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Is Splenda Bad For You?

Also Known As: sucralose-based artificial sweetener



Short answer

There has been so little actual research done regarding the long-term effects of Splenda on humans that an honest answer is impossible. As with anything, it is always best to err on the side of caution.



Long answer

Splenda is the brand name for sucralose, a substance discovered accidentally in Britain in 1976 when researchers were trying to develop a new pesticide. It is sucrose with three hydroxyl groups replaced by chlorine. There are people on both sides of the fence concerning Splenda - with neither parties having sufficient evidence to say definitively whether or not Splenda is good for humans to put in their bodies. 

There are benefits to Splenda, to be sure. For one thing, consuming Splenda does not cause an insulin spike. This means that diabetics may enjoy food sweetened with the product. Also, there are no calories in Splenda, so it can help people trying to watch their calorie count. 

However, don't be fooled into thinking that just because Splenda has no calories that it is the perfect ingredient for losing weight. Losing weight is not only about calorie management and sucralose may very well lead to weight gain. The reason behind this is that sucralose inhibits dopamine. Among other things, dopamine tells us if we are full or not. Consumption of sucralose may lead to overeating and weight gain. Ironically, some of those foods may contain sugars and lead to diabetes in the long-term. 

Despite claims that Splenda has been extensively tested, there have been no long-term human studies done. The truth about sucralose is that we just do not know the long-term effects. New research from Duke University shows that sucralose plays a part in suppressing beneficial gut flora, something that may lead to gastrointestinal problems. 

Still, it is important to keep in mind that many studies have been funded either by pro-Splenda groups or pro-sugar groups, so results have to be taken with a grain of salt. Until we get some long term studies done by non-biased groups, it is impossible to say with certainty how good or bad Splenda is for the human body.

Possible short-term side effects

  • migraines
  • allergic reaction
  • seizures
  • dizziness

Possible long-term side effects

  • weight gain
  • diabetes

Big is splenda bad for you 2


  • contains no calories
  • does not cause insulin spike

Healthier alternatives

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Written by Jeff Volling | 01-02-2016

Written by Jeff Volling
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