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Did You Know that Splenda is in Your Drinking Water?

November 23, 2010 | 48,192 views
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drinking waterThe human body can't break it down, or use it in any way. And as it turns out, modern wastewater treatment methods don't break down Splenda either.

Smitha Ramakrishna, a finalist in the 2009 Intel Science Talent Search, found that the sweetener can accumulate in the water supply after people excrete it. This could potentially cause harm to fish and other living creatures.

Scientific American reports:

"She tried to start doing research at Arizona State University, though since she was the first high schooler her lab had ever had ... [E]ventually she was allowed to subject sucralose to various treatments, like bacterial digestion, typically used in wastewater treatment plants.

She found that sucralose resisted most of these treatments ... that means almost all the sucralose people eat or drink winds up in the ecosystem."

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Splenda (aka sucralose) was approved by the FDA in 1998 as a tabletop sweetener and for use in products such as baked goods, nonalcoholic beverages, chewing gum, frozen dairy desserts, fruit juices, and gelatins. Sucralose is also permitted as a general-purpose sweetener for all processed foods.

It's become very popular over the last decade as it's claimed your body does not metabolize it and therefore provides no calories.

As I detailed in my book Sweet Deception, researchers have found evidence that Splenda is absorbed by your fat, contrary to claims. This is not good as it will tend to accumulate in your body over time. Since it is chemically related to DDT and no study in the world has looked at toxicity over a few months, it might lead a prudent person to be more cautious with its use.

However, a significant amount is still excreted in your stool and this is what winds up in the water supply.

Is Excreted Splenda Accumulating in the Water Supply?

According to Splenda's Web site for health care professionals:

"Approximately 2% of ingested sucralose is biotransformed into toxicologically insignificant components and excreted in the urine … Most ingested sucralose is eliminated unchanged in the stool … Of the small amount of sucralose that is absorbed, most is eliminated in the urine within 24 hours."

All of this excreted Splenda goes directly into the water supply where Smitha Ramakrishna, a bright 17-year-old and finalist in the 2009 Intel Science Talent Search, found that wastewater treatment methods do not break the compound down.

After testing bacterial digestion and other forms of common wastewater treatments, she found the molecule vastly unchanged. Only a mix of titanium dioxide, ultraviolet light and extensive time broke Splenda down into biodegradable molecules, and these methods are rarely used by treatment facilities.

So there's a good chance that Splenda is readily accumulating in water supplies, where preliminary studies suggest it could poison fish and potentially harm other creatures as well.

The fastest solution to keeping Splenda out of the water supply would be to drastically cut down on its use on a nationwide level … a step that would not only protect the environment but also your individual health as well.

Splenda Secrets You Should Know

Splenda was approved after the FDA supposedly reviewed more than 110 animal and human safety studies, but out of these 110 studies, only two were human studies, and the longest one was conducted for four days!

Those animal studies revealed 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

A recent study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health also found that Splenda:

  • Reduces the amount of good bacteria in your intestines by 50 percent -- a disturbing finding since these bacteria help maintain your body's overall balance of friendly versus unfriendly microorganisms and support your general health.
  • Increases the pH level in your intestines
  • Affects a glycoprotein in your body that can have crucial health effects, particularly if you're on certain medications

I created a page many years ago that contains a long list of personal case studies from readers who have been injured and suffered side effects from Splenda.

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! Please read these case reports when you can and certainly add your own experience if you have noticed a side effect from consuming Splenda.

The symptoms are so numerous I can't include them all here, but the following are common symptoms, usually noticed within a 24-hour period following consumption of Splenda products:

  • Skin -- Redness, itching, swelling, blistering, weeping, crusting, rash, eruptions, or hives (itchy bumps or welts). These are the most common allergic symptoms that people have.
  • Lungs -- Wheezing, tightness, cough, or shortness of breath
  • Head -- Swelling of the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, or throat; headaches and migraines (severe headaches)
  • Nose -- Stuffy nose, runny nose (clear, thin discharge), sneezing
  • Eyes -- Red (bloodshot), itchy, swollen, or watery
  • Stomach -- Bloating, gas, pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or bloody diarrhea
  • Heart -- Palpitations or fluttering
  • Joints -- Joint pains or aches
  • Neurological -- Anxiety, dizziness, spaced-out sensation, depression

Tips for Ditching Splenda

You may become addicted to artificial sweeteners because you have cravings for sweets and think you are making a healthy choice by swapping out sugar for artificial sweeteners … but this is a myth.

For more information about why artificial sweeteners are not a smart health move (for instance did you know they can actually stimulate fat storage and weight gain?) read One More Reason to Ban Artificial Sweeteners from Your Diet.

If you're using Splenda because you're craving sweets, what your body is most likely really craving are healthy nutrients. Finding out your nutritional type will help you understand which foods you need to eat to feel full and satisfied. Once you start eating right for your nutritional type, your sweet cravings typically will significantly lessen and may even disappear.

Meanwhile, be sure you address the emotional component to your food cravings using a tool such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). More than any traditional or alternative method I have used or researched, EFT works to overcome food cravings.

And, if diet soda is the culprit for you, be sure to check out Turbo Tapping, which is an extremely effective and simple tool to get rid of your soda addiction in a short period of time.

For times when you are looking for a healthier sweet treat, the only alternative sweetener I recommend is Stevia. It's a natural plant and, unlike Splenda and other artificial sweeteners that have been cited for dangerous toxicities, it is a safe, natural alternative that's ideal if you're watching your weight or maintaining your health by avoiding sugar.

I must tell you that I am biased; I prefer Stevia as my sweetener of choice, and I frequently use it. However, like most choices, especially sweeteners, I recommend using Stevia in moderation, just like sugar.


[+] Sources and References

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