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Splenda, the brand name for sugar-derivative sucralose, is converted from cane sugar to a no-calorie sweetener. It isn’t recognized as sugar by the body and therefore is not metabolized. Splenda is marketed as a “healthful” and “natural” product since it is derived from sugar. However, its chemical structure is very different from that of sugar and sucralose is actually a chemical substance. Sucralose was discovered in 1976 by researchers working under the auspices of Tate & Lyle Ltd., a large British sugar refiner. Sucralose is made from sucrose by substituting three chlorine atoms for three hydroxyl groups to yield 1,6-dichloro-1,6-dideoxy-BETA-D-fructofuranosyl-4-chloro-4-deoxy-alpha-D-galactopyranoside. This is accomplished in a five-step process. Prolonged storage, particularly at high temperatures and low pH, causes the sucralose to break down into 4-chloro-4-deoxy-galactose (4CG) and 1,6-dichloro-1,6-dideoxyfructose (1,6 DCF).
In 1980, Tate & Lyle arranged with Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest health care company, to develop sucralose. Johnson & Johnson formed McNeil Speciality Products Company in 1980 to commercialize sucralose. In 1991, Canada became the first nation to approve the use of sucralose. In April, 1998 the US Food and Drug Administration granted approval for sucralose to be used in a variety of food. Diet RC cola was the first US product with sucralose, introduced in May 1998. Sucralose is not yet approved for use in most European countries, where it is still under review.
In the United States, the FDA has granted approval for the use of sucralose in 15 food and beverage categories:
· Baked goods and baking mixes
· Chewing gum
· Confections and frostings
· Fats and oils (salad dressings)
· Fruit and water ices
· Jams and jellies
· Processed fruits and fruit juices
· Sweet sauces, toppings and syrups
· Beverages and beverage bases
· Coffee and tea
· Dairy product analogs
· Frozen dairy desserts and mixes
· Gelatins, puddings and fillings
· Milk products
· Sugar substitutes
Despite the manufacturer’s claims to the contrary, sucralose is significantly absorbed and metabolized by the body. According to the FDA’s “Final Rule” report, 11% to 27% of sucralose is absorbed in humans, and the rest is excreted unchanged in feces. According to the Japanese Food Sanitation Council, as much as 40% of ingested sucralose is absorbed. Plasma sucralose has been reported to have a half-life of anywhere from 2 to 5 hours in most studies, although the half-life in rabbits was found to be much longer at about 36 hours. About 20% to 30% of absorbed sucralose is metabolized. Both the metabolites and unchanged absorbed sucralose are excreted in urine. The absorbed sucralose has been found to concentrate in the liver, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract. According to The Sucralose Toxicity Information Center, sucralose is broken down “into small amounts of 1,6-dichlorofructose, a chemical which has not been adequately tested in humans.”
Few human studies of safety have been published on sucralose. 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. With no established system for monitoring and tracking post-approval adverse effects, how can it ever be established whether large-scale and long-term consumption of sucralose is safe?
Some chlorinated molecules serve as the basis for pesticides such as D.D.T., and accumulate in body fat. You would just as soon have a pesticide in your food as sucralose because sucralose (Splenda) is a chlorocarbon. Sucralose is made from sugar, but is derived from sucrose (sugar) through a process that selectively substitutes three atoms of chlorine for three hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sucrose molecule. The manufacturer claims that the chlorine added to sucralose is similar to the chloride atom in the salt (NaCl) molecule. That is not the case. Sucralose may be more like ingesting tiny amounts of chlorinated pesticides, but we will never know without long-term, independent human research.
The chlorocarbons have long been known for causing organ, genetic, and reproductive damage. It should be no surprise, therefore, that the testing of sucralose reveals that it can cause up to 40 percent shrinkage of the thymus: a gland that is the very foundation of our immune system. Sucralose also causes swelling of the liver and kidneys, and calcification of the kidney.
The corporate researchers claim that the chlorine atoms are so tightly bound; they create a molecular structure that is exceptionally stable under extreme pH and temperature conditions. They are testing these conditions in lab rats, and these types of corporate studies have forced and ‘selective’ results. Aspartame research is the proof of this! We value independent research above that which is funded by corporations. The corporations say sucralose is safe. They said the same thing about aspartame, and look at the rampant disease and obesity taking over America since aspartame was put into the food supply over 20 years ago. The history of aspartame has unfortunately proven that individuals within government agencies cannot and should not be trusted to make such empowering public decisions behind closed doors.
Any animal that eats chlorine (especially on a regular basis) is at risk of cancer. The Merck Manual and OSHA 40 SARA 120 Hazardous Waste Handbook states that chlorine is a carcinogen and emergency procedures should be taken when exposed via swallowing, inhaling, or through the skin. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found dioxin (a toxic byproduct of chlorine) to be 300,000 times more potent as a carcinogen than DDT. Dioxins and other toxic chemicals, when consumed, accumulate in the fatty tissues. These contaminants are also hormone disrupters because they mimic estrogen. The EPA has observed and documented hormonal imbalance, suppressed immune systems, reproductive infertility and alterations in fetal development of animals. In viewing the big picture, these factors are perhaps the most frightening results from the widespread use of chlorine.
