Splenda®: Is It Safe Or Not?
Dr. Janet Hull reveals the scientific evidence strongly suggesting the chemical sweetener sucralose may harm your body. Visit Is Splenda Safe.com for more information!
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Making Life Sweet - Splenda®: Is It Safe Or Not?
The dangers of aspartame are now widely known, but the risks of using Splenda are not as well documented - yet. Essentially, the sucralose in Splenda does not readily penetrate the blood brain barrier as aspartame does, hence creating neurotoxic havoc at the brain center. But the research shows sucralose can negatively affect the body in several ways because it IS a chemical substance and NOT natural sugar.
There’s a sweetener war going on out there – a battle for your dollar at the expense of human health. It is important to educate yourself on the facts about Splenda, aspartame (NutraSweet/Equal®), and all the other sugar substitutes available on today’s sugar-free market. In order to make a decision whether to use chemical sweeteners or not, you must have all the data available, good and bad. But ALL the information is hard for the general public to find. I have spent over fifteen years working with victims of aspartame because the truth and information about the dangers of aspartame has been quietly steered away from public access since the early 1970s.
The same patterns with aspartame are repeating with sucralose (Splenda). The individuals who stand to profit the most have immense influence and the information about Splenda’s dangers, just as with aspartame, is being downplayed. Corporate claims of product safety and innocuous research results are identical to those used by The NutraSweet Company. As you learn more information about Splenda and see its advertisements, note the comparisons and repeated patterns between the products, the corporations and the marketing strategies. Maybe consumers can prevent damage to their health, especially damage to a fetus or a child, from sucralose. Hopefully, they can do it sooner than they did with aspartame, which has affected the health and lives of millions of innocent people since it was introduced into the public food supply over twenty years ago.
At least you, the consumer, deserve to be informed about the “other side” of this safety issue so you can make up your own mind whether to use Splenda or not.
Coke to phase out Vanilla Coke in US
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Fri Nov 4, 5:52 PM ET
Coca-Cola Co., the world's largest soft drink maker, said on Friday it would phase out its Vanilla Coke, Vanilla Diet Coke and Diet Coke With Lemon beverages in the United States by end of this year.
Coca-Cola shares were down 1.1 percent in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
The announcement came a day after Coca-Cola said it would phase out Vanilla Coke and Vanilla Diet Coke in the United Kingdom early next year. The company said sales have declined.
Coca-Cola added that it plans to introduce Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke and Black Cherry Vanilla Coke in the United States in January 2006.
The company said Vanilla Coke, which was introduced in the United States in 2002 and Diet Vanilla Coke in 2003, could return sometime in the future. Details about whether Diet Coke With Lemon, which made its U.S. entry in 2001, would be brought back were not available.
"I don't know if we have ever taken out a flavor and brought it back to the market, but the landscape continues to change and we want to be as flexible as possible to adapt to the changing landscape," said Scott Williamson, a spokesperson for Coca-Cola.
The phase out follows declining sales for the brands in the United States. Vanilla Coke sales slipped to 35 million unit cases in 2004 from 90 million unit cases in 2002, while Vanilla Diet Coke sales dropped to 13 million unit cases last year from 23 million unit cases in 2003, according to Beverage Marketing, a beverage research and consulting firm.
Sales of Diet Coke with Lemon have fallen to 9.9 million unit cases in 2004 from 24 million unit cases in 2001, data showed.
Analysts have said that one of the keys to the company's future is to innovate new products that will help Coca-Cola capture more consumers who have moved away from sugary soft drinks to diet versions, or to healthier low-or no-calorie beverages such as water and orange juices with reduced sugar.
Both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Inc., the No. 2 soft drink company, are battling for the allegiance of increasingly picky U.S. consumers. The United States is the largest market for the soft-drink companies.
"It is a rapidly changing beverage landscape and it is important for Coke to move quickly to deliver on what the consumer wants," said Gary Hemphill, managing director of Beverage Marketing. "The competition for shelf space is intense."
