The Potential Dangers of Sucralose Page 2 (of 4)

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December 03, 2000 | 40,535 views

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I have been suffering on and off for over two years from intense itching all over my body. It would go away for a while after I decided to stop taking in anything suspicious. I blamed it on beer, chocolate, caffeine, laundry soap, chlorine in the home water system, and just plain getting older. I could never quite pin the exact cause down. I went to my doctor, who even took a biopsy and couldn't determine anything, then I went to a dermatologist who also was completely stumped. Then I read your testimonials and discovered someone had a reaction very similar to mine. I stopped taking any foods made with Splenda and now four weeks later, my itching is gone and I can definitely link my reaction to this poison.

I thought, like many others, that it couldn't be my Diet-Rite, or my hot chocolate, because, after all, it's made from sugar! What could be more pure?! I found that Splenda caused me to be super sensitive to other things, which made it more difficult to isolate. Also, it took over three weeks for most of it to work out of my system. Now, I realize that my joint aches and pains were also linked to Splenda. My knees, and shoulders were getting very painful to move and now they feel great! I can't believe this is marketed as the best thing since sliced bread! I saw an ad with smiling children drinking Splenda-laced soda pop and eating Splenda-laced ice cream, happy presumably, now that they're being poisoned just like adults. It's downright scary! I feel like making up signs with the skull and crossbones overlaid on the Splenda logo and leaving them in grocery stores. This should not be allowed to continue being sold or used! Thank you again, for saving my sanity and most likely, my life!

--Cliff Vrla

One more account of Splenda-induced sickness including anxiety and panic, diarrhea and vomiting. I started the Atkins diet and was using Splenda, but not too much--a couple packets a day plus what is in the Atkins bars and shakes once a day. Well, my anxiety from years ago returned and I ended up with my first panic attack in years. Plus, I was so ill one evening, I couldn't get off the toilet for almost an hour. I have changed my diet around, eliminating and re-adding things until I can only identify the cause as Splenda. I can't believe they say this stuff is OK for small children!! It makes me furious!!


My dentist told me to use Splenda in my coffee instead of sugar. Now it seems I am losing my sense of taste. Is this from Splenda? I'm going back to sugar. This is too freaky.

--Mendy Lewis

I had been eating the Atkin's "Advantage" bars for a long time (but only several a week). The label says that they are sweetened with sucralose, which is the other name for Splenda. Last fall when my husband was on a hunting trip (and I wanted a break from cooking) I drank a lot of canned Atkin's shakes, and they contain tons of sucralose. At the end of the week, one evening, I had unbelievable wretching/vomiting for five hours straight. I could not even get off of the floor. The next day I went on the Internet and did a search for Splenda and sucralose and found that I was not alone. Go to and type in "Splenda" or "sucralose" on Dr. Mercola's search engine. There are around 30 testimonies about it telling of all the adverse reactions that people are having from using it.

Among the many symptoms were "wretching/vomiting". At that time I totally quit using anything with Splenda or sucralose in it. Note: While you are on Dr. Mercola's Web site, type in "Nutrasweet" or "aspartame" (the Diet Coke sweetener) and read about what a poisonous substance THAT is. It has caused blindness and even death.

Three weeks ago (my husband was on a fishing trip this time) I bought some "Lo-carb banana muffins" at the health food store. I didn't check the label, but trusted the "health" food store. I ate one muffin that afternoon and one more in the morning. What happened to me was unbelievable. My left hip joint and the surrounding muscles became so extremely sore that I had to walk as if I were crippled. Lying on my left side caused excruciating pain.

At the time I thought that I had developed a combination of osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia (but OVERNIGHT?). I even bought a book called "The Arthritis Cure." I also went on a total cleansing diet, which soon eliminated the symptoms. I prayed for understanding. Finally (after a week) I tracked down what had happened to me. The label on the muffin package said that they contained "sucralose." I printed out and re-read the testimonies on Dr. Mercola's site and was amazed to see that others had experienced these same symptoms, plus many others, including depression and panic attacks.