A compound chemically related to sucrose, 6-chloro-deoxyglucose, is known to have anti-fertility and neurotoxic effects, although animal studies of sucralose have not shown these effects. According to the FDA’s “Final Rule” report, “Sucralose was weakly mutagenic in a mouse lymphoma mutation assay.” The FDA also reported many other tests as having “inconclusive” results. The FDA acknowledges that sucralose “is produced at an approximate purity of 98%.” While that may sound pretty pure, just what is in that other 2%? It turns out that the final sucralose product contains small amounts of potentially dangerous substances such as:
· Heavy Metals (e.g., Lead)
· Triphenilphosphine Oxide
· Chlorinated Disaccharides
· Chlorinated Monosaccharide
Although manufacturing guidelines do specify limits on these substances there is no guarantee that such limits will always be met. Despite the fact that a portion of sucralose is metabolized into some chemicals of questionable safety, a majory of the consumed sucralose is excreted unchanged in the feces and urine. While that may be good for the person using the product, it may not be so great for the environment.
Although sucralose is being flushed down toilets wherever sucralose is approved for sale, what happens to it next is simply a matter for speculation. There are no known studies showing what happens to the chemical when the raw sewage is treated and then released back into the environment. Of course, we will likely not know the answers to these questions for many years, if at all. One of the main reasons for this is that the FDA did not require an Environmental Impact Statement for sucralose, because in their words, “the action will not have a significant impact on the human environment.” One study did find that sucralose is metabolized by microrganisms in both the water and soil. However, the ecological impact of this new chemical being introduced into the environment is unknown.
Research in animals has shown that sucralose can cause many problems such as:
· Shrunken thymus glands (up to 40 percent shrinkage)
· Enlarged liver and kidneys
· Atrophy of lymph follicles in the spleen and thymus
· Increased fecal weight
· Reduced growth rate
· Decreased red blood cell count
· Hyperplasia of the pelvis
· Extension of the pregnancy period
· Aborted pregnancy
· Decreased fetal body weights and placental weights
The manufacturer claims sucralose doesn’t react with other substances in the body and is not broken down in the body. They claimed the same thing about saccharin. If the body is digesting properly, anything you put into the body will be assimilated. If it happens to be rancid, the stomach will throw it out immediately by vomiting or diarrhea. It is totally out of the realm of biological science to think the body will not immediately attack a toxic chemical. Hence, we find migraines from aspartame, and diarrhea from Splenda.
If the body is fed an indigestible product such as plastic (like in margarine) that it is incapable of dissolving through normal digestion, it will pass through undigested (if it doesn’t get stuck in the gall bladder). So, if sucralose is indigestible due to its laboratory compounding, then we have yet another serious health problem to consider.
Just how few studies currently exist on sucralose is an issue. Endurance News provides the following table illustrating this fact:
· Sweetener -- # of Studies
· Saccharin -- 2374
· Aspartame -- 598
· Cyclamates -- 459
· Acesulfame-K -- 28
· Sucralose -- 19
The regulatory agencies and scientific review bodies that have endorsed the safety of sucralose have not required any warning information to be placed on the labels of products sweetened with sucralose. While it is unlikely that sucralose is as toxic as the poisoning people are experiencing from Monsanato’s aspartame, it is clear from the hazards seen in pre-approval research and from its chemical structure that years or decades of use may contribute to serious chronic immunological or neurological disorders. As Americans continue to choose ever-increasing amounts of such foods and beverages, sweeteners may soar to higher consumption levels.
McNeil Specialty Products Company (MSPC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, along with Tate & Lyle PLC, a world leader in sweeteners and starches, all share responsibility for developing and manufacturing sucralose for commercial use. Internationally, McNeil Specialty markets sucralose in the United States, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East; Tate & Lyle markets sucralose in Africa, Asia, Europe and Canada. Internationally, McNeil Specialty markets sucralose under the name Splendar brand Sweetener. Splendar is a registered trademark of McNeil Specialty Products Company.
The maker of sucralose, the key ingredient behind Splenda, is having trouble keeping up with demand. Tate & Lyle said interest has so outpaced expectations the company won’t take on new U.S. customers until it has doubled production at it’s plant in McIntosh, Ala., sometime in early 2006. The company also plans to open a second plant in Singapore, according to a written statement.
Buoyed by a surge in anti-sugar diets such as Atkins and South Beach, Splenda has enjoyed sweet success since its introduction in 2000, appearing in everything from soda and ice cream to candy and jams. Splenda, which won fans with its sugar-like sweetness and stability in baking, now dominates the $337 million U.S. retail market for sugar substitutes, beating out aspartame sweetener Equal, made by Chicago-based Merisant Corp.