Shares of Dow Component Coca-Cola were down 44 cents at $42.15 on the NYSE.
You Do What You Eat
By Marco Visscher, Ode Magazine
September 8, 2005
At first glance, there seems nothing special about the students at this high school in Appleton, Wisconsin. They appear calm, interact comfortably with one another, and are focused on their schoolwork. No apparent problems.
And yet a couple of years ago, there was a police officer patrolling the halls at this school for developmentally challenged students. Many of the students were troublemakers, there was a lot of fighting with teachers and some of the kids carried weapons.
School counsellor Greg Bretthauer remembers when he first came to Appleton Central Alternative High School back in 1997, for a job interview: "I found the students to be rude, obnoxious and ill-mannered." He had no desire to work with them, and turned down the job.
Several years later, Bretthauer took the job after seeing that the atmosphere at the school had changed profoundly. Today he describes the students as "calm and well-behaved" in a new video documentary, Impact of Fresh, Healthy Foods on Learning and Behavior. Fights and offensive behavior are extremely rare and the police officer is no longer needed. What happened?
A glance through the halls at Appleton Central Alternative provides the answer. The vending machines have been replaced by water coolers. The lunchroom took hamburgers and french fries off the menu, making room for fresh vegetables and fruits, whole-grain bread and a salad bar.
Is that all? Yes, that's all. Principal LuAnn Coenen is still surprised when she speaks of the "astonishing" changes at the school since she decided to drastically alter the offering of food and drinks eight years ago: "I don't have the vandalism. I don't have the litter. I don't have the need for high security."
The Problems with 'Convenience Foods'
It is tempting to dismiss what happened at Appleton Central Alternative as the wild fantasies of health-food and vitamin-supplement fanatics. After all, scientists have never empirically investigated the changes at the school. Healthy nutrition -- especially the effects of vitamin and mineral supplements -- appears to divide people into opposing camps of fervent believers, who trust the anecdotes about diets changing people's lives, and equally fervent skeptics, who dismiss these stories as hogwash.
And yet it is not such a radical idea that food can affect the way our brains work -- and thus our behavior. The brain is an active machine: It only accounts for two percent of our body weight, but uses a whopping 20 percent of our energy. In order to generate that energy, we need a broad range of nutrients -- vitamins, minerals and unsaturated fatty acids -- that we get from nutritious meals. The question is: What are the consequences when we increasingly shovel junk food into our bodies?
It is irrefutably true that our eating habits have dramatically changed over the past 30-odd years. "Convenience food" has become a catch-all term that covers all sorts of frozen, microwaved and out-and-out junk foods. The ingredients of the average meal have been transported thousands of kilometres before landing on our plates; it's not hard to believe that some of the vitamins were lost in the process.
We already know obesity can result if we eat too much junk food, but there may be greater consequences of unhealthy diets than extra weight around our middles. Do examples like the high school in Wisconsin point to a direct connection between nutrition and behavior? Is it simply coincidence that the increase in aggression, crime and social incivility in Western society has paralleled a spectacular change in our diet? Could there be a link between the two?
Stephen Schoenthaler, a criminal-justice professor at California State University in Stanislaus, has been researching the relationship between food and behavior for more than 20 years.He has proven that reducing the sugar and fat intake in our daily diets leads to higher IQs and better grades in school.
When Schoenthaler supervised a change in meals served at 803 schools in low-income neighborhoods in New York City, the number of students passing final exams rose from 11 percent below the national average to five percent above.
He is best known for his work in youth detention centers. One of his studies showed that the number of violations of house rules fell by 37 percent when vending machines were removed and canned food in the cafeteria was replaced by fresh alternatives. He summarizes his findings this way: "Having a bad diet right now is a better predictor of future violence than past violent behavior."
But Schoenthaler's work is under fire. A committee from his own university has recommended suspending him for his allegedly improper research methods: Schoenthaler didn't always use a placebo as a control measure and his group of test subjects wasn't always chosen at random. This criticism doesn't refute Schoenthaler's research that nutrition has an effect on behavior. It means most of his studies simply lack the scientific soundness needed to earn the respect of his colleagues.
