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Lawsuit Against Splenda Moves Forward

December 25, 2007 | 70,187 views
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A federal court has rejected a request for summary judgment in a lawsuit regarding claims of false advertising for the artificial sweetener Splenda. This means that the case will go ahead as planned.

The plaintiff in the case is the Sugar Association, which has long claimed that Splenda’s marketing slogan – “Made from sugar so it tastes like sugar” -- is being used to make consumers believe that the artificial sweetener contains natural sugar.

The manufacturers of Splenda (Johnson & Johnson, representing its subsidiary firm McNeil Nutritionals), requested a summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiffs had unreasonably delayed bringing suit. This request was rejected, and the claims against Johnson & Johnson will be heard by a jury at a trial, which is now scheduled to begin on January 29, 2008.
 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

This trial will likely increase public knowledge about the fact that Splenda (sucralose) is not sugar, but rather an artificial sweetener in line with aspartame and saccharin, which will be a positive outcome. However, I doubt the real truth about Splenda’s health dangers -- which I go through in depth in my book, Sweet Deception -- will get out there.

Avoiding sugar is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle, but, instead of doing so by consuming a naturally low-sugar diet based on whole foods, some people are still trying to have their cake and eat it too. As I emphasized in my previous NY Times best-selling book, The No-Grain Diet, it is not the carbs that are the major issue, it is the type of carbs. That's why the low-carb craze, which did not make this distinction, failed for many.

Splenda Causes Biochemical Distortions

Splenda, best known for its marketing logo, "made from sugar so it tastes like sugar,” has taken the sweetener industry by storm, becoming the number one selling artificial sweetener in the United States.

But consuming foods that contain artificially or naturally sweetened substances can cause serious distortions in your biochemistry. For example, if you drink diet soda in an attempt to lose weight, they won't help you. Instead, diet soft drinks can actually double your obesity risks!

Nearly a decade ago, studies were already revealing that artificial sweeteners can:

  • Stimulate your appetite
  • Increase carbohydrate cravings
  • Stimulate fat storage and weight gain

It’s amazing how long it can take for the truth to finally seep into your mind when you’re bombarded with misinformation through mass advertisements and clever PR campaigns directed at your doctors, who in turn advocate the use of these dangerous substances.

Splenda Has Never Been Proven Safe For Human Consumption

Many adverse reactions to Splenda are posted on our site. In fact, we have more people on our site that have reported adverse reactions to Splenda than were formally studied in the research submitted for FDA approval!

As of 2006, only six human trials had been published on Splenda (sucralose), and of those six trials, only two were completed and published before the FDA approved sucralose for human consumption. The two published trials had a grand total of 36 total human subjects. Of those, only 23 people were actually given sucralose for testing.  

Additionally, the longest trial had lasted only four days and looked at sucralose in relation to tooth decay, not human tolerance. They claim that over 100 studies have been conducted on Splenda. What they don't tell you is that most of the studies are on animals.

And, those animal studies reveal plenty of problems, such as: 

  • Decreased red blood cells -- sign of anemia -- at levels above 1,500 mg/kg/day
  • Increased male infertility by interfering with sperm production and vitality, as well as brain lesions at higher doses
  • Enlarged and calcified kidneys (McNeil stated this is often seen with poorly absorbed substances and was of no toxicological significance. The FDA Final Rule agreed that these are findings that are common in aged female rats and are not significant.)
  • Spontaneous abortions in nearly half the rabbit population given sucralose, compared to zero aborted pregnancies in the control group 
  • A 23 percent death rate in rabbits, compared to a 6 percent death rate in the control group 

Chemically, Splenda is More Similar to DDT Than Sugar 

Yes. Splenda bears more chemical similarity to DDT than it does to sugar. Sucralose starts off as a sugar molecule. However, sucralose is a synthetic chemical that was originally cooked up in a laboratory.  

In the five-step patented process of making sucralose, three chlorine molecules are added to a sucrose (sugar) molecule. A sucrose molecule is a disaccharide that contains two single sugars bound together, i.e. glucose and fructose. 

The chemical process to make sucralose alters the chemical composition of the sugar so much that it is somehow converted to a fructo-galactose molecule. This type of sugar molecule does not occur in nature, and therefore your body does not possess the ability to properly metabolize it. As a result of this "unique" biochemical make-up, McNeil Nutritionals makes its claim that Splenda is not digested or metabolized by the body, hence it has zero calories.

But, if you look at the research (which is primarily extrapolated form animal studies) you will see that in fact 15 percent of sucralose IS absorbed into your digestive system, and ultimately is stored in your body. To reach the average number of 15 percent means that some people absorb more and some people absorb less, depending on your biochemical makeup.  

And, if you are healthy and your digestive system works well, you may be at HIGHER risk for breaking down this product in your stomach and intestines. 

Are There Healthier Alternatives? 

If you have a craving for sweets, rather than trying to find "healthier" ways to continue indulging in them, it is in your best interest to learn ways to relieve your cravings.  

The obvious one would be to stop eating any of the products to begin with. But sweets are powerfully addictive – sugar has even been shown to be more addictive than cocaine. Stevia is a preferable natural substitute, which can be used in making most dishes and drinks. 

However, complete avoidance of sweets is often necessary to break your addictive cycle, as your hormones insulin and leptin likely play an important role in your cravings. To get you started, understanding how they work can be helpful. 

If you are unable to achieve abstinence from sweets, your emotional connection to cravings might be an important factor for you. One of the most profound methods I know of for diminishing the effects of food cravings is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). EFT is the psychological acupressure technique I routinely use in my practice to help people reduce their cravings.


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