Biological effects of the popular artificial sweetener Sucralose

December 18, 2013, Taylor & Francis

The artificial sweetener Sucralose is a biologically active compound according to an extensive review published by Taylor & Francis in the recent issue of Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B: Critical Reviews. "Sucralose, A Synthetic Organochlorine Sweetener: Overview Of Biological Issues" authored by Susan S. Schiffman, PhD, an internationally known sweetener researcher and Kristina I. Rother, MD, MHSc, of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), summarizes the biological properties of sucralose based on hundreds of archival, peer-reviewed scientific journal publications. Some of the biological effects of sucralose described by Schiffman and Rother include:

  • alterations in insulin, blood glucose, and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) levels,
  • metabolism of sucralose in the to metabolites whose identity and safety profile are unknown,
  • induction of cyctochrome P450 and P-glycoprotein in the gastrointestinal tract to levels that may limit the bioavailability of therapeutic drugs,
  • reduction in the number and balance of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract,
  • histopathological findings in gastrointestinal tract including lymphocytic infiltrates into epithelium, epithelial scarring, mild depletion of goblet cells and glandular disorganization in the colon,
  • decomposition and generation of chloropropanols (a potentially toxic class of compounds) during baking, and
  • mutagenic alterations using several types of biological assays

Schiffman and Rother present scientific evidence from numerous laboratories that most of these biological effects occur at sucralose dosages approved for use in the food supply by global health authorities. Overall, the scientific data presented in the review indicate that sucralose possesses many characteristics in common with other organochlorine compounds such as organochlorine drugs, pesticides, and industrial chemicals. The authors conclude that a careful reassessment of safety is needed regarding the use of sucralose by the general population, particularly special populations such as children, elderly, nursing mothers, persons with diabetes, cancer patients, and persons taking multiple medications.

Explore further: Sucralose affects response to oral glucose load in obese

More information: Sucralose, A Synthetic Organochlorine Sweetener: Overview Of Biological Issues, Susan S. Schiffman and Kristina I. Rother, Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B: Critical Reviews. Volume 16, Issue 7, pages 399-451. DOI: 10.1080/10937404.2013.842523

Related Stories

Sucralose affects response to oral glucose load in obese

July 2, 2013
(HealthDay)—For obese adults who do not use non-nutritive sweetener (NNS), sucralose affects the glycemic and insulin responses to an oral glucose load, according to a study published online April 30 in Diabetes Care.

Artificial sweeteners may do more than sweeten

May 29, 2013
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that a popular artificial sweetener can modify how the body handles sugar.

Honey may not be advisable to those who live with diabetes

October 31, 2013
Honey may be detrimental for patients with type 2 diabetes because of the great quantities of sugars it contains.

Poor diet may spur inflammation-related health problems

November 8, 2013
(HealthDay)—People with diets that promote inflammation—such as those high in sugar and saturated fats—are at increased risk for early death from all causes, including gastrointestinal tract cancers, a new study suggests.

Recommended for you

Research finds a little exercise does a lot of good for ageing muscles

May 24, 2018
Getting old doesn't necessarily mean getting weak and frail – just a little bit of exercise can help maintain muscle mass and strength, Otago research has revealed.

Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour

May 24, 2018
A lot can happen at 160 degrees Fahrenheit: Eggs fry, salmonella bacteria dies, and human skin will suffer third-degree burns. If a car is parked in the sun on a hot summer day, its dashboard can hit 160 degrees in about ...

In helping smokers quit, cash is king, e-cigarettes strike out

May 23, 2018
Free smoking cessation aids, such as nicotine patches and chewing gum, are a staple of many corporate wellness programs aimed at encouraging employees to kick the habit. But, new research shows that merely offering such aids ...

What makes us well? Diversity, health care, and public transit matter

May 23, 2018
Diverse neighbors. Health centers. Commuter trains. These community attributes, and other key factors, are linked to well-being and quality of life, according to Yale researchers.

Time spent sitting at a screen matters less if you are fit and strong

May 23, 2018
The impact of screen time on cardiovascular disease, cancer incidence and mortality may be greatest in people who have lower levels of grip-strength, fitness and physical activity, according to a study published in the open ...

Widely used e-cigarette flavoring impairs lung function

May 23, 2018
A new study has found that a common e-cigarette flavoring that has chemical characteristics similar to toxic chemicals found in cigarette smoke disrupts an important mechanism of the lungs' antibacterial defense system. The ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.