Saturday, November 6, 2010

Splenda: A Poor Sugar Substitute

I was inspired to write this blog because I was in the grocery store today and found a book about cooking with Splenda, the ARTIFICIAL sweetener. Serious?! I went to Amazon.com and...wow, there are a lot of cookbooks out there promoting Splenda as a great alternative to sugar (super low calories yet still sweet), some by supposed "health experts" (I make it a rule to never trust "the experts.") Splenda, also known as sucralose (well this is actually the main component of Splenda), is found in diet drinks, ice cream, protein bars, vitamins, toothpaste to name ONLY a few. Look at your gum, over-the-counter drugs (those sweetened so swallowing them tastes a bit better), salad dressings and on the restaurant tables in those little yellow packets where real sugar used to sit.

So what is the big deal right? Well...here is the big deal. One can suffer from any number of conditions such as sluggishness, fatigue, legs feeling like lead weights, mood swings, severe cramps in females, joint pain, painful bowel movements, bloating, dizziness, confusion, depression, headaches, and nausea as well as reproductive and immune problems.* In this study using rats "the numbers of total anaerobes, bifidobacteria, lactobacilli, Bacteroides, clostridia, and total aerobic bacteria were significantly decreased" in the gut as examined through a stool analysis. Meaning the pH had gone up (away from acidic or toward a more basic state) and the gut flora was now out of balance or decreased. The problem with a higher pH is not only breaking down of food but also the gut losing the ability to break down microbes (i.e. bad bacteria) compromising the immune system. And as I stated back on the post Why Use Probiotics? altered flora result in poor absorption of minerals. This malabsorption can then lead to any of the conditions listed above. The body loses its ability to detox and obviously a high toxicity will not serve your body well. We can all agree with that. Pretty big deal right?

If you are experiencing these conditions and use Splenda (or are not experiencing and using Splenda) STOP all Splenda products immediately, meaning do not eat them...hopefully it's obvious I would suggest that...and "Flush Your System." For two month use probiotics, mulit vitamin and MINERALS (I suggest multi-vitamin/mineral daily for your entire life), and undenatured whey to rebuild and detox your body.

You can find studies out there where they will report Splenda to be a safe product. Here is what I tell my patients though, "Serious?! You want to put artificial food into your one and only body? Keep it simple and eat nothing processed." Inevitably these artificial foods turn out to have damaging effects. And now don't even get me started on High Fructose Corn Syrup or Aspartame. Thanks for reading and if you have any questions call the office, send me an email or get a hold of us on Facebook.


*Splenda: Is it Safe of Not? by Janet Starr Hull, phD., Pickle Press, 2005
*FIRST, "A Magazine For Women On The Go" Article titled "Tired All The Time?" June 26, 2006 pp 25-26