Breaking: Splenda May Be Linked to Certain Types of Cancer
According to a recent study, limiting your consumption of sucralose, or artificial sweetener Splenda, won’t entirely remove the increased risk of cancer it poses. The only way to protect yourself is to avoid it completely.
Splenda is ubiquitous in the American diet. It is present in more than 4,500 foods and beverages. These include diet sodas and products labeled “sugar-free” or “light.” As sugar has been linked to many diseases, some health conscious people have switched to artificial sweeteners. Yet, research increasingly finds these alternatives may be even more harmful than what they are replacing.
Sucralose/Splenda Linked to Leukemia
In the study at the Ramazzini Institute in Italy, researchers tested the effects of various doses of sucralose in the diet of 457 male mice and 396 female mice. They found that as the level of sucralose rose, the incidence of leukemia and other blood cancers increased in the male mice. A significant risk was found at a dose that would equate to what a person would ingest from consuming 10 sodas per day. Drinking this quantity is rare. But it wouldn’t be impossible to reach the dose if other foods and beverages containing sucralose were consumed.
“And even if you consume less, that doesn’t mean there is no problem,” Lisa Lefferts, senior scientist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), relays to EatClean. “When something causes cancer at high doses, it generally causes cancer at lower doses. The risk is just smaller.”
Watchdog Group Reverses its Position on Sucralose
The findings, which were published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, led the CSPI, a nutrition watchdog group, to advise the public to avoid sucralose. This recommendation is a reversal of its previous ruling that the sweetener was safe, a position it held until 2013. The Italian lab that conducted the study has been criticized in the past. But the CSPI says the results are particularly powerful because the study was independent and not funded by the food industry.
Independently-Funded Studies Versus Industry-Funded Studies
In response to the research, Heartlands Food Products, the U.S. manufacturer of Splenda, said, “The truth is that the collective scientific evidence strongly supports that sucralose is safe and does not cause cancer.” Nevertheless, the company failed to mention that a majority of the “evidence” is from industry-funded studies. “For most food additives, safety studies are conducted by the manufacturers who have financial incentives,” says Lefferts.
Prominent natural health practitioner Dr. Joseph Mercola shares Lefferts’ opinion. In his book Sweet Deception, he notes that studies financed by the food industry find artificial sweeteners are safe, while most of the independent studies find adverse health effects associated with them.
Other Reasons to Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
After the study concluded that the regular consumption of large doses of sucralose was associated with cancer, critics have discounted its importance. However, an expanding body of research reveals artificial sweeteners aren’t the safe food additives the industry would have consumers believe. Studies indicate they cause weight gain rather than weight loss. They also lead to increased belly fat and reduced blood sugar control.
Last year, in response to consumer worries about the safety of the artificial sweetener aspartame, PepsiCo announced that Diet Pepsi would use sucralose instead. The new study finding the link to cancer adds to previous research that indicates the soda manufacturer was merely switching one poison for another.
Looking for a natural sugar substitute? Check out the healthiest options here.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.