Artificial Sweetener Splenda Linked with Toxic Dioxin Production

Artificial Sweetener Splenda Linked with Toxic Dioxin Production

Of all the artificial sweeteners, Splenda (sucralose) has earned the reputation as being one of- if not the healthiest, or rather, "safest" of the bunch because it originates from sugar. A guilt-free sweetener that actually comes from sugar? Sounds too good to be true, and more research says that's exactly the case.

Artificial sweeteners are on our Scary Seven list of food ingredients to avoid for a reason; they're harmful chemicals that trick your body and put you at risk. Sucralose is no exception, and here's more evidence to that effect.

Read more about the Scary Seven

Pointing towards the dangers of sucralose and why it should be avoided at all costs is a recent study (entitled "Sucralose, a synthetic organochlorine sweetener: overview of biological issues") published in the recent issue of the journal Toxicology and Environmental Health.

According to the paper, the researchers  found new causes for concern over the widespread use of sucralose. One of the issues is the way sucralose alters metabolic function. Its effects on body weight are "unknown", but it may raise blood sugar, spike insulin levels and lead to diabetic conditions, noted the study authors. The researchers also found that sucralose may negatively impact the microbiome by reducing beneficial bacteria colonies in the digestive tract, leading to weight issues and digestive disturbances.

But perhaps most startling is that the researchers found that the artificial sweetener was also linked with serious risks of creating dioxins when exposed to heat "in the presence of glycerol." One of the most common places where glycerol turns up is in low-fat foods, which are also good candidates for sucralose. So, for example, take a low-fat cookie or brownie that contains both glycerol and sucralose. It's baked at high heat–and now you've got room for dioxins to accumulate. Dioxins are incredibly toxic-they're considered "persistent organic pollutants" because they're slow to break down, sometimes highly resistant. They're also linked with cancer.

Read more about the dangers of dioxins

It's no wonder that the Center for Science in the Public Interest recently downgraded Splenda and sucralose from its "safe" rating to "caution" based on research that connected the sweetener with an increased risk of developing leukemia.

Will there be more research pointing to the dangers of sucralose? Probably. And it's all the more reason to make sure artificial sweeteners remain out of your diet no matter how safe the manufacturers tell you they are.

Image: Smkybear

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Andrea Donsky, B. COMM is an international TV Health Expert, Best Selling Author, Nutritionist Podcast Host, and Founder of—a recipient of Healthline’s Best Healthy Living Blogs for 2019. As a pioneer and visionary in the health food industry, Andrea’s passion is to inspire people to make healthier choices. Andrea has combined her background and expertise as both a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and an entrepreneur ("She Boss!") to educate the public on living a healthy lifestyle through the creation of her businesses, books, articles, podcasts, videos, talks, and TV and radio media appearances. Andrea founded Naturally Savvy Media Inc. in 2007 in order to share her passion for healthy living, and love for natural products and companies. Among her numerous publications, Andrea co-authored Unjunk your Junk Food published by Simon and Schuster, a book that journalist, author and mother Maria Shriver endorsed: “Unjunk Your Junk Food has certainly made me more aware about the food that my children eat and the effects it has on our body and mind."</P. Andrea also co-authored two e-books entitled Label Lessons: Your Guide To A Healthy Shopping Cart, and Label Lessons: Unjunk Your Kid’s Lunch Box.