The Prison Test
Recent research that -- even Schoenthaler's critics admit -- was conducted flawlessly, showed similar conclusions. Bernard Gesch, physiologist at the University of Oxford, decided to test the anecdotal clues in the most thorough study so far in this field. In a prison for men between the ages of 18 and 21 in England's Buckinghamshire, 231 volunteers were divided into two groups: One was given nutrition supplements along with their meals that contained our approximate daily needs for vitamins, minerals and fatty acids; the other group got placebos. Neither the prisoners, nor the guards, nor the researchers at the prison knew who took fake supplements and who got the real thing.
The researchers then tallied the number of times the participants violated prison rules, and compared it to the same data that had been collected in the months leading up to the nutrition study. The prisoners given supplements for four consecutive months committed an average of 26 percent fewer violations compared to the preceding period. Those given placebos showed no marked change in behaviour. For serious breaches of conduct, particularly the use of violence, the number of violations decreased 37 percent for the men given nutrition supplements, while the placebo group showed no change.
The experiment was carefully constructed, ruling out the possibility that ethnic, social, psychological or other variables could affect the outcome. Prisons are popular places to conduct studies for good reason: There is a strict routine; participants sleep and exercise the same number of hours every day and eat the same things at the same time.
Says John Copas, professor in statistical methodology at the University of Warwick: "This is the only trial I have ever been involved with from the social sciences which is designed properly and with a good analysis." As a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, Gesch emerges with convincing scientific proof that poor nutrition plays a role in triggering aggressive behavior.
Sugar's Not the Only Problem
Indeed, the study proves what every parent already knows. Serve soda and candy at a children's birthday party and you'll get loud, hyperactive behavior followed by tears and tantrums. It works like this: Blood-sugar levels jump suddenly after you eat sugar, which initially gives you a burst of fresh energy. But then your blood sugar falls, and you become lethargic and sleepy. In an attempt to prevent blood-sugar levels from falling too low, your body produces adrenalin, which makes you irritable and explosive.
But sugar can't be the only problem. After all, high blood-sugar levels mainly have a short-term effect on behavior, while the research of Schoenthaler and Gesch indicates changes over a longer period. They suggest it is much more important that you get the right amount of vitamins, minerals and unsaturated fatty acids because these substances directly influence the brain, and therefore behavior.
If these findings prove true -- and they do look convincing -- then we should be sounding an alarm about good nutrition. What are the long-term implications of the fact that the quality of our farmland has sharply declined in recent decades? The use of artificial fertilizer for years on end has diminished the levels of important minerals like magnesium, chromium and selenium, therefore present in much lower concentrations in our food.
The eating habits of children and young people also should be a cause for serious concern. Their diets now are rich in sugar, fats and carbohydrates, and poor in vegetables and fruit. Add to this an increasing lack of exercise among kids, and the problem becomes even worse. The World Health Organization (WHO) talks of an epidemic of overweight among children. Obesity, the official name for serious weight problems, is said to absorb up to six percent of the total health budget -- a cautious estimate as all kinds of related diseases cannot be included in the exact calculation. Think of what this situation will look like when the current generation of overweight kids hits middle age.
The link between food and health is better understood by most people than the relationship between food and behavior, so health has become the driving force behind many public campaigns to combat overweight. A discussion has arisen in a number of countries about introducing a tax on junk food, the proceeds of which would be spent on promoting healthy eating. In Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair announced in May he planned to spend an extra 280 million pounds (the equivalent of 420 million euros or $500 million U.S.) on improving school lunches after the famous television chef Jamie Oliver began speaking out on the issue.
Yet with crime a major political issue almost everywhere, it's surprising more leaders have not embraced the idea of healthy eating as a recipe for safe streets and schools. After Gesch published his findings in 2002 in The British Journal of Psychiatry, the study was picked up by European and American media. The newspaper headlines were clear: "Healthy eating can cut crime"; "Eat right or become a criminal;" "Youth crime linked to consumption of junk food;" "Fighting crime one bite at a time." Then the media went deafeningly silent.
