Splenda®, No calorie Sweetener, the brand name of sucralose, is promoted as an alternative that allows one to enjoy sweets without impacting blood sugar. It can be used by everyone and according to the web site, there are over 100 scientific studies on the product. From a physiological standpoint, Splenda® does not impact blood glucose levels. But this is just one side of the picture. A recent study by Abou-Donia and colleagues demonstrated that Splenda, in a rat model, has the potential for negative physiological effects. These effects include disruption of the gut microflora, up regulating P-glycoprotein and the biotransformation pathway CYP3A4, the impacts of which could mean weight gain and reduced absorption of many substances.
Splenda® is also promoted as a product that one can use in baking. How many families use this product in their baking to provide sweet tasting treats to their children, believing that they are doing a good thing? Countless, I suspect. Yet rather than receiving healthful benefits, these children experience an imbalance in their gut microflora, setting them up for weight gain, perhaps predisposing them to nutritional deficiencies and increased health risks.
So a particular product that is designed to permit one to consume sweets without the consequence of elevated blood sugar levels, has other physiological impacts. Let’s add Splenda® to the list of substances that have the potential to cause negative interactions with our therapies.
Deborah Kennedy, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine