular commercial products. You may have even tried it on occasion. But do you know what sucralose really is? It's derived from sucrose (table sugar), but it has been chemically modified so that it has no calories. That doesn't sound too bad, does it? After all, it's “made from sugar.”

Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Is Sucralose Safe?
Like aspartame, it was discovered by accident, while attempting to create an insecticide. It is essentially chlorinated sugar. Yes, chlorine, the chemical used to disinfect swimming pools and bleach your clothes. Sucralose falls into the same category of chlorinated hydrocarbons [chlorocarbons] as DDT, Phosgene gas, Chlorodane, Lindane, Dioxin, and PCBs. The production of sucralose also requires a barrage of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals to interact with one another in the production process, including such “old favorites” as:

1. Acetone
2. Acetic acid
3. Acetyl alcohol
4. Acetic anhydride
5. Ammonium chloride
6. Benzene
7. Chlorinated sulfates
8. Ethyl alcohol
9. Isobutyl ketones
10. Formaldehyde
11. Hydrogen chloride
12. Lithium chloride
13. Methanol
14. Sodium methoxide
15. Sulfuryl chloride
16. Trityl chloride
17. Toluene
18. Thionyl chloride

If these chemicals were sweet, would you put some in your tea?

Also like aspartame, the FDA approval of sucralose was once again based on studies where information was altered or omitted. Instead of mentioning the devastating heath issues sucralose caused in the test subjects, the reports conveniently focused on the problems it didn't cause. A few of these problems include shrinkage of the thymus gland (vital to the immune system) and enlargement of the liver and kidneys. And of the more than one hundred pre-approval studies conducted, only two were human studies. A number of the details have been spelled out in an article posted earlier this year. 

Also, keep in mind the high number of side effects associated with sucralose. Some common ones include the following:

• Flushing or redness of the skin
• Rash, blisters, or welts
• Itching
• Swelling
• Nausea or stomach cramps
• Acne or acne-like rash
• Anxiety
• Panic attacks
• Headache
• Pain (body, chest)
• Bloated abdomen
• Diarrhea
• Depression
• Seizures
• Tremors

Still think Splenda is safe?

For more information about Splenda, check out Dr. Joseph Mercola's website, where he posted an excerpt from Dr. Janet Star Hull's newsletter as well as his own article on the dangers of sucralose.