Sunday, December 09, 2018

Buyer Beware - Cost of Low Carbs, Artificial Sweeteners

by Alethea (writer), Los Angeles, March 23, 2007


Maybe you’ve heard of maltitol or sucralose by reading through ingredients on a variety of products and wondered what they were. You may be more familiar with the names Maltisorb, Malisweet or Splenda which are the commercial names or “street names” of these artificial sweeteners. But what just are they and what do they do?

Answers on this will vary on who you ask. With maltitol, it is used as a sugar replacement to give foods a lower carb rating. It also does not promote tooth decay. It IS however a carbohydrate, so in large amounts there is no weight loss value, and maltitol is known to cause intestinal problems and diarrhea and possibly anal leakage in severe cases. So someone may recommend another artificial sweetener with less unpleasant bowel effects like Splenda… but is Splenda any better?

There are a number of pro-Splenda sites and advertisements asserting that Splenda is natural because it comes from sugar and safe to use.

Their arguments for using Splenda instead of natural sugar…
• Created from sugar, so it tastes like sugar
• Low in calories and carbohydrates
• Ideal for the whole family
• Suitable for people with diabetes
• Can be used in any food and beverage
• Granular measures and pours like sugar
• Stays sweet during cooking and baking
• Free of the unpleasant aftertaste associated with some other artificial sweeteners

They also purport that it has been through rigorous testing over a period of time and that there are no health or safety concerns, and all negative information is meant “to injure the reputation and goodwill of Splenda.” The gist of the Splenda marketing theme, which is readily apparent in their commercials, reminds one of a 50s dreamworld where everything is perfect and magical Splenda makes everyone happy.

But when I researched the makers of such websites, they were all in dealings with the production/advertisements/ manufacturing of Splenda itself! Are they really interested in consumer health or are they purporting their own motives? If you conduct your own search on Splenda (sucralose) you will also discover an abundance of anti-Splenda sites.

They assert that Splenda has a number of harmful side effects and that the research showing its benevolence has been skewed. These pre-approval reports have shown incidences of…
• Shrunken thymus glands (up to 40% shrinkage)
• Enlarged liver and kidneys.
• Atrophy of lymph follicles in the spleen and thymus
• Increased cecal weight
• Reduced growth rate
• Decreased red blood cell count
• Hyperplasia of the pelvis
• Extension of the pregnancy period
• Aborted pregnancy
• Decreased fetal body weights and placental weights
• Diarrhea

Other issues in the actual studies can be found here….

Splenda and its users also praise the “natural-ness” of this product saying it is derived from sugar, but the sweetness is derived from a chloro-carbon chemical that has 3 atoms of chlorine in every one of its molecules. This chemical can be derived from starting materials that do not include natural sugar and that the name sucralose was patented from the manufacturer only to assume a similarity to the natural name sucrose.

Other claims of the adverse effects range from the body absorbing/storing the chemicals (Splenda alleges it doesn’t) to long term effects on health to personal horror stories. And yet, the FDA has still approved it. Why? How so? The FDA has deemed Splenda to be 98% pure, which means that 2% of the product can contain things like lead, methanol, arsenic, and other severe chemicals. The FDA has also had a record of releasing products to the public that have been pulled later due to health issues. Maybe this was due to specialized interests or bad research but either way, the FDA is not infallible. Let us not forget as well that the sweetener market is a billion dollar business which I’m sure comes with its advantages. Just another reason to watch what you eat, in the more natural sense.

About the Writer

Alethea is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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2 comments on Buyer Beware - Cost of Low Carbs, Artificial Sweeteners

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By Alethea on May 01, 2007 at 04:19 am
I read a brief review, and yes this article was mainly focused on Splenda. As for alternatives, there is normal sugar and also Stevia, which is an all natural sweetener with none of the awful side effects and can be used as a calorie reduced sweetener as well.
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By Sewera88 on June 18, 2014 at 01:54 am

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