Sucralose (Splenda) study - Triumph of the Breast Meat
May. 26th, 2006
04:29 pm - Sucralose (Splenda) study
A while back, somewhere on the 'Net--which has since fallen into the alternate dimension of lost links--I posted something about the studies that had been done on Splenda™ (sucralose) and made some comparisons to the claims made about it by its manufacturer.
xianrex reposted, and that was linked to by (I think) a rate-your-poo subdomain's pages, allowing me to find it again. Yay. Xianrex introduced it in his blog entry:
Splenda is made of "sucralose", which is refined sugar that has been processed to replace three hydrogen-oxygen groups in the molecule with chlorine. McNeill Nutritionals (owned by Johnson & Johnson) says that the molecule is "is essentially inert. The result is [a]... sweetener that tastes like sugar, but without sugars calories. After consumption, sucralose passes through the body without being broken down for energy... and the body does not recognize it as a carbohydrate. "
I am now reposting because the other evening a friend showed me an article about sucralose in The New Yorker. On to the repost:
After digging a little deeper into pubmed, I was able to find some real research on the pharmacokinetics and metabolism of sucralose after all. Yay!
Here are a couple from McNeil itself. The first study finds statistically significant increase in "non-neoplastic findings". I'm too lazy to download the report but I'm willing to bet these relate to anomalies in organ structure. The study was determinedly focused on carcinogenicity however, and so blew it off. The highest dosed sucralose mice were underweight compared to the controls. I think that's because they failed to properly control the experiment in that the mice found their food unpalatable. The second study also had the same "body weight gain decrement", but also statistically significant increase in "non-neoplastic findings":
renal pelvic epithelial hyperplasia in all female treatment groups, renal pelvic mineralization in females administered the intermediate or highest dietary concentrations of sucralose, adrenal cortical haemorrhagic degeneration in high-dose group female rats, and the histopathologic incidence of cataracts at necropsy in high-dose group male rats.
These were blown off as common in old-age (um, don't use sucralose if you plan on growing old?)
I found three studies by one group that demonstrated not that sucralose crosses into the blood stream in some animals, but did so in ALL the animals (some to greater extent, some only 5% or so: see, if it passes out the urine not the feces, then it was absorbed) and was actually metabolized into unidentified substances (the lowest was 1%, but 1% is not zero as is being claimed). So it's actually NOT the inert chemical they've been claiming it to be.
Another really scary study (scary because of all the things they subjected all those animals to) claims to have found DNA damage due to sucralose ingestion in the organs of the gastrointestinal tract.
This study observes "decreases in food consumption, body weight gain and selected organ weights and ratios as well as splenic and thymic histopathologic changes occurred".
This study is scary too, because they are feeding volunteers radioactive carbon, which, if sucralose actually does enter the body, and is metabolized, could be inserted into their DNA where it would decay and cause a mutational event (like, cancer). I didn't think they were doing that sort of thing to PEOPLE, and I wonder if they did it (and the volunteers accepted) because everyone's been telling them it never enters the body. Well guess what: it did:
14.5% (range 8.9 to 21.8%) of the radioactivity was excreted in urine and 78.3% (range 69.4 to 89.6%) in the faeces, within 5 days. The total recovery of radioactivity averaged 92.8%.
I think that was even more than the dogs in that earlier study. Note that some of the sucralose DID react in the body, that "two more polar components which accounted for only 2.6%". Only. Sheesh. What loaded language. Not scientific at all. Oh and, ah, we couldn't find the other 7.2%. Um. yeah. That's unethical.