Sucralose: Is It Really Safe?

What is Sucralose?

Artificial Sweetner - Splenda

First of all, do you know what is Sucralose?

Sucralose, aka SPLENDA®, is an artificial sweetener. It is made through a patented, multi-step process that starts with sugar and converts it to a no calorie, non-carbohydrate sweetener. Chlorine is added to this process, so this addition converts sucrose (sugar) to sucralose, which is essentially inert, according to SPLENDA® website.

But a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis may make you think twice before adding sucralose to your drink.  They published an article on American Diabetes Association website which says

“this artificial sweetener is not inert — it does have an effect.”  

This study observed the effect of sucralose on overweight subjects and found that consuming the sucralose was associated with higher blood sugar peaks.  Once the subjects’ blood sugar had a peak, insulin levels, naturally, rose in response. Scientists worry that over time this reaction may lead to insulin resistance, the cause of type-2 diabetes.

What is Insulin?

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that assists in the absorption of sugar into cells and also helps to decrease the amount of sugar that is circulating in the blood. It acts like a key that opens the door for the food to leave your bloodstream and get into your cells. With Type 2 diabetes, cells become insulin-resistant, and the pancreas isn’t able to produce enough insulin to get the cells to take up the sugar. When this happens, sugar accumulates in the blood.

There is no conclusion yet for long-term use of sucralose.  According to Washington University researchers, they need to do more studies to determine whether this observation means long-term use could be harmful.

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