Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Search posts:

Duke Study Not Sweet on Splenda

Posted Nov 30 2008 12:21pm

This came from Consumer Affairs. I was thinking about all the medications most of us with chronic pain issues or RSD in particular take and thought I should post this warning. It’s very important to us!


Study finds Splenda contributes to weight gain, may cause other health problems

By Truman Lewis

Lab Tests Point to Problems with New Sweetener

• Artificial Sweeteners Linked to Weight Gain
• FDA Should Reconsider Aspartame Cancer Risk, Say Experts
• EU Scientists Uphold Safety of Aspartame
• New Zealand Sours on Splenda Ads

A new Duke University study finds that the artificial sweetener
Splenda contributes to obesity, destroys beneficial inteestinal
bacteria and may interfere with absorption of prescription drugs.

It’s the latest in a continuing round of studies, claims and counter-
claims pitting artificial sweeteners against the powerful Sugar
Association, the lobbying group for the sugar industry, which financed
the Duke study.

McNeil Nutritionals, which manufactures Splenda, said the study’s
findings were “unsupported by the data presented” and said Splenda may
be safely used “as part of a healthy diet.” The study is scheduled to
be published in a forthcoming issue of The Journal of Toxicology and
Environmental Health. An advance copy appears on its Web site.

A Minneapolis-based group called Citizens for Health said the Duke
study demonstrates that Splenda is a health threat. The group, headed
by attorney Jim Turner, has been collecting consumer reports of side
effects supposedly caused by Splenda.

“The report makes it clear that the artificial sweetener Splenda and
its key component sucralose pose a threat to the people who consume
the product. Hundreds of consumers have complained to us about side
effects from using Splenda and this study … confirms that the
chemicals in the little yellow package should carry a big red warning
label,” said Turner.

Turner’s group has filed a petition with the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) calling on it to review its approval of sucralose
and to require a warning label on Splenda packaging cautioning that
people who take medications or have gastrointestinal problems avoid
using Splenda.

“The new study makes it clear that Splenda can cause you to gain
weight and lose the benefits of medications designed to improve and
protect your health. The FDA should not continue to turn a blind eye
to this health threat,” Turner said.

In February, a study published in Behavioral Neuroscience cites
laboratory evidence that the widespread use of no-calorie sweeteners
may actually make it harder for people to control their intake and
body weight.

McNeil and the Sugar Association have been waging war in the courts
and the public arena for years. In 2004, the association sued McNeil,
claiming it had misled consumers by claiming that Splenda was “made
like sugar, so it tastes like sugar.”

Splenda’s main ingredient — sucralose — is manufactured. The process
involves the use of a sugar molecule but there is no sugar in the
finished product.

The Duke study was conducted on rats over a 12-week period. A lead
researcher, Dr. Mohamed B. Abou-Donia, said the Sugar Association had
no input into the study’s findings.

Earlier study
In the February study, psychologists at Purdue University’s Ingestive
Behavior Research Center reported that compared with rats that ate
yogurt sweetened with sugar, those given yogurt sweetened with zero-
calorie saccharin later consumed more calories, gained more weight,
put on more body fat, and didn’t make up for it by cutting back later.

Authors Susan Swithers, PhD, and Terry Davidson, PhD, theorize that by
breaking the connection between a sweet sensation and high-calorie
food, the use of saccharin changes the body’s ability to regulate
intake. That change depends on experience.

Problems with self-regulation might explain in part why obesity has
risen in parallel with the use of artificial sweeteners. It also might
explain why, says Swithers, scientific consensus on human use of
artificial sweeteners is inconclusive, with various studies finding
evidence of weight loss, weight gain or little effect.

Because people may have different experiences with artificial and
natural sweeteners, human studies that don’t take into account prior
consumption may produce a variety of outcomes.

Three different experiments explored whether saccharin changed lab
animals’ ability to regulate their intake, using different assessments
– the most obvious being caloric intake, weight gain, and
compensating by cutting back…. Body temperature

The experimenters also measured changes in core body temperature, a
physiological assessment.

Normally when we prepare to eat, the metabolic engine revs up.
However, rats that had been trained to respond using saccharin (which
broke the link between sweetness and calories), relative to rats
trained on glucose, showed a smaller rise in core body temperate after
eating a novel, sweet-tasting, high-calorie meal. The authors think
this blunted response both led to overeating and made it harder to
burn off sweet-tasting calories.

“The data clearly indicate that consuming a food sweetened with no-
calorie saccharin can lead to greater body-weight gain and adiposity
(fat) than would consuming the same food sweetened with a higher-
calorie sugar,” the authors wrote.

The authors acknowledge that this outcome may seem counterintuitive
and might not come as welcome news to human clinical researchers and
health-care practitioners, who have long recommended low- or no-
calorie sweeteners. What’s more, the data come from rats, not humans.

However, they noted that their findings match emerging evidence that
people who drink more diet drinks are at higher risk for obesity and
metabolic syndrome, a collection of medical problems such as abdominal
fat, high blood pressure and insulin resistance that put people at
risk for heart disease and diabetes.

But why?

Why would a sugar substitute backfire?

Swithers and Davidson wrote that sweet foods provide a “salient
orosensory stimulus” that strongly predicts someone is about to take
in a lot of calories. Ingestive and digestive reflexes gear up for
that intake but when false sweetness isn’t followed by lots of
calories, the system gets confused. Thus, people may eat more or
expend less energy than they otherwise would.

The good news, Swithers says, is that people can still count calories
to regulate intake and body weight. However, she sympathizes with the
dieter’s lament that counting calories requires more conscious effort
than consuming low-calorie foods.

Swithers adds that based on the lab’s hypothesis, other artificial
sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame K, which also
taste sweet but do not predict the delivery of calories, could have
similar effects.

Finally, although the results are consistent with the idea that humans
would show similar effects, human study is required for further

Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches