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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 for more information!

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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:

1. Acetone
2. Acetic acid
3. Acetyl alcohol
4. Acetic anhydride
5. Ammonium chloride
6. Benzene
7. Chlorinated sulfates
8. Ethyl alcohol
9. Isobutyl ketones
10. Formaldehyde
11. Hydrogen chloride
12. Lithium chloride
13. Methanol
14. Sodium methoxide
15. Sulfuryl chloride
16. Trityl chloride
17. Toluene
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

Posted on November 9, 2005 in Splenda Toxicity | Link To This Entry | Comments (17)


Posted by: Andrew on December 7, 2005 11:40 PM


I just wanted to sya that I have been using Splenda for a long time, as well as aspartame. I have only recently received a blood test that showed elevated liver enzymes. Whether the sweeteners are the cause, I will find out in an few months as I've completely eliminated them. Thanks.


Posted by: Janet Starr Hull, PhD on December 21, 2005 11:26 AM

This best you can do is eliminate anything you think is toxic to your liver. As you read in Splenda: Is It Safe or Not?, both the Canadian study and the FDA studies submitted by McNeil themselves showed liver enlargement and an increase in liver enzymes in the lab animals. As I wrote in the Splenda book, and in Sweet Poison, elevated liver enzymes were a result of aspartame use.


Posted by: Glenda on January 4, 2006 3:43 PM

I would like a list of the research articles you use to base your claims on re: Splenda


Posted by: Lucy Parker Watkins on January 5, 2006 1:07 PM

You can find all of that information in Dr. Hull's book, Splenda: Is It Safe or Not?

Note that much of the info Dr. Hull used in her book is the manufacturers research.


Posted by: David Stephens on January 16, 2006 1:02 PM

I am a diabetic, but am unwilling to use saccharin, and unable to use Aspartame because of muscle and joint swelling. Splenda has proven to be a god-send for me. Unfortunately, I have the choice between the unknown 2% of chemicals, and the ketones that spill into my urine if I use sugar. Not to mention the crystalline glucose slicing open my optical veins. If you are healthy, you might want to avoid artifical sweetners. But for those of use that cannot tolerate sugar, it is a lesser of two evils.

I worked for 15 years in pharmaceutical development laboratories. In those years, I was made painfully aware that not every body/physique responds in the same manner to a particular medication. That is why there are alternative medicines in most therapeutic areas.


Posted by: Greg on January 24, 2006 5:19 PM

Saccharine has been shown to cause bladder cancer in lab rats..and still has to have a warning on it!

Saccharin banned as a food additive - Unforgettable Moments - CBC ...

Look at the toxic chemicals it can be make with such as sulfur dioxide, chlorine, and ammonia.


Posted by: Robyn on February 1, 2006 8:29 PM

Lucy has very real medical issues preventing her consumption of aspartame and real sugar. She clearly stated that for HER splenda was the 'lesser of two evils'. Not that it was perfectly safe. And yet you suggest saccharin as simple natural product (how safe is that?). Now unless you ONLY EVER eat foods you grow yourself organically in your own yard and purified water everyday (never anytbing prepared in a restaraunt, or factory or sold in a package at the store) I suggest you may well be consuming an equal amount of quesionable chemicals.


Posted by: Veralin on February 2, 2006 9:40 PM

I am very concerned with what I have read about Splenda. I am diabetic and I was so excited to learn that Splenda offered sweet treats. Then when I really checked it out and found out about the chemicals in it, I realized it is no better than Aspartame. I don't want to try and treat one illness while destroying my health with artificial sweeteners. I did more research and discovered Stevia. I rushed out and bought it and now hear that it is not recognized as a sweetener because it has not been tested long enough. My understanding is that the Peruvian Indians used this natural sweetener for hundreds of years. Is that not test enough? I'm getting so much criticism on both Splenda & Stevia that I don't know where to go. I certainly believe that something natural is far superior to chemicals made by man, but I don't understand why the government is so quick to dismiss the use of natural sweeteners and then allow artificial sweeteners into our foods to kill us. How can they say that Splenda is safe when it has only been around since something like 1998. That hardly gives us enough time to determine the affects of Splenda on the human body over a long term. I'm betting in the future the horrors of this artificial sweetener will be brought to light, the same way the horrors of Aspartame are now coming out. Your comments please....


