I wish I had a pound/dollar/euro/escudo for every time I have mentioned the dangers of sugar substitutes because I could have retired to Cancun years ago – but stick with me because recent news makes it worth repeating.

Three key points about artificial sweeteners:

1          They are not natural but synthetic and chemically based

2          They will not help you lose weight

3          They have side effects

The one most women get hung up on is that sugar substitutes are a low calorie option that will help them lose weight.  However, we are gifted with incredibly clever bodies that have an amazing ability to distinguish between natural and chemical – just check out the bio-identical natural hormones against the synthetic ones in the Pill and HRT if you want another example. The body sees the chemical and finds ways to get the real thing from other sources, so you may as well stick to the original in small quantities.

The major problem I have with the chemical sweeteners is they go to amazing lengths to make you think they are natural – including changing their name whenever the bad press gets too much – seen much aspartame lately?  Don’t believe me?   Well the ingredients list for the newly marketed Splenda Essentials includes B vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants.

Must be healthy and good for you right?  No, because the core ingredient is sucralose, which may sound like a sugar derivative but is entirely manufactured in laboratories as a synthetic compound.  Splenda is derived from sugar but during the manufacturing process, the sugar disappears, and what remains are chlorinated atoms that are bulked up with dextrose and maltodextrin.

Despite its use of sugar as the starting point for making sucralose, in no place do the words “sugar” or “sucrose” appear on Splenda’s ingredients list. That is because under Food and Drug Administration regulations, it cannot list a substance that has vaporized during the manufacturing process.

Sucralose is produced by substituting three chlorine atoms for three hydroxyl groups. Sucralose is not approved for use in most European countries, and one reason may be that the Japanese Food Sanitation Council reports that up to 40% of ingested sucralose is absorbed and can concentrate in the liver, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract, having a negative impact on overall health.

Dr. James Bowen, a biochemist, warns the general public about Splenda, saying, “Sucralose is simply chlorinated sugar.” Bowen’s research also reveals that sucralose can shrink thymus glands and produce liver inflammation in rats and mice.  This is given more credence through a study conducted on rats by researchers at Duke University which determined that Splenda actually contributes to obesity, destroys “good” intestinal bacteria, and can prevent prescription drugs from being absorbed.

Side effects that are commonly associated with sweeteners such as Aspartame, more commonly known as NutraSweet and Equal, include:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • migraines
  • anxiety attacks
  • gastrointestinal discomfort
  • depression
  • skin rashes

These may seem minor, but aspartame is known as an excitotoxin chemical that can lead to neurological diseases like Parkinson’s, MS, Lupus, Alzheimer’s and Fibromyalgia. This toxic chemical basically causes an over excitement of the brain cells until they actually burn out and die. Continued consumption results in cumulative brain damage.

If you want to lose weight, and have a sweet tooth stick with – or go back to – real sugar as it is only 15 calories a teaspoon.  Stay as sweet as you are, but do it naturally not with chemical enhancers.




AnnA Rushton is an experienced author and speaker on health, personal development and creativity. With a background in television, theatre and advertising she is a natural communicator with a particular interest in womens health and holistic medicine. Her books include 'Natural Progesterone', How to Cope Successfully With Stress', 'Tips For Hot Flushes', 'Dealing With Procrastination' and 'How To Write Your Life Story' all of which are available at http://www.creativecatalyst.co.uk