Unfortunately, with the "Low-Carb Craze" Splenda and sucralose are in everything now. I saw regular Pepsi at WalMart yesterday with a sign that said: "1/2 the sugar." I looked at the label and sure enough, it said: "sucralose."

The problem is that people won't believe it unless they have experienced it themselves. When I tell people about it, they say that sucralose doesn't bother them, that I must have an allergy to it or a sensitive body. Well, believe me, it affects EVERYONE, whether they believe it or not! The whole world is looking for cures for cancer, arthritis, MS, MD, and all those terrible diseases. Do they want to check out the chemical poisons in our food supply? Oh, no! Of course not! Big business is too worried about the almighty dollar!

--originally posted on Barbara Dewey's Web site

I have been using Splenda for quite a few years. I ended up, about six years ago, with anxiety and over the past two years I have been having flushing, feeling cranky, having cold chills, feeling like my skin is hot and ended up with high blood pressure. The worse part was the heavy feeling and stiffness I was having in my legs. Most times I could hardly bend down to pick things up I felt so tight and stiff in my legs and feet.

I just read a forward that was sent to me last week on aspartame and it dawned on me that the Splenda might be causing my problems. I phoned the company in the Toronto area about a year or so ago to ask about it and they told me it was made from the pure sugar cane and was safe to eat. Since I came off of it within the last four days I can hardly believe how good I feel. Hopefully, this will touch other people and make them realize that we are poisoning ourselves for those companies to get rich.


I have just recently started researching the dangers of Splenda. About two years ago I began drinking Fruit20 water made by Veryfine. That's when my problems started, but I didn't start putting things together until just now. Two years ago I got Bells Palsy on the left side of my face. One week into that I was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia because of the excruciating pain along with the palsy. Still kept drinking the water ... long story short. Fourteen months later I got Bells Palsy on the right side of my face along with trigeminal neuralgia on the right side also--now I'm bi-lateral, doctors seem to think this is rare ... still kept drinking the water and mixing with meds, pain gets worse, and now they tell me I have a neurological disorder called Atypical Facial Pain with the bonus disorder of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome ... still kept drinking the water.

I finally get smart and start thinking about my two-year history and think about the Splenda in the water and that leads me to you. I truly in my heart think I have been poisoned by either Splenda or aspartame, although I do not knowingly use aspartame.

Putting my whole story in an e-mail is very difficult, but I have stopped drinking the Fruit20 for six days now and at least my feet have stopped tingling. Hopefully, some of the other things that are going wrong are reversible. I am only 44 years old. I believe they need to take this awful product off the market.

UPDATE: I stopped using Splenda on June 1, 2004 and any aspartame that I may have been getting in error (I now read all labels). I am now pain free, which is amazing because I was using a morphine patch for the pain and percocet for the break-through pain. I stopped using pain meds on July 4, 2004 and have only had to use 1 1/2 tablets of percocet since then. I must have gotten one of the two poisons when I went out to eat but the pain comes back within two hours of ingestion.

--Cynthia A. Schmidt

I began having migraines every day and this continued for six months until I figured out that they began when I started using Splenda. I stopped using it and the headaches have stopped.

--Nancy K

Monday, on the advice of a physician, I started eating an occasional container of yogurt sweetened with Splenda, and using one packet of Splenda in the morning to sweeten a morning smoothie. I want to stress that the amount that I have so far ingested is miniscule--two packets and perhaps three yogurts in all.

I have a history of depression, but have been going through a particularly stable phase for quite a few years. By Tuesday, I noticed some signs of a depressed effect creeping up, but I thought I could exercise and meditate and head it off.

By Wednesday, I noticed that I had become remarkably irritable with my children. By Thursday, I called my husband at work to tell him that I was afraid I would either commit homicide or suicide. I felt fatigued, apathetic, hateful and unable to engage in my daily work.

