The Dangers of Sucralose in Nutritional Supplements
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Whether you are a competitive athlete or simply someone who is looking to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, you are most likely consuming some sort of nutritional supplement to help you achieve your personal fitness goals. Now we have all heard the stories about nutritional supplement companies sneaking in questionable or illegal ingredients to enhance the product’s results until the FDA catches wind of such shenanigans and brings it to a halt. However, I’d like to bring your attention to a much more transparent, well known and easy-to-avoid additive: Sucralose, also known as Splenda.
Sucralose is the extremely common artificial sweetener that is found in a massive amount of the foods, drinks and nutritional supplements that you see and possibly consume on a daily basis. Like most artificial sweeteners, there have always been rumors that they cause everything from cancer to male pattern baldness to cellulite; none of which am I going to discuss here. Research over the past few years has demonstrated that sucralose contributes to an incredibly damaging destruction within our bodies when quantities well within the USDA’s published safe levels are consumed.
Without getting into too much scientific jargon, it has been proven that the consumption of sucralose leads to decreased levels of microflora and bacteria in your gut (I have provided links below to studies for those who are interested). While our bodies contain both good and bad bacteria, sucralose destroys a higher proportion of good than bad according to the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. On a scarier note, we are not talking about minor changes; we are talking about numbers ranging from 39-79%. Of these decreases, some bacteria maintained reductions over 70% after 12-weeks of recovery from ingestion.
The Importance of Microflora and Bacteria in Your Gut
For those of you that understand the importance of bacteria in our gut, you have probably already begun to throw away everything you own that contains sucralose. If you are not as familiar with its importance, let me outline just a few of the many benefits and functions of our gut’s bacteria:
- Without your body’s microflora, you would die. That is a pretty good one… but I’ll keep going.
- They aid in the absorption of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
- They help to maintain our immune system.
- Support digestive regularity.
While there are a countless additions I could add to this list, I just wanted to point out a few that should really hit home with anyone interested in fitness, health and athletic performance. Clearly, the consumption of sucralose is, in some part, working against your personal fitness and health goals. Unfortunately, the nutritional supplement market uses sucralose like it is a mandatory ingredient. Now that you are armed with this information, take the time to research your purchases and demand high quality, sucralose-free nutritional supplements. Your gut will thank you.
Splenda alters gut microflora and increases intestinal p-glycoprotein and cytochrome p-450 in male rats. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18800291
Sucralose, a synthetic organochlorine sweetener: overview of biological issues. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3856475/