Sucralose (Splenda)

Sucralose has been on the market for about two decades now and has been touted as a quite the wonderful artificial sweetener. The safety profile of sucralose has been excellent in adults and it has already helped many with type 2 diabetes to manage blood sugar without having to give up on many of their favorite foods and beverages.

Because of increased use of Sucralose over the years, however, high concentrations of it has been popping up in the environment and there have been worries about how the artificial sweetener may influence infants, children and even animals. One big worry has been potential affects on brain growth.
Two Swedish researchers, Dr Viberg and Dr Fredriksson set out to study the possible neurotoxicity of sucralose in mice. They gave just mice an oral dose of 5-125 mg of sucralose per kilogram bodyweight per day on days 8 through 12 immediately after their birth.
Then, the researchers killed the mice and analyzed their brains. They checked for key proteins and found no alterations that would indicate a disturbance to neuronal development.
Thus, they concluded, sucralose “seems to be a safe alternative for people”, and possibly even during pregnancy, as it does not affect growth and development of the brain.
Viberg H, Fredriksson A. Neonatal exposure to sucralose does not alter biochemical markers of neuronal development or adult behavior. Nutrition. 2010 Jan 27. [Epub ahead of print]

Published by David Despain, MS, CFS

David is a science and health writer living on Long Island, New York. He's written for a variety of publications including Scientific American, Outside Online, the American Society for Nutrition's (ASN) Nutrition Notes Daily, and Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) Food Technology magazine and Live! blog. He's also covered new findings reported at scientific meetings including Experimental Biology, AAAS, AOCS, CASW, Sigma Xi, IFT, and others on his personal blog "Evolving Health." David is also an active member of organizations including the National Association of Science Writers (NASW), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Society for Nutrition, the Institute of Food Technologists, and the National Audubon Society. David has a master's degree in human nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, and a bachelor's degree in English from University of Illinois at Springfield. He also earned his Certified Food Scientist credential from the Institute of Food Technologists.

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