“Splenda” is the branded name of the popular synthetic sweetener and food additive whose generic name is “sucralose”. Both very sweet-sounding names have been cunningly invented by some Food, Inc marketing team. But, the most chemically accurate term for this ubiquitous substance is: trichlorinated sucrose. Splenda is hidden in over 3000 common foods, candy, beverages and chewing gum.
Sucrose, the base molecule, is common table sugar and, being a natural substance, can’t be patented in its natural form. However, drug and food corporations do have their clever ways to fool Mother Nature, the public and the FDA into granting them monopoly privileges on their way to billions of dollars of profit, even at the expense of the public health. Splenda has replaced the toxic sweetener NutraSweet (aspartame) as the number 1 artificial, non-nutritive sweetener in America because of increasing awareness of its toxicity and a cause of chronic illnesses around the world.
Splenda unproven to be safe at any dose
Sucralose is synthesized by substituting, in a chemist’s vat, three naturally-occurring hydroxyl groups (which are attached to sucrose’s ring structure that is composed of carbon atoms) with three chlorine atoms. This synthetic process makes the new molecule an intensely sweet-tasting, albeit toxic substance that has never been proven to be safe at any dose or with chronic use. Any yet the FDA approved it.
Dr. Betty Martini, a researcher from Duluth, Georgia (www.dorway.com) says: "the controversy rages over Splenda. Is it safe and natural like sugar or is it a chlorinated hydrocarbon? As lawsuits fly, consider the chemistry of this artificial compound."
"The FDA denied approval of aspartame for 16 years, then caved in to political/economic pressure when Don Rumsfeld, CEO of the manufacturer, was brought to Washington by Ronald Reagan (who was rumored to be a NutraSweet addict which is important because dementia is a recognized adverse effect of NutraSweet). A new FDA Commissioner was appointed to approve aspartame as a food additive and then later became a consultant for NutraSweet's public relations firm for $1,000/day on a 10-year contract. Forthcoming has been a global epidemic of disability and death. One might expect the FDA to be more cautious next time, yet it approved the toxic chlorocarbon Splenda without hesitation and without any long term testing on human subjects."
Other poisonous chlorocarbons
There are so many chlorocarbon molecules that have been let loose in the environment by the chemistry industry, that it is impossible to list them all.
Some of the common ones include the liver-destroying carbon tetrachloride; the deadly insecticides chlordane, DDT, Lindane and many others; the multitude of carcinogenic herbicides, including 2,4D and dioxin (Agent Orange, of Vietnam war infamy, is still causing fetal deaths and anomalies among the Vietnamese and death, cancer and diabetes in the exposed US soldiers 40 years later). Most people are aware of toxic PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls); the ozone-destroying CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons); the toxic polyvinyl chloride (PVC); hexachlorobenzene; the toxic and now-banned germicide hexachlorophene; laundry bleach; and many other carcinogenic herbicides and pesticides. Certain cellular toxins used as chemotherapeutic agents and a host of other lethal substances, carcinogens and even some pharmaceutical drugs (used of course, in sub-lethal doses) are chlorocarbons. There are no totally safe chlorocarbon molecules.
Chlorine gas is not a naturally-occurring substance in nature. It can only be produced through electrolysis, by running an electrical current through a saturated solution of sodium chloride (table salt). That process produces deadly chlorine gas that then, when it comes in contact with any organic compound in nature (all of which contain carbon, oxygen and hydrogen atoms) rapidly combines with the carbon molecules to form nasty compounds, many of which are carcinogens, mutagens and/or neurotoxins.
Chlorine gas as a lethal weapon of mass destruction was developed by military scientists in World War I and then quickly banned. The gas was extremely tricky to use, because of its dependence on the fickle winds (the Germans needed easterly winds and the Allies needed westerly ones), which sometimes switched-back dramatically into a “friendly fire” reality. Parenthetically, this “blowback” reality with the poison gas might have been the origin for the CIA term for “disastrous unintended consequences” in the spy and war game universe.
Chlorine gas and volatile chlorocarbons contaminated the St. Louis River valley’s air for decades until stricter regulations changed the Cloquet, MN (upstream-from-Duluth) paper mill’s operations. Emissions from the paper mill’s bleaching operations at that plant resulted in many smelly and unpleasantly memorable air quality problems when I was a medical intern in Duluth 40 years ago. At that time the mill, in addition to fouling the air, was also discharging effluent directly into the St. Louis River, with unprovable-in-a-court-of law toxic effects to the fish, waterfowl and those of us who drank the water that emptied into Lake Superior, Duluth's drinking water source. Certainly there were human carcinogenic and immune-deficiency consequences that have never been, and will never be, proven.