By Friday, I was obsessed with hateful thoughts, leading me to contemplate immediately divorcing my husband and abandoning my children. This is despite ceasing consumption of Splenda after Wednesday morning.

Thank heavens I found your testimonials so I can see that these unwanted emotions are reactions to the Splenda; now I can steel myself to ride them out instead of acting on them. I will be speaking with my physician at the earliest opportunity to warn him about my symptoms and the symptoms listed in your other testimonials.

--Lori Smulling

I had problems with Splenda quite a few years ago, so I'll do my best to describe my experiences. I'd had real sugar all my life until I moved out of home. At that point I thought I'd be healthier using Splenda in my coffees and on my breakfast instead of using real sugar. It didn't happen immediately for me, but after a couple of weeks of regular use, one night after dinner I fell very ill. I had sort of a stitch feeling like when you go running. I decided to walk it off and felt a bit nauseous and faint. That night I experienced food poisoning-type symptoms and basically kept running back to the bathroom for most of the night.

That was my most severe reaction. I put it down to the meal I had that night and continued along as normal. The next few times I didn't throw up or anything, but I really wished I could! My stomach had that stitch feeling again and it felt like gases were swirling around in my stomach and were trapped. I was unable to release the gas and had to suffer for a few days at a time. I tried Buscopan, Panadeine, Forte, Mercyndol and anything I could get my hands on to alleviate the pain. On separate occasions I spent nights in the Hospital Emergency Ward, twice receiving a Buscopan combination injection.

I went to the GP the first few times and then was referred to a gastrointestinal specialist. I had tests for my gallbladder and my large bowel. All test results were fine. I kept a food diary in an attempt to find a pattern, but nothing was found.

Then I read something about phenylananine and aspartame allergies and even though Splenda was supposed to be made from sugar, I decided to go back to the real stuff and avoided anything "diet." Since doing that I have not experienced the stomach problems once. All that money spent on specialists and drugs and that's all it took.

--Charisse Ditcham
Melbourne, Australia

Dear Dr. Mercola,

I wanted to thank you for posting your article regarding sucralose, and to inform you of my reaction to eating it today.

I bought a low-carb bar called "Ultimate Lo Carb" by Biochem at a local health food store. I have been eating foods low in starchy carbs and thought this might be a good snack bar. Well, almost immediately after eating eat I became nauseous. Then my stomach starting cramping and I began dry heaving.

I wondered what could have caused this and decided to try and read the label. The only ingredient I did not recognize was "sucralose."

So, I jumped on the internet and did a search for it and found your article. In the meantime I was heaving and feeling even worse. Well, I am allergic to chlorine, as well as having a liver that doesn't function very well (I take a natural supplement called "Lipogen" for liver support as prescribed by my ND), and when I saw what you had to say about sucralose, I figured that was what was causing it.

I kept feeling worse, and I decided I needed to get it out of my system and took some ipecac (maybe not the best move, but the only thing I could think of). By the time the syrup got into my stomach the heaving was getting worse and intestinal distress was setting in. It was like eating bad seafood. I nearly died of food poisoning by crab legs a number of years back, and this was the closest thing to that feeling.

Finally everything in my system started coming out, and my body didn't stop until my entire digestive tract was cleared out. I have never reacted this violently to anything I have eaten except for when I have had food poisoning.

Something needs to be done to get this product off the market.

I can't help but be convinced that the FDA takes payoffs. No ethical person could approve the use of things like MSG (another thing I cannot tolerate eating), which is classified by the FDA as an excitotoxin and is known to be harmful to the central nervous system. I will do everything to get people to read your article and get the word out on the FDA's latest blunder.

Shelley Flis

Dear Dr. Mercola,

I first visited your Web site about a year and a half ago when I realized that I was getting sick after two days of using Splenda. I had stirred one or two packets of granulated Splenda into a glass of iced tea and immediately became nauseous. The feeling came on so strongly the first day that I didn't even finish the tea, but didn't yet connect it to what I was ingesting.

