Like many artificial sweeteners, sucralose (Splenda) was discovered by accident. In 1975, some chemists in London were trying to create a new insecticide when the graduate student misunderstood his advisor’s directions to test the substance and instead tasted it! It tasted sweet. Realizing the possibilites, the researchers soon teamed up with a British sugar company and began experimenting with different chlorinated sugars and eventually came up with “1,6-dichloro-1,6-dideoxy-beta-D-fructofuranosyl-4-chloro-4-deoxy-alpha-D-galatopyranoside”- doesn’t that sound yummy? They renamed it sucralose in order to make it sound more natural.
Chlorine, not to be confused with chloride, is highly toxic and a class-one carcinogen. Sucralose is made by adding three chlorine ions to a sugar molecule, which makes it an organochlorine. Other notable organochlorines include DDT, Agent Orange, PCBs, CFC’s, and chloroform.
The Splenda company will tell you that their product is completely safe – “made from sugar so it tastes like sugar”. In fact, the longest human studies were only 13 weeks long and were focused on blood sugar levels, not safety. Who knows what the long term effects are? DDT was once touted as a perfectly safe pesticide, and look how that turned out! I predict that in the years to come, sucralose will be banned from the market because we will start to find links to cancer or other diseases.
I will admit, when Splenda was first introduced I was excited to have a new calorie-free sugar substitute that was supposedly safe. But once I read the book Sweet Deception by Dr Joseph Mercola, I immediately rid my pantry of any Splenda-containing foods. I urge you to do the same!