sweetSucralose vs. Probiotics  LOOK OUT

The people who market Splenda (sucralose) have done a fantastic job informing all of us that Splenda is all-natural because it is derived from all-natural ingredients. They suggest that sucralose is safe because it was made from something that is safe. Dr. Jonathan Wright refers to sucralose as yet another “space-alien molecule” because until it was synthesized in the laboratory it never existed on earth. It is manufactured by the selective chlorination of sucrose (table sugar), in which three of the hydroxyl groups are replaced with chlorine atoms to produce sucralose. It is similar to products referred to as organochlorine pesticides.

Sucralose has been accepted by several national and international food safety regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives, The European Union’s Scientific Committee on Food, Health Protection Branch of Health and Welfare Canada and Food Standards Australia-New Zealand (FSANZ). Sucralose is the only artificial sweetener ranked as “safe” by the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest. All of those “approvals” are brought into question by studies that demonstrate that sucralose is not actually a safe chemical.

A study at Duke University found strong evidence that sucralose can reduce the amount of good bacteria in the gut by increasing the amount of acid in the lower part of the GI tract. Probiotics are the “good bacteria” that we all have in huge amounts in our digestive systems. These bacteria help digest our food and make it absorbable. Without the efficient actions of probiotics, we would not be able to efficiently absorb nutrients from the food we consume. Probiotic supplements are a popular and inexpensive means of maintaining and improving levels of good bacteria in the gut. We are advised to take a probiotic supplement on an empty stomach because it will pass through the stomach more quickly when it is taken that way. The goal is to move the bacteria from an acid environment, the stomach, to one that is less acid, the intestines. Good bacteria thrive in less acidic environments.

Sucralose – with its appended chloride groups – has been shown to increase the acidity of the entire GI tract (increased acidity means lower pH). When the pH is unbalanced like this, the good bacteria suffer. Even minimal amounts can increase acidity and damage good bacteria. To make matter worse, the changed pH levels persist for weeks after the sucralose is stopped.

If you use sucralose you may be setting up an environment in your digestive system that is ultimately very bad. Regardless of the amount of probiotics you might decide to take as a supplement, the changed environment in your gut will cause a lot of the good bacteria to not survive. Therefore, it is ultimately counterproductive to take any sort of probiotic supplement if you consume any amount of sucralose in your diet – intentionally as a no-calorie sweetener, or unintentionally as an additive in commercial products. Did you know that there is sucralose in Children’s Tylenol suspension and Meltaways? I have also found sucralose in the following; Tylenol Go-Tab, Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom, Advil Liquid, Berry and Bubblegum. The generic versions are also likely to contain sucralose.

Sucralose can be almost anywhere and it is likely that you can consume it without your knowledge. Check the ingredients of your food and medicine, especially those products that are sweet. It is entirely likely that you will be consuming sucralose – in which case your probiotic population could easily suffer.

Remember, no one is interested in maintaining your health except you. Learn what is in your food and assume no one is watching out for your best interests – they only look out for their wallets. Protect yourself and your family by keeping your eyes open!

If you are looking for a great brand of Probiotics, we recommend Florajen3.