The second day, I had taken my iced tea with me in the car and was driving to the store. It was a very hot day and as I was driving I became increasingly ill. I parked in the parking lot, opening the car door and immediately vomited. When I got home I searched the Internet for Splenda articles and found your site. I threw out my Splenda and didn't think much more of it.

However, I work at Starbucks and we have recently started carrying the granulated Splenda packets for customer use (as we also have Sweet 'n Low, Equal, and Sugar in the Raw). I was pretty upset to find that we were carrying this product that I had such a strong reaction to, and have tried to educate my co-workers about it after I heard one of them telling a customer that it was great, and is safe because it is made from sugar (which is NOT true!).

We also have been getting in Jones bottled sodas and received a case for sampling. I took a bottle of sugar-free black cherry (again, not thinking anything of it because I regularly drink diet coke) and was almost finished with it when I began to feel sick again. Thinking "oh no," I looked at the label and sure enough, "sweetened with Splenda!" Splenda has got a lot of contracts with food companies now, so please, check labels of the food you buy. The Splenda logo is all over lately.

I wrote to the Splenda people about my experience and was brushed off. They replied saying, "Splenda has no known side effects." I encourage every one of you who has had a negative experience with Splenda to write them--they can't deny all of our experiences!

Allison B.

I was recently diagnosed with diabetes and my doctor highly recommended eating foods with Splenda in it--funny, he told me to stop taking my herbs who are prescribed under a homeopathic doctor because of the side effects. Of coarse I kept taking my herbs because I am getting better on them. I started eating foods with Splenda and had severe intestinal cramping and diarrhea, kind of like flu symptoms. I thought I had an intestinal virus until some people told me about the Splenda side effects. I eat plain sugar in very small amounts now--it's probably safer.


I have a friend who has been feeling short of energy for about 6 + months and has been getting painful boils under her arms and breasts--not just a few. Something told her to stop the Splenda as it might be causing some problems. Within a week she had her old energy back and all the boils disappeared.

--Bob Bard

About a year or so ago I stopped at a drug store and bought a Pure protein bar and ate it in my car while driving. Within moments, my hands started itching and my vision started to fade to black. I knew I was about to lose consciousness, so I quickly pulled off the highway and ran into a restaurant to ask for help. I collapsed on the floor soon afterwards and went into a seizure. I could understand everyone around me, but I could not communicate verbally for some time afterward; all I could do was repeat one syllable over and over.

Meanwhile, the paramedics came and took me to the hospital. I was covered with hives and shaking uncontrollably. I was injected with steroids and many other medications and observed for a few hours while I went through an inner hell. Needless to say, the cost of the Pure protein bar, when all was said and done, was around $3,000.

I didn't know, until today looking at your Web site, what sucralose was. Yesterday my sister had a reaction to yogurt that contained Splenda--her eyes started itching, then turned beat red. I went online to look up Splenda and now realize why I ended up in the hospital last year.

Linda Rainshaw

"I stopped using Splenda some time ago now. Whenever I used it in coffee or tea (especially in coffee) I always seemed to suffer bloating and develop a sick feeling in the stomach."

Christina Elliott

I have had chronic diarrhea and my neck has been itching and swelling for about year. I went to a doctor on a number of occasions and had a series of uncomfortable and embarrassing tests. I also changed my diet. Nothing helped until I ran across your Web site last week and saw the picture of the lady with the red, inflamed neck. It looked just like what had happened to me on a couple of occasions this year (no one knew what was causing it). The picture prompted me to try cutting out the Splenda and suddenly all of my symptoms disappeared.

I only used about three packages of Splenda with coffee in the morning and rarely one or two with tea in the evening, but it was enough to make me sick every day. The GI symptoms were like food poisoning. We are exposed to so much poison these days, how can we tell which ones are making us sick? Thank you for helping me to feel better.

Pat in Oregon

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