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Wednesdays- Nutrition

January 26 2011

Synthetic sweetners: Are they safe? ---

Sugar, the top spice of life. No doubt we all love it. As people began putting on the extra pounds it was its calories that we were told to be careful of. So, science began to investigate ways to make a sugary substance without the calories. That seemed to be a good idea. It was the 50's and high fructose corn syrup hit the market, slowly making it's way into food manufacturing. It was inexpensive and rapidly (and secretly) replaced sugar. Fast forward to 1976 when scientists developed a five step process of chemically altering a sugar molecule, replacing 3 of its hydrogen and oxygen atoms with chlorine. This increased its sweetness and Splenda (sucralose) was born. ---

Since then there has been many independent studies, documented complaints, FDA and other global government bodies posting their versions of the safety of these non-natural, commercially produced products. Depending on the book or article you read, or internet website you visit, one could get quite confused with all the data and opinions. Here I will provide for you, core data related to these products and some added "food for thought". ---

Due to the shortness of this article (they'll be more forthcoming) I will focus on Sucralose (Splenda[Symbol]) first, since it is widely used in many protein (whey) powders and most powdered athletic supplements that many Motocross riders utilize. ---

First, I'd like to acknowledge that Sucralose is not Sucrose. Sucrose is table sugar and Sucralose is a chemically altered sugar. Sucrose is a natural molecule the human body recognizes, Sucralose is not natural and is not recognized by the body(1). ---

Second, the chemical process of making Sucralose in turn develops sugar into a chlorocarbon. Chlorocrabons are not compatible with normal human metabolic function. acknowledges: "The vast majority of ingested Sucralose is not absorbed and simply passes through the digestive system". This proves the incompatibility. But most common chlorocarbons are deadly. Although I couldn't find documentation that a single serving of Sucralose killed anyone, you can find lots of consumer reports of side effects. Some were from a single consumption and others from longer use. Some of the consumer reports support many of the findings of James Bowen, M.D., a 20 year researcher on Sucralose and the Splenda[Symbol] Toxicity Information Center located in Concord, NH. Some side effects of incompatibility in humans were: water retention, blurred vision, kidney issues, blood pressure issues, hand/body tremors, diarrhea, rashes, muscle aches, fatigue, headaches and the list of body language goes on and on. The posted animal test results that claim side effects to include swollen livers and calcified kidneys does make sense if Sucralose is indeed a incompatible substance. The statement claiming the vast majority passes through the digestive system may very well be correct but that does not mean that the excretory organs and other areas of the body are not affected by the presence of a non-natural molecule. As with most non-natural molecules, the body indeed does react. It is the normal function of the body to alert the immune system any time a non-natural molecule enters one's body. So the data about Sucralose affecting the immune system and shrinking the thymus gland makes logical sense as well. Since the FDA agrees that 11 to 27% of Sucralose is absorbed by the body, and the Japanese Food Sanitation Council claims as much as 40% is absorbed, the body will react. How the body reacts is related to two things, the biochemical uniqueness of the individual consuming it and what is the weakest link in the body of the individual consuming it. Hence the reason for so many different side effects. ---

Since your body's reaction to Sucralose is not documented as a particular, defined reaction, and may even be too subtle for one to notice, many may not realize its affect on your health and body performance. Gaining knowledge of how the human body processes what you consume and that it can indeed determine natural and non-natural molecules, helps to understand the affects of all non-natural molecules to the body's overall performance. ---

Reading the labels of the products you consume is of the utmost importance if you wish to "dial in" your body's performance. ---

by Debra Meszaros --- ---

(1) ---

References: The Splenda Toxicity Information Center, James Bowen, M.D., the movie: Sweet Misery: "A Poisoned World". ---

[Symbol]2011 Debra Meszaros, All rights reserved.