Perhaps that's because the relationship between nutrition and violence continues to be controversial in established professional circles. During their educations, doctors and psychologists are given scant training in nutrition, criminologists provided little awareness of biochemistry, and nutritionists offered no hands-on experience with lawbreakers or the mentally ill. As a result, the link between food and behaviour winds up in no-man's-land. Even researchers interested in the subject are discouraged -- not least of all because you can't get a patent on natural nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Far more effort goes into pharmaceutical, rather than dietary, solutions.
The Netherlands currently is the only country where Gesch's research is being explored. Plans to test the findings about nutrition supplements and behaviour further are being set up in 14 prisons, with nearly 500 subjects. Ap Zaalberg, leading the project for the Dutch Ministry of Justice, remembers how he and his colleagues reacted when they first heard of Gesch's study. "Disbelief," he states resolutely. "This was surely not true. But when I looked into the issue more closely, I landed in a world of hard science."
Zaalberg knows diet is not the only factor that determines whether someone exhibits aggressive behavior. "Aggression is not only determined by nutrition," he states. "Background and drug use, for example, also play a role. Yet I increasingly see the introduction of vitamins and minerals as a very rational approach."
"Most criminal-justice systems assume that criminal behaviour is entirely a matter of free will," Gesch says. "But how exactly can you exercise free will without involving your brain? How exactly can the brain function without an adequate nutrient supply? Nutrition in fact could be a major player and, for sure, we have seriously underestimated its importance. I think nutrition may actually be one of the most straightforward factors to change antisocial behaviour. And we know that it's not only highly effective, it's also cheap and humane."
Cheap it is. Natural Justice, the British charity institution chaired by Gesch, which is researching "the origins of anti-social and criminal behaviour," estimates it would cost 3.5 million pounds (5.3 million euros or 6.4 million U.S. dollars) to provide supplements to all the prisoners in Great Britain. That is only a fraction of the current prison budget of 2 billion pounds (3 billion euros or 3.6 billion U.S. dollar).
Finding Safety Through the Stomach
It seems the link between nutrition and antisocial behaviour shows great promise as both political issue and human-interest story. How much longer will politicians concentrate on police and stricter surveillance as the answer to crime? When will they realize healthy food can help create a healthier society? After all, people would not only be more productive, but the cost of health care and of the criminal-justice system would decline. As is the case for a man's love, the way to safety may be through the stomach.
As Bernard Gesch notes, "Few scientists are not convinced that diet is fundamental for the development of the human brain. Is it plausible that in the last 50 years we could have made spectacular changes to the human diet without any implications for the brain? I don't think so. Now, evidence is mounting that putting poor fuel into the brain significantly affects social behaviour. We need to know more about the composition of the right nutrients. It could be the recipe for peace."
Marco Visscher is a senior editor at Ode Magazine.
The Hidden Chemicals In Splenda®
By Dr. Janet Starr Hull
People may think Johnson & Johnson’s Splenda®, made from sucralose, has “come to the rescue” as the newest chemical sugar replacement “made from real sugar.” People don’t want to hear that it may be just as dangerous as aspartame, and this “white knight” of sweeteners is no improvement.
So, what exactly is Splenda? Splenda is the trade name for sucralose. Johnson & Johnson bought the rights in 1998 to sell sucralose in the United States as Splenda. Its basic characteristics are:
* Its taste is nearly identical to sugar because it’s made from sugar
* Its “trademark” inability to break down in processing or in storage
But Splenda is potentially harmful because it contains chlorine, which is a carcinogen. The Splenda marketers insist the chlorine is chemically “bound” so it cannot be “released” in the body during digestion. I question that, and wonder if this artificial chemical can safely pass through the human body. Wait until you discover what chlorine can do to the body. Then, you decide if you want to ingest this chemical.