Posted by: gail on February 6, 2006 3:31 PM

what are the withdrawal systems if any of stop using splenda.


Posted by: Dr. Janet Hull on February 9, 2006 3:21 PM

Dear David,

As a diabetic your kidneys are 2 of the weakest organs and chlorine's most common side effect is burning of the kidneys. So if you begin to develop kidney pain or bladder discomfort, I would suggest stopping Splenda and returning to drinking water and using stevia instead.


Posted by: Dr. Janet Hull on February 9, 2006 3:33 PM

Dear Veralin,

The FDA does not need to begin approving real food such as oregano, basil, or sugar and stevia is no exception.

We are turning stevia into something more than it is. Stevia is no different than basil or oregano. it is a plant that happens to be sweet just like your apples are sweet, your carrots are sweet and your sweet potatoes are sweet.

Human get in trouble when they overdo a good thing. Would you use too much oregano? Then why would you use too much stevia? Don't overdo a god thing.

The need for stevia to be "approved" by government sources is an indication that we as consumers are confusing what is real and natural food vs. manufactured/manmade foods.

Dr. Janet Hull


Posted by: Dr. Janet Hull on February 9, 2006 3:39 PM

Dear Gail,

Other than some underlying eating disorder issues, which may have created the need to consume sugar-free foods, the side effects of withdrawing from chlorine are mostly positive such as:

A change in appetite, probably less hungry for junk food, an increase in energy, better sleeping patterns, increased libido, prettier skin due to rehydration, less intestinal gas and less pain during excretion of bowels and urine, etc.

Dr. Janet Hull


Posted by: Nina on February 24, 2006 8:32 AM


i have been using splenda for few yers during my pregnancy as well during breast feeding. only few dys b4 i came to know about all these side effects.Now my worry is how this would have affected my 13 mths old baby whom i'm still skin had becom so dark during these few yrs & now i feel it could be due to splenda. the best part was even my Ob/Gyn approved me of using this splenda guring preg & bfeeding.

What side effects i should expect on my baby as i am feeling guilty


Posted by: Don on April 17, 2006 1:47 PM

I recently had some rough side effects from splenda.
I had gone for a 5 mile walk and when I came back I had 3 16 ounce bottles of Aquafina flavored water (with splenda). Immediately I had a headache, bodyache, diarrea, and an awful run-down feeling all these symptoms remained for 4 days. Some people might say it may have been something else that caused this, but I am convinced it was the Splenda!


Posted by: Christina on July 30, 2006 9:56 AM

For this if you who are diabetic and cannot tolerate any sugar, there are two other alternitives that are safe and taste good. Stevia is a herb that is very sweet and can be taken. There is also Xilitol which also works. I agree with the lesser of two evils but if there is somthing better why not try it??


Posted by: Ruby on October 12, 2006 12:01 PM

Is there a petition that I can sign against this to help put a stop to this as IF so I am an Asst. manager in a "Healing & Surviving group" & I would be more then happy to get many people to also sign this as well!!!!!! This is terriable & so wrong..............

Luvingkindness, Ruby


Posted by: Birgitta on October 17, 2006 8:58 AM

i am glad so many people are waking up to these artificial sweeteners. Especially pregnant women, as we have no idea of what the possible side effects on babies will be. In theory, since additives in general has shown to cause ADD and ADHD, we could end up with an epedemic. And as eating artifically sweet foods tricks our metabolism into thinking it doesn't need to burn so many calories, and therefore messing or slowing your metabolism, what might Splenda do to an undeveloped fetus and nursing baby who's metabolism has not developed fully yet?...we are now finally starting to discuss the problem of childhood obestiy, but art. sweeteners could make this problem much worse. - Birgitta Lauren,


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