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

A low-gluten, high-fiber diet may be healthier than gluten-free

November 16, 2018
When healthy people eat a low-gluten and fibre-rich diet compared with a high-gluten diet, they experience less intestinal discomfort including less bloating. Researchers at University of Copenhagen show that this is due ...

Youth dating violence shaped by parents' conflict-handling views, study finds

November 16, 2018
Parents who talk to their children about nonviolent ways of resolving conflict may reduce children's likelihood of physically or psychologically abusing their dating partners later—even when parents give contradictory messages ...

Why we shouldn't like coffee, but we do

November 15, 2018
Why do we like the bitter taste of coffee? Bitterness evolved as a natural warning system to protect the body from harmful substances. By evolutionary logic, we should want to spit it out.

Dietary fat is good? Dietary fat is bad? Coming to consensus

November 15, 2018
Which is better, a low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet or a high-fat/low-carbohydrate diet—or is it the type of fat that matters? In a new paper featured on the cover of Science magazine's special issue on nutrition, researchers ...

Low-carb diets cause people to burn more calories

November 14, 2018
Most people regain the weight they lose from dieting within one or two years, in part because the body adapts by slowing metabolism and burning fewer calories. A meticulous study led by Boston Children's Hospital, in partnership ...

Colder, darker climates increase alcohol consumption and liver disease

November 14, 2018
Where you live could influence how much you drink. According to new research from the University of Pittsburgh Division of Gastroenterology, people living in colder regions with less sunlight drink more alcohol than their ...

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.