Is Splenda SAFE for Diabetics? New evidence says NO!
Splenda states that their product is safe for diabetics, per their website:
“Even though SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener starts with sugar, it goes through a process that changes it into a no-calorie, non-carbohydrate sweetener…
…The body does not recognize SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener as a sugar. In fact, clinical studies have shown that SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener (sucralose) does not affect blood glucose levels, insulin, or HbA1c.1-3 In a meal plan for people with diabetes, up to 4 packets of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener or up to 8 teaspoons of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated, are considered a “free food.”
Yet other studies found that this artificial sugar does affect the Hba1C marker:
“One small study of diabetic patients using the sweetener showed a statistically significant increase in glycosylated hemoglobin (Hba1C), which is a marker of long-term blood glucose levels and is used to assess glycemic control in diabetic patients. According to the FDA, “increases in glycosolation in hemoglobin imply lessening of control of diabetes.”
And a recent study published in Diabetes Care found that:
“data demonstrate that sucralose affects the glycemic and insulin responses to an oral glucose load in obese people“
Well, it certainly seems that we have conflicting information here regarding the safety of Splenda with those who have diabetes.
So let’s dig a bit deeper.
Which leads us to investigate the Glycemic Index (GI), since glycemic control is the real issue here. And there is nowhere better to go than to the “home of the glycemic index – the official website for the glycemic index and international GI database, which is based in the Human Nutrition Unit, School of Molecular Bioscience, University of Sydney”. Their explanation of the GI is one of the best I have found:
“The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high GI are those which are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low-GI foods, by virtue of their slow digestion and absorption, produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels, and have proven benefits for health. Low GI diets have been shown to improve both glucose and lipid levels in people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). They have benefits for weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger. Low GI diets also reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance.”
So what is the GI of Splenda? Well, many people think Splenda and sucralose are interchangeable, but this is not at all correct.
Sucralose on it’s own does appear to have a GI of zero, however this is not the GI of Splenda. The fact is Splenda does contain sucralose, but it also contains two other sugars: Dextrose and Maltodextrin. And these sugars have a GI of 100 & 130 respectively.
Back to the studies quoted. BOTH are only speaking about sucralose (Splenda), but what of dextrose and maltodextrin, which are now found in nearly all food ? Both of their GI is over 100! And The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, seems to be aligned with “Home of the Glycemic Index”, Sydney: the higher the GI, the higher the glycemic load, the higher the risk of type 2 diabetes!
And remember the GI of regular ‘ol sugar is 65; well below 100.
But what of those who already have diabetes:
“Among patients with diabetes, the weight of evidence suggests that replacing high-glycemic-index with low-glycemic-index forms of carbohydrate will improve glycemic control and reduce hypoglycemic episodes among those treated with insulin.”
In 2013, there was study published in Journal Diabetes Care which found something interesting. They concluded that:
“These data demonstrate that sucralose affects the glycemic and insulin responses to an oral glucose load in obese people who do not normally consume NNS (nonnutritive sweeteners)”
One could get the impression here that if you simply consume more NNS then it shouldn’t be a problem anymore, right?
Wrong! In fact it only gets worse for this sugar substitute!
Many people are not aware that as of June 12, 2013, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) downgraded Splenda from “SAFE” to “Caution“. There reasoning? It seems an Italian Study found that this artificial sweetener in linked with leukemia in mice.
And another study published in Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health found something even more deadly:
“Cooking with sucralose at high temperatures was reported to generate chloropropanols, a potentially toxic class of compounds…”
What they are talking about here are chlorinated compounds, as well as, deadly dioxins or better known as: The Most Toxic Chemicals Known to Science
The more we seem to learn about Splenda (and other artificial sweeteners), I’d say the better off you are sticking with modest amounts of good ‘ol old fashion raw sugarcane!