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Splenda Reduces Gut Bacteria in Rats

Posted Nov 22 2009 10:00pm

This 2008 study done at Duke University found that small amounts of Splenda — similar to what a person might consume — reduced “beneficial bacteria” in the guts of rats. The effect was very large (reduction by about 50% in 12 weeks) and occurred even at the lowest dose, which was lower than what the FDA allows. Most ominous of all, the effect had not levelled off after 12 weeks. The number of bacteria was still going down.

Within a day two different people told me (in the comments to this blog) about this study, which was published a year ago. A press release about the study. The research was funded by the Sugar Association. Someone recently told me that the only way doctors learn about bad side effects of this or that drug is when drug reps selling competing drugs tell them. While reading about this I came across this chilling comment:

Excitotoxins are implicated in Parkinson’s as well… makes you wonder about Michael J. Fox - his time as Diet Pepsi’s spokesperson and his admitted addiction to the stuff for decades. I remember seeing an interview with him. His head was shaking from the Parkinson’s and his Diet Pepsi was right next to him.

One of the authors of the Duke study is a professor of psychiatry, Susan Schiffman. An earlier study of hers had pro -Splenda results.

More The makers of Splenda issued a press release that could not be less convincing. The study, it says, has “major deficiencies” that include “a lack of appropriate control groups necessary for understanding results.” No statement of what those control groups are. The press release also claims that because the investigators did not measure food and water intake, the results are meaningless! The idiotic press release is made even more curious by the statement quoted in the comments below, that “Drs. Abou-Donia and Schiffman admitted that some of the results recorded in their report submitted to the court were not actually observed or were based on experiments that had not been conducted.” But these, too, are not described. Which means to me that the details are not on Splenda’s side, or they would have been presented. It sounds like really bad news for Splenda.

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