McNeil Nutritionals, a division of Johnson & Johnson and makers of the no-calorie artificial sweetener Splenda, are astute marketers for they have now joined forces with The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) to support an AAFP fitness project: Americans in Motion (AIM).
AIM is a 10-year endeavor designed to improve the lives of individuals, families and communities. The initiative was created in response to the growing obesity epidemic in the
Support for AIM is made feasible due to an education grant given by McNeil Nutritionals. The grant will fund the development and distribution of a tool kit designed to help family physicians improve the health of their patients. The kit not only holds valuable resources to help health care professionals interact with patients, but also take-home materials for patients to incorporate healthy eating and exercise habits into their daily lives.
A patient education guide that includes tips on healthy eating and active living called "1-2-3 Sensible Steps to Help You Manage Your Weight"
A food and activity tracker for patients to record their daily food intake and physical activities
Health guideswhich include advice to help patients remain motivated through their weight management journey
Fitness prescription pads for physicians to prescribe fitness-related activities to their patients
In the event that the public becomes too informed and savvy about toxic additives in our food supply, what’s a multi-billion dollar industry to do? The first step is to create another more toxic version of the additive. The second step is to collude with regulatory authorities such as the FDA to convince the public that the new, more toxic additive is safe. The third and final step is to prevent the toxic additive from being listed on any ingredient labels. From the folks that brought us Aspartame, meet Neotame, a deadly sweetener that you’ll never see on a label because…well that’s just the way the FDA wants it.
Eighty percent of all Food and Drug Administration (FDA) complaints pertain to aspartame’s adverse reactions. These reports include: grand mal seizures, brain tumors, blindness and other health-related problems, including deaths. Monsanto’s Nick Rosa stated in 1998, that Neotame is “based on the aspartame formula.”
It is up to 13,000 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). The product is very attractive to food manufacturers, as its use greatly lowers the cost of production compared to using sugar or high fructose corn syrup (due to the lower quantities needed to achieve the same sweetening).
Neotame is aspartame plus 3-di-methylbutyl, which can be found on the EPA’s list of most hazardous chemicals. The aspartame formula is comprised of Phenylalanine [50%], which caused seizures in lab animals and Aspartic Acid [40%], which caused “holes in the brains” of lab animals — bonded by Methyl Alcohol, or Methanol [10%] which is capable of causing blindness, liver damage and death.
Methanol, or wood alcohol in aspartame breaks down further in heat and in the body, into Formaldehyde (embalming fluid), Formic Acid (venom in ant stings) and the most deadly of all — Diketopiperazine (DKP), a brain tumor agent.
When it comes to human health, neotame is in the same dangerous category as aspartame, but it is a deadlier neurotoxin, immunotoxin and excitotoxin. The long-term effects are essentially cell-death.
Even Monsanto’s own pre-approval studies of neotame revealed adverse reactions. Unfortunately, Monsanto only conducted a few one-day studies in humans rather than encouraging independent researchers to obtain NIH funding to conduct long-term human studies on the effects of neotame.
There were NO independent studies that found neotame to be safe. All industry-funded studies are now being found to be based on very poorly designed, deceptive and fraudulent research .
This is no surprise given all of the problems with aspartame industry research and scientific abuse. It is clear that any neotame research that Monsanto, industry groups, or consultants of Monsanto should be rejected until which time more trustworthy, independent research can be conducted. Such experiments should include independent animals studies and especially long-term (e.g., 4-5 years+) human studies in various susceptible population groups.
Neotame was approved by the FDA for general use in July 2002, and has now been approved by the EU. It is also is approved for use in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
The FDA loosened all labeling requirements for Neotame as part of a large-scale effort to make it a near-ubiquitous artificial sweetener, to be found on the tabletop, in all prepared foods, even in organics. It simply does not have to be included in the ingredient list. How’s that for stealth?
If you purchase processed foods, whether USDA Certified Organic or not, that food may likely contain Neotame because it is cost-effective, and since no one knows it is there, there is no public backlash.
The USDA states that their National Organic Program (NOP) does not permit the use of neotame in products labeled certified organic, however this is likely a deceptive ploy to soothe the public’s concerns about this toxic sweetener.
Since the USDA is controlled by politicians and lobbyists, it cannot be trusted to protect any of its regulatory policies. The NOP is a division within the USDA in charge of regulating the USDA Certified Organic products, labeling, enforcement etc. Considering the size of this division in comparison to the amount of organic food they regulate, NOP standards are arguably as lax and useless as USDA’s conventional foods. The employees that enforce NOP standards know this very well.
Bottom Line: Don’t trust USDA organic foods and confide in local farms with reputable practices.
Due to corporate greed, it is becoming quite apparent that the entire food supply is becoming one toxic wasteland that none of us can rely on. We need to support local farms and move back to sustainble farming practices that benefit the population rather than harm it.
If you’re still consuming processed foods with artificial sweeteners, you are gambling with your long-term well being. There are no corporations that serve agribusiness that can be trusted to safeguard public health, and the regulatory agencies that are officially in charge of that mandate are in bed with them.