Artificial sweeteners are becoming increasingly popular nowadays. People use them for everything from diet sodas to baked goods, or as a stand-alone product. Even though many of them promise to be healthier than sugar and contain much less calories, there are people who believe that the side effects outweigh the benefits. One such artificial sweetener is sucralose. Today, we are going to explore some of the main sucralose side effects and tell you if you should worry about them or not.
Sucralose Side Effects
Damages Gut Flora
One of the main sucralose side effects people are concerned about is its ability to damage the gut flora and reduce the good bacteria in our gut. At first, specialists believed that our bodies don’t have to digest sucralose. However, a recent study found that we actually need to metabolize it. Which means that the number of bacteria that benefit our gut will decrease. What does this mean, you ask? Well, a small number of healthy gut bacteria can lead to weight gain and obesity.
Moreover, if you have a healthy gut flora, you won’t be producing that much gas during digestion. But the gas production and the amount of water stored in your colon will be higher if you consume sucralose.
Less Drug Absorbtion
According to the same study, one of the most dangerous sucralose side effects is the fact that your body won’t absorb as much therapeutic drugs. That means that if you suffer from any kind of disease that involves you taking medicine on a regular basis, you will get less efficient treatment if you also consume sucralose.
As we’ve already mentioned, we use sucralose for a lot of things, including baking goods. There are people who use it in their own home when they bake. That is because they believe it to be healthier than sugar. However, it seems that in contact with the high baking temperature, this artificial sweetener decomposes. As it decomposes, it also releases chloroproanols, which are a type of compound that can be toxic for us humans.
Higher Glucose Levels
According to a paper published on the American Diabetes Association website, another one of the greatest sucralose side effects is it changing the way our bodies react to sugar intake. This is particularly dangerous for people who are suffering from diabetes, since consuming sucralose could increase their glucose levels.
Apart from scientific studies, people have also complained that consuming sucralose brought symptoms resembling allergies. Some of the most common ones are: acne, bleeding gums, rashes, swelling, redness, itching, sneezing, runny nose, shortness of breath, nausea, heart palpitations, watery eyes, dizziness, anxiety, depression, and so on.
Perhaps one of the most controversial sucralose side effects is its connection to cancer, which a recent Italian study voiced. Scientists conducted the study on around 1.000 mice exposed to sucralose. The results showed that the mice were more likely to suffer from blood cancer if they consumed sucralose.
The scientists fed the mice four times the amount of sucralose that the FDA labels as safe for us. That means that even though we cannot equate studies conducted on mice with studies conducted on humans, there is certainly something to make us wonder in this recent study.
Why Is There So Much Disagreement on Sucralose Side Effects?
You might be wondering why so many people have so many different views on whether sucralose is a health hazard for humans or not. One of the answers is related to the fact that almost all of the studies that scientists have conducted on the matter were on rats and other animals, and not humans.
Somehow, this provides both teams with some arguments. People who don’t trust the studies that show sucralose side effects on animals, because they believe they cannot possibly apply to humans as well, can use this as a way of proving that sucralose is safe to consume. At the same time, people who believe these studies, can use the same argument to claim that the FDA has not conducted enough relevant studies before deeming sucralose safe for consumption.
What you should know is that specialists only conducted two human studies before the FDA’s approval. One of them actually focusing on the possibility of tooth decay, rather than other types of health issues. The rest of the studies conducted by the FDA had animal subjects. This is causing concern among people who trust that sucralose is not safe for human consumption.
Should You Consume Sucralose or Not?
Are you are confused about whether it is safe to consume sucralose or not? Well, we recommend you try to at least limit your consumption, if not cut it altogether. As many other artificial products, this one too can cause certain health issues if ingested in a large quantity. There’s no doubt about that. However, in what concerns proof that you can find the sucralose side effects we mentioned above in humans, there seems to be nothing to be concerned about just yet. So until scientists conduct more studies on the human consumption of sucralose, we cannot say for sure if it is dangerous for you to consume or not.