Sucralose is a zero-calorie artificial sweetener that is used in a large variety of beverages, foods and health supplements. Due to the fact that it is a zero-calorie sweetener, it is present in a ton of dietary supplements. It has actually become fairly difficult to find supplements WITHOUT Sucralose. Due to the fact that it is present in so many supplements, the obvious question would be, is Sucralose Safe?
What is Sucralose?
Sucralose was accidentally discovered in a lab by researchers in 1976. The story of how it was discovered is unfortunately too stupid to be false. One of the researchers misheard an order to “test” the substance later named Sucralose and instead heard “taste”. Said researcher then tasted the substance instead and the rest is history.
Sucralose is defined by researchers as a chlorinated sugar that is approximately 600 times as sweet as sugar. To me, that description alone is enough not to want it anywhere near me.
Sucralose is typically known and marketed under the brand name Splenda. While Splenda is not 100 % Sucralose, it is Sucralose based and used interchangeably by many. It’s typically added to anything with the words “diet” or “low calorie” in it.
The process of making Sucralose actually starts off with ordinary table sugar. The composition of the sugar is then changed by replacing three hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sugar molecule with three chlorine atoms. You read that right. Chlorine. Like the kind you put in your pool.
Sucralose is a very controversial sweetener and to be honest, there isn’t a conclusive answer of whether it is safe or not despite what producers of it claim. It is considered safe by the U. S Food & Drug Administration, but research has called the label into question. There is not a ton of scientific research on the side effects of Sucralose on humans that I was able to locate. Like many other controversial foods and products with a high revenue stream, it seems like the companies that create products containing Sucralose, have done a good job stifling consumer complaints online.
Although I have known about the negative side effects of Sucralose for at least 10 years through personal experience, further research on it paints an even darker aura around it. There is a lot of shady things surrounding Sucralose that I do not like at all. From dishonest studies to lawsuits regarding false advertising, there are major issues with this sweetener for me.
There has been a LARGE amount of complaints regarding negative side effects from products containing Sucralose. The major complaints seem to be gastrointestinal problems, seizures, dizziness, migraines, blurred vision, allergic reactions, blood sugar increases, weight gain, panic attacks and anxiety.
Like I said, I have a strong feeling that websites documenting the negative side effects of Sucralose/Splenda are being targeted and removed to protect the companies but here are just a few reports on the negative side effects from consumers. They are very disturbing to say the least.
My personal experience with Sucralose
Around the fall of 2009 while I was in college, I suddenly began to experience very powerful panic attacks and general anxiety. I never had experienced any of these issues in my life prior and was not the type to be anxious. I would suddenly get bouts of extreme trouble breathing, rapid heart beat and an overall feeling of panic where I literally felt like jumping out of my skin. I was not able to function and almost became house bound. It was the most awful and scary health experience that I ever had. I ended up in the emergency room during this time only to be told by doctors that there was nothing wrong with me. If you have every had a legitimate panic attack, you know exactly what I am talking about. This was not just a case of extreme worrying over some issue or problem. It was a physical attack from my body.
While I was experiencing these episodes, I researched the symptoms non-stop attempting locate the cause of them, so that I could make this personal hell end. Anxiety and panic attacks can be a complex issue and there is no known single one cause to them, so I am not going to claim that there is.
I honestly cannot remember how I came to it, but I ended up on a website discussing how Sucralose can contribute to and cause anxiety and panic attacks in people. I found people complaining of the same exact issues that I was experiencing. It also happened that I was probably consuming the most bodybuilding supplements at the time leading up to this that I probably ever had. I was downing toxic chemical-filled whey protein powders and inhaling garbage pre-workout powders by the scoop.
Prior to this time, I had zero knowledge of what Sucralose was. I doubt I ever even read the labels on the supplements that I was taking at that time. I just assumed that if they could be sold in supplement stores, then they had been deemed to be completely safe. Boy was I wrong. After learning that Sucralose was essentially sugar mixed with Chlorine, I examined my protein powders and pre-workout powders and found that they all contained Sucralose. Even the protein bars I was consuming contained it. My eyes were forcibly opened wide on that day.
I immediately stopped consuming any supplement containing Sucralose and low and behold, the vast majority of the problems I was experiencing disappeared immediately.
Look, I know the naysayers will say that it was most likely some other reason that the symptoms I was experiencing disappeared but that’s nonsense. It literally took days for the feeling to go away during a time frame where I changed nothing else in my life. It’s not that difficult through food or supplement elimination to determine if something is causing or contributing to an issue that you are having.
This issue is very personal for me. I wrote this article because Sucralose is present in a large majority of commercial supplements and many people, much like I was, are in the dark with it. If you came into this article looking for scientific research proving indefinitely whether Sucralose is safe or not; I’m sorry I can’t give it to you based on the research. Nobody can. There is research available that can be used to make claims both for and against its safety.
While scientific evidence and research is certainly important for understanding the effects of things that we put into our bodies, I do not believe that it is the end all be all. Many of these studies are done on animals and not humans. Also, many studies have been found to be paid for by the company/product that is being studied which will obviously bias the results.
When it comes to supplements, I seek out reviews from real people. If a certain supplement has “scientific evidence” documenting its effectiveness but the vast majority of consumers are rating it as garbage then why would I buy it? Who cares what the studies found. Human consumption of the product says that its trash!
My personal experience alone with Sucralose is enough for me to know that it hazardous to my health. I cannot speak on what will be hazardous to your health. I know that I will never intentionally consume Sucralose ever again. The complaints on the side effects of Sucralose and its related products online and from people I have spoken to, are enough for me to draw a strong opinion against it.
I will never review or promote any supplements on this site that contain Sucralose, even if they work. Like I have said, my goal is to provide you with reviews on healthy supplements that you can feel good about using. If I can’t feel good about using the supplement than I have no interest in reviewing it for you.
To the companies that use Sucralose in your products, I recommend producing supplements with alternative natural sweeteners like Stevia. There have been many supplements that I planned on trying until I realized it contained Sucralose.
I would be interested to hear in your experiences with Sucralose below.