Overview for Sucralose
Sucralose is the chemical name of the ingredient artificial sweeteners are made of. It is an exceptionally sweet compound, which is liked by all health-conscious people using alternatives to sugar. It is also liked by children who love eating sweet food and beverages. Whenever somebody uses a sugar-free sweetener, they are actually using sucralose.
A lot of research has been carried out in the recent times to ascertain the impact of sucralose on the overall health of the consumer. To find the answer to question, “Is sucralose bad for you?”, one needs to understand its impact on various health parameters.
Sucralose is about 400 times sweeter than sugar. Sweeteners like Splenda are no-calorie substitute to sugar and do not leave any bitter trail behind on tongue after eating. Thus, it has found its use in calorie-controlled dishes which people can consume on any cheat day when they order diet soda in restaurants. Sucralose was accidentally found by a scientist in London in 1976 when he tasted it out of sheer confusion. He was amazed by the sweetness of this compound and this is how, it came into picture. Food and drug administration recommended its use in the USA in 1999 and since then, this compound has become the most popular sweetener across the world.
Is sucralose bad for you? – Its Impact on Various Body Functions
Sucralose has come under scanner due to various doubts raised by the consumers. The users of Sucralose want to know if it can be used to replace sugar entirely or not. So, here is the overall impact of sucralose that it leaves on the body functions with regular use.
Sucralose and gut health
Gut bacteria is very important for digestion. These are responsible for good digestion and help in easy absorption of requisite minerals and nutrients too. Various studies conducted on animals show sucralose to have negative impact on gut bacteria. The population of gut bacteria suffered badly due to regular consumption of sucralose in some studies done on rats. However, the evidences are still wanted for the impact of sucralose in human gut bacteria.
Sucralose and blood sugar levels
Type 2 diabetes is one of the reasons why people choose to shift to sucralose from sugar. However, in initial stages of starting sucralose consumption, the consumers may report increase in blood sugar and insulin levels. With the continuous use of sucralose, a plateau is achieved and a regular user’s blood sugar levels are not affected by this sweetener.
Sucralose and weight management
Can sucralose affect people’s efforts to loss weight? Those people who want to find answer to weight gain are often recommended sucralose or an artificial sweetener. The sweetener made of sucralose is popularized and marketed as zero calorie sweeteners. The studies show that sucralose can help accomplish weight loss to some extent. For example, about 0.8kg weight was reduced among users who switched from sugar to artificial sweetener made of sucralose.
Sucralose and pregnant mothers or nursing mothers
Sucralose is consumed in very small amount as it is required in minimal quantities to sweeten the food products. Thus, there have been no reports of problems when pregnant women consumed sucralose. Still, it is advisable to use it in very moderate amount.
Since it does not provide any calories, the food made using sucralose may not be sufficient in fulfilling the calorie requirement of body during pregnancy and nursing period. The sucralose is not detected in breast milk too. So, one can definitely consider sucralose safe during these special situations when the pang for sweet food hits.
Sucralose, however, should not be used in recipes that require baking at high temperature. The sucralose on breaking at high temperatures can convert into chloropropanols, which are considered to be responsible for causing cancer. These are also known for causing infertility in men. So, avoid sucralose in baked goods recipes.
What dietitians say?
The thumb rule of using sucralose is – don’t use when in doubt, dietitians suggest. The sweetener has got mixed reactions from dietitians and nutrition experts. They all suggest that use the sucralose only when it is urgently required. Limit the use as much as possible.
The dietitians recommend it for the people who want to win their weight gain battles, but certainly with limitations on the dose. They make it clear not to use it for baking purposes due to release of carcinogenic substances arising from the process.
The question – Is sucralose bad for you? – has no definite answer. It varied from case to case. A consumer may or may not be comfortable with sucralose initially due to various reasons such as:
- Its after-taste
- Rise in blood sugar levels
- Digestive stress
- Risk of cancer
But all these risks are abetted with the help of caution while putting sucralose to use in a wise manner.
Usage instructions for sucralose
Some sweeteners come with usage instructions. These instructions are designed on the basis of the tests pertaining to effects of sucralose on the body. For example, a sweetener come with the usage guide that recommends limiting its use to 15g a day. Sweeteners consumers cannot depend on it entirely for their calorie needs. They need to learn to adjust to its taste to start with. Some scientists claim sucralose to be addictive in nature, but no sizeable evidence has been collected so far regarding this.
Some sweeteners are producing gas and therefore, should be used in meagre amounts. The more amount of sweetener can cause stress on digestion process leading to bloating, gas and indigestion.
So, the relationship of consumers and sucralose is bitter-sweet type. One has to be cautious when consuming sucralose. It does provide safer alternative to sugar, but only when the usage instructions are followed religiously. Putting taste over health can be dangerous, so do not over-consume sucralose and stay safe.