The science of poisonous chlorocarbon molecules
Chlorocarbon molecules, including sucralose, are not nutritive; hence the claim that they have “zero calories”. Such molecules, however, adversely affect human cellular metabolism because they are toxic to various enzyme systems and the body’s mitochondria (the sub-cellular “hearts and lungs” of our cells that, when they sicken or die off, will cause the cell to also sicken or die).
Sucrose is the sugar molecule that the digestive system breaks down into two molecules of glucose. It cannot be broken down in the blood stream. Glucose enters the cells from the capillaries and is used by all cells, especially the brain, as fuel. The brain depends on continuous supplies of glucose as its major fuel and will die if deprived of the substance for even 5 minutes. Brain cells are almost as dependent on glucose as they are on oxygen.
Sucralose, however, does not metabolize into glucose. Thus the sucralose-contaminated person needs to obtain its life-giving glucose from other sources. And yet the pancreas is fooled into sensing that sucralose is glucose and pumps out insulin, which drives the glucose in the blood into cells. The body then senses hypoglycemia (low glucose) which produces hunger, which is then appeased by the desire to eat, especially carbohydrates. I have known many people, especially patients of mine, who ate a lot of carbohydrate foods along with their hunger-inducing diet soda. This goes a long way in explaining why most people who use diet sodas actually gain weight.
Testimony from a victim of synthetic sweeteners
I conclude this Duty to Warn essay with an extended quote from Dr. James Bowen (http://www.wnho.net), himself a victim of Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) because of NutraSweet neurotoxicity: Dr. Bowen believes ingested chlorocarbon damage continues with the formation of other toxins.
"Any chlorocarbons not directly excreted from the body intact can cause immense damage to the processes of human metabolism and, eventually, our internal organs. The liver is a detoxification organ that deals with ingested poisons. Chlorocarbons damage the hepatocytes, the liver's metabolic cells, and destroy them. In test animals Splenda produced swollen livers, as do all chlorocarbon poisons, and also calcified the kidneys of test animals in toxicity studies. The brain and nervous system are highly subject to metabolic toxicities and solvency damages by these chemicals. Their high solvency attacks the human nervous system and many other body systems including genetics and the immune function. Thus, chlorocarbon poisoning can cause cancer, birth defects, and immune system destruction. These are well known effects of Dioxin and PCBs which are known deadly chlorocarbons."
Dr. Bowen continues: "Just like aspartame (NutraSweet), which achieved marketplace approval by the Food and Drug Administration when animal studies clearly demonstrated its toxicity, sucralose also failed in clinical trials with animals. Aspartame created brain tumors in rats. Sucralose has been found to shrink thymus glands (the biological seat of immunity) and produce liver inflammation in rats and mice.
"In the coming months we can expect to see a river of media hype expounding the virtues of Splenda/sucralose. We should not be fooled again into accepting the safety of a toxic chemical on the blessing of the FDA and saturation advertising. In terms of potential long-term human toxicity we should regard sucralose with its chemical cousin DDT, the insecticide now outlawed because of its horrendous long term toxicities at even minute trace levels in human, avian, and mammalian tissues.
"Synthetic chemical sweeteners are generally unsafe for human consumption. This toxin was given the chemical name "sucralose" which is a play on the technical name of natural sugar, sucrose. One is not the other. One is food, the other is toxic; don't be deceived."
For more information on aspartame and Splenda click on the Aspartame Information List on http://www.wnho.net. Dr. Bowen can be seen in the movie "Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World" For the movie call 1-818-349-8822 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
See how aspartame was approved by clicking on http://www.soundandfury.tv/pages/Rumsfeld2.html
Aspartame and Splenda Toxicity Centers, www.holisticmed.com/aspartame
Russell Blaylock, M.D., has published Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills on the subject, www.russellblaylockmd.com
Dr.Kohls is a retired Duluth, MN physician who practiced holistic mental health care until his retirement in 2008. He writes about peace, justice and health issues and is the editor of the occasional Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter. His website is www.mindbodymedicineduluth.com; Video and podcast interviews of Dr. Kohls’ thoughts on holistic mental health care can be viewed on iHealthTube.