Helpful info for a healthier lifestyle
Is Sucralose Safe?

Truth or Scare? Debunking Myths about Sucralose Dangers

December 6, 2013

I have been compensated for my time by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog With Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.

Although I had a fascination with science throughout elementary and high school, little did I know that being a science “nerd” - a term unknown way back then! - would play a significant role in my career. I loved a popular science TV show and always wanted to have a role on this show.

Alas, with no showbiz gig in sight, this love of science eventually led to obtaining two university degrees in food, nutrition and agriculture, making me the “go to” person for friends and family who seek out science-based information on topics ranging from sugar to semolina to fad diets.

Sadly, “diet” has become a “four letter word” and has been for decades. While “diet” is technically defined as “food and drink regularly provided or consumed or habitual nourishment” – far too many people only think of “diet” as “a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one's weight.” As a result, I’m frequently asked about the latest dietary recommendations, weight loss diets and diet foods. One widely repeated recommendation today is to “cut back on added sugar” – even if you aren’t looking to lose weight.  This advice from prominent health authorities is sound and one way to reduce the sugar in your daily diet is to use low-calorie sweeteners such as sucralose (brand name SPLENDA®) in place of sugar.  SPLENDA® Brand Sweeteners are especially popular in for their great taste and performance in cooking and baking.

However, due to some widespread rumors about sucralose “dangers” on the Internet, I’m often asked if sucralose is safe. These rumors are without scientific basis and remind me of that game of “telephone” where a message is whispered from player to player, only to end up with the final message being totally wrong. For example, where did information about sucralose being linked to cancer come from? Certainly not from the prevailing scientific community.

The National Cancer Institute has reviewed all of the available science and is definitive about its position on sucralose not being associated with cancer or any other health threat:

"Sucralose (also known as SPLENDA®) was approved by the FDA as a tabletop sweetener in 1998, followed by approval as a general purpose sweetener in 1999.” Before approving sucralose, the FDA viewed more than 100 safety studies that were conducted, including studies to assess cancer risk. The results of these studies showed no evidence that this sweetener causes cancer or poses any other threat to human health.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also debunks misinformation about the dangers of sucralose, pointing out the strong safety record for this ingredient, which was discovered in 1976 and approved for use in 15 food and beverage categories by the FDA in 1998. This was the broadest initial approval ever granted by FDA for a food ingredient. The FDA expanded the approved uses for sucralose in 1999, making it a “general purpose” sweetener. Sucralose has also been approved for use in foods and beverages in nearly 80 countries including Canada, Australia and Mexico.

Bottom line – when I’m asked about the safety of sucralose, I tell my family and friends that they can feel confident using sucralose in place of sugar to help reduce their sugar intake.

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Sue Taylor is a consulting nutritionist with more than 35 years of experience. She is passionate about sharing her nutrition knowledge and fondness for good, healthy food. Sue will put relevant information in consumer terms and provide valuable perspective to clear up misinformation and confusion about nutrition and food safety.

December 6, 2013  |  POSTED BY: Sue Taylor, MS  |  IN: Debunk the Junk Science, Sugar Substitutes


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