Splenda (sucralose) is created in the lab, using a complex process involving dozens of chemicals you and I can barely pronounce - let alone consume. Basically, the chemists force chlorine into an unnatural chemical bond with a sugar molecule, resulting in a sweeter product, but at a price: a huge amount of artificial chemicals must be added to keep sucralose from digesting in our bodies. These toxic substances prevent (hopefully) the dangerous chlorine molecules from detaching from the sugar molecule inside the digestive system, which would be a carcinogenic hazard.
To illustrate the alarming “chemical soup” required to create sucralose, I have listed here the actual process for producing this sweetener. I highlighted the chemicals in bold type for emphasis.
According to the Splenda International Patent A23L001-236 and PEP Review #90-1-4 (July 1991), sucralose is synthesized by this five-step process:
1. sucrose is tritylated with trityl chloride in the presence of dimethylformamide and 4-methylmorpholine and the tritylated sucrose is then acetylated with acetic anhydride,
2. the resulting TRISPA (6,1',6'-tri-O-trityl-penta-O-acetylsucrose) is chlorinated with hydrogen chloride in the presence of toluene,
3. the resulting 4-PAS (sucrose 2,3,4,3',4'-pentaacetate) is heated in the presence of methyl isobutyl ketone and acetic acid,
4. the resulting 6-PAS (sucrose 2,3,6,3',4'-pentaacetate) is chlorinated with thionyl chloride in the presence of toluene and benzyltriethylammonium chloride, and
5. the resulting TOSPA (sucralose pentaacetate) is treated with methanol (wood alcohol, a poison) in the presence of sodium methoxide to produce sucralose.
The Splenda marketers stress that sucralose is “made from sugar but is derived from this sugar through a process that selectively substitutes three atoms of chlorine for three hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sucrose molecule.” While this is true, it is a deceptively simple description, implying that sucralose is just a benign sugar with a touch of chlorine, and thereby, safe for consumption. According to research on the hydrolysis of sugars, just the process of inserting chlorine into the sugar molecule (hydrolysis means breaking it into smaller molecules) ultimately allows these chemicals to penetrate the intestinal wall.
So sucralose becomes a “low-calorie” sugar with a complicated process that results in Splenda’s chemical formula: 1,6-dichloro-1, 6-dideoxy-BETA-D-fructofuranosyl-4-chloro-4-deoxy-alpha-D-galactopyranoside.
This is Splenda. They say it is a perfectly safe sugar molecule.
Sucralose is patented as a manmade “chlorinated sucrose sweetener” and it is registered as “chlorinated sucrose.” Chlorinated sucrose is not found anywhere in nature, like real sugar (sucrose) that is extracted from sugar cane and sugar beets. Chlorinated sucrose exists because of man.
The FDA states in their Final Report on Splenda that sucralose is “produced at an approximate purity of ninety-eight percent.” The other two percent does not have to be reported to the FDA, nor listed as added ingredients. So what’s in the other two percent? The chemicals used to synthesize sucralose in the five-step process:
2. Acetic acid
3. Acetyl alcohol
4. Acetic anhydride
5. Ammonium chloride
7. Chlorinated sulfates
8. Ethyl alcohol
9. Isobutyl ketones
11. Hydrogen chloride
12. Lithium chloride
14. Sodium methoxide
15. Sulfuryl chloride
16. Trityl chloride
18. Thionyl chloride
Although manufacturing guidelines specify limits on these veiled substances, there are no assurances these limits have been met since they do not have to be reported. In addition, the FDA does not presently require an Environmental Impact Statement for sucralose, so it’s open season for the rules, at present.
Now you can see why I do not recommend sucralose for pregnancy or for children, especially after reading this list.
It’s time to admit that there is no free ticket to eating all the sugar-free products you desire without paying the high price of harming your body in the long run. The “technology of foods” (artificial sweeteners and manmade foods) has gone too far, and will not secure eternal health, beauty, slimness, or youth. Laboratory chemicals are not the answer.
This information is based on research from Dr. Janet Starr Hull. For more information on Splenda, see Dr. Hull’s newly released book SplendaÆ: Is It Safe Or Not? at http://www.issplendasafe.com.