Latest research suggests Sucralose can damage your DNA and damage your gut lining, while also increasing oxidative stress, inflammation and carcinogenicity.
In the pursuit of healthier lifestyles and weight management, many people have turned to artificial sweeteners as a seemingly guilt-free alternative to sugar.
Sucralose, a widely used artificial sweetener, has gained significant popularity due to its intense sweetness without the added calories. However, as research unfolds, concerns have arisen regarding the potential damaging effects of sucralose on our health. In this article, I'll delve into the hidden dangers and explore the adverse consequences associated with the consumption of sucralose.
The Basics of Sucralose
Sucralose is a non-nutritive artificial sweetener derived from sugar. It is approximately 600 times sweeter than sugar, making it a popular choice for those seeking a sugar substitute. Unlike sugar, sucralose is not metabolized by the body, leading to claims that it is calorie-free. Due to its perceived benefits, it has found its way into a variety of food and beverage products, including diet sodas, sugar-free desserts, and processed snacks.
One of the primary concerns associated with sucralose consumption is its potential impact on digestive health. Some studies have suggested that sucralose alters the balance of gut bacteria, leading to dysbiosis—a condition characterized by an imbalance in the gut microbiome. Disruptions in gut bacteria have been linked to numerous health issues, including digestive disorders, impaired immune function, and even metabolic disturbances. While further research is necessary, these findings highlight the need for caution when consuming sucralose regularly.
Contrary to the notion of sucralose as a zero-calorie sweetener, emerging evidence suggests that it may have detrimental effects on metabolism. Several studies have demonstrated that sucralose consumption can lead to increased insulin resistance—a condition associated with the development of type 2 diabetes. It is believed that sucralose may interfere with the body's normal response to glucose, disrupting the delicate balance of blood sugar regulation. Moreover, prolonged consumption of artificial sweeteners like sucralose may alter our perception of sweetness, leading to a preference for sweeter foods and potentially contributing to weight gain.
Negative Impact on Weight Management
Ironically, despite its widespread use as a tool for weight management, sucralose may have a counterproductive effect. Some studies have indicated that artificial sweeteners like sucralose can disrupt the body's natural hunger and satiety signals, leading to an increased desire for calorie-dense foods. This can potentially lead to overeating and weight gain, undermining the very intention behind their use. Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, sucralose's potential impact on insulin resistance can further hinder weight loss efforts.
Some of the latest published research from 29th May 2023 (click here for the study), shows that sucralose (Splenda) could be metabolised in the gut to form a compound that damages DNA. During digestion a harmful chemical sucralose-6-acetate is formed, which effectively breaks up DNA cells that it is exposed to. When exposed to the gut epithelial tissue, the gut wall becomes more permeable, allowing waste products to 'leak' into the blood stream.
The research team from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill also discovered that gut cells exposed to sucra;pse-6-acetate has increased activity in genes related to oxidative stress, inflammation and carcinogenicity.
Last month (May 2023), the World Health Organisation issued new guidelines advising against the use of artificial sweeteners to control body weight or reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases. They may actually increase certain health risks like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.