Seems like everyone I know who is not as holistically minded as me is turning to Splenda as a substitute for sugar. When I have asked these people what they thought Splenda was their answers were all the same….Sugar.
Unfortunately, for consumers there is a great deal of propaganda circulating to make people think that Splenda is the same as sugar. In fact, Splenda derives from a chlorocarbon chemical that contains three atoms of chlorine which the manufacture calls sucralose. The manufacturer calls it sucralose because it sounds like sucrose which is actually table sugar.
There have been no long term studies conducted on the human consumption of Splenda so, like aspartame there is no way of knowing if this product is even safe for consumption.
One study that was conducted at Duke University concluded “Evidence indicates that a 12 week administration of Splenda exerted numerous adverse effects, including a reduction in beneficial faecal microflora, an increased faecal pH, and enhanced expression levels of P-gp, CYP3A4, and CYP2D1, which are known to limit the bioavailability of orally administered drugs,” concluded the researchers.” (Click here for study)
The good news is that the FDA, although not officially approving Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) as a natural sweetener, has issued letters of non-objection for it’s use. What this means is that even though it has not been “officially” approved it can be used in food and beverages.
Since I am an herbalist and this is an herbal blog I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you a little about Stevia rebaudiana:
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana)
Stevia is a herb which is native to South American and has been used for centuries as a natural sweetener. The use of the herb as a sweetener adds no calories and no known side effects. The leaves are said to be 300 times sweeter than sugar.