Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that is nearly 600 times sweeter than the ordinary (table) sugar. It contains zero calories, and hence, is popular as a zero-calorie sweetener. It is widely used by diet and weight conscious people all over the world. Sucralose is sold under the brand name Splenda, which is commonly available in the market.
It is preferred over other artificial sweeteners as it can be used in baking. Most of the artificial sweeteners cannot be used in baking due to their instability. But, this is not the case with sucralose as it remains stable even when exposed to heat for a longer time. This additional property makes it a favored choice among other artificial sweeteners including aspartame. Due to its extra sweet property, it is used for making a variety of sweets and desserts like jams, jellies, candies, sweet fillings, fruits juices, etc. However, you should be aware of the negative effects associated with it.
Side Effects of Sucralose
One of the most important things to note is that sucralose contains chlorine which can be harmful if consumed in large amounts. Chlorine is considered to have carcinogenic (cancer causing) effects. Excess or regular intake of sucralose can lead to toxicity. The following are the minor side effects observed in children and adults.
- Blurred vision
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Body pain
Following are the possible severe effects:
- Panic attacks
- Joint pain
- Reduced growth rate
- Hyperplasia of the pelvis
- Heart palpitations
Although there are no known long time sucralose dangers, it is believed to have a negative effect on the liver and the kidneys. Other potential effects include shrinking of the thymus glands and enlargement of the liver. It is also believed to be the cause of certain kidney diseases. In pregnant women, intake of sucralose can lead to still birth, abortion, decreased birth weight of the baby, etc. The number and severity of the side effects also vary from person to person. Chances of long-term side effects are rare, provided the person does not consume sucralose containing products regularly and in excess.
There are treatment methods available that help in getting rid of the symptoms. However, one should be careful while consuming this artificial sweetener. Researches show that it takes nearly 2 - 3 weeks for sucralose to completely go out of the body after treatment. Usually doctors advise against the use of artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes. Pregnant and breast feeding women, especially, should not include it in their diet as there are high risks of harmful effects.
Although these are only potential side effects, one should definitely ponder over it, think of one's own health and life, and then decide whether to go for it or not. Take care!
Disclaimer: This write-up is meant only to provide information. It is recommended to consult the doctor before using artificial sweeteners or other synthetic products on a regular basis.