A new study has found that sucralose, the chemical in Splenda, causes “significant health effects.”

Sucralose, a chemical found in the popular zero-calorie sweetener Splenda, damages DNA, increases the risk of cancer and causes intestinal lining leaks. North Carolina State University.

Splenda is used as a sugar substitute in thousands of foods, drinks, desserts and candies. The product contains 1.10% sucralose. It’s made by Tate & Lyle in the UK.

A study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health found that a metabolite of sucralose called sucralose-6-acetate is “genotoxic”.

Erythritol, a popular artificial sweetener, may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke: study

That means it destroys the genetic material that makes up DNA, explained Susan Schiffman, Ph.D., senior author of the study and an associate professor at North Carolina State University.

When DNA strands are broken and then rearranged and repaired, it can increase the risk cancer cellsshown by previous studies.

sweetener in coffee

A new study from North Carolina State University has found that sucralose, a chemical found in the popular zero-calorie sweetener Splenda, has significant health effects. (iStock)

In addition, both sucralose and sucralose-6-acetate have been shown to cause damage to the “tight junctions” that hold the intestinal barrier together, resulting in “leaky gut”.

“A leaky gut is problematic because it means that toxins that would normally be flushed out of the body in feces instead leak out of the gut and are absorbed into the bloodstream,” Schiffman told Fox News Digital.

The researchers conducted eight separate experiments to measure the safety and risks of both sucralose and sucralose-6-acetate, which is a chemical by-product of sucralose and is considered an impurity.

“Consumers have the right to know what they are consuming.”

“The important point is that even if the contaminant sucralose-6-acetate is completely removed from foods with sucralose, it is still formed by bacteria in the gut,” warned Schiffman.

This is not the first study to point to potential dangers associated with sucralose.

“Previous studies have shown a wide range of side effects of sucralose, including dysbiosis (including damage to beneficial bacteria in the gut) and changes in blood glucose and insulin levels,” Schiffman said.

“Consumers have a right to know what they are consuming,” she added.

Nutritionist shares concerns about sucralose

Michelle Rutenstein, in NYC EntirelyNourished.com dietitian who was not involved in the sucralose study but said she was not surprised by the results.


Splenda, manufactured by Tate & Lyle in the UK, is used as a sugar substitute in thousands of foods, drinks, desserts and candies. (Hanna Songer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“In the last couple of years, we’ve been seeing more and more research pointing to the inflammatory nature of artificial sweeteners, primarily affecting the gut microbiome,” she told Fox News Digital.

Rutenstein recommends avoiding sugar substitutes as much as possible due to the link between underlying inflammation, oxidative stress, and cardiovascular diseasesShe said.


“Sucralose and other sugar substitutes are also considered ultra-processed foods that are associated with an increased risk of subsequent cardiovascular events in people who have had a heart attack,” Rutenstein added.

The nutritionist noted that those who are at risk for cardiovascular disease, have cancer, or suffer from any inflammatory condition may be particularly at risk.

“While artificial sweeteners may be tolerated by generally healthy people, they should be avoided if there is any sign of bloating, indigestion, constipation or diarrhea,” she said.

New findings may refute earlier safety studies – toxicologist

Kelly Johnson-Arbor, MD, is a medical toxicologist and co-medical director of the National Capital Poison Control Center. in Washington DCreviewed the results of the study and advised caution.

broken DNA

When strands of DNA are broken and then rebuilt and repaired, it can increase the risk of cancer cells, previous studies have shown. (iStock)

“While artificial sweeteners like sucralose have been touted for decades as a healthy alternative to sugar, improvements in medical technology allowed scientists to conduct more extensive testing of these chemicals and their potential toxicity,” she said in a statement to Fox News Digital.

“The results of these studies indicate that these compounds may be associated with significant health effects,” she added.

While short-term consumption of sucralose and other artificial sweeteners is unlikely to cause harmful side effects, according to Johnson-Arbor, this particular study showed that sucralose can accumulate in tissues after prolonged exposure, suggesting that chronic or long-term consumption of the sweetener may be more dangerous. than previously thought.

“These compounds may be associated with significant health effects.”

She pointed out that when earlier safety studies were conducted, the identification of sucralose-6-acetate as an impurity may not have been fully recognized.

“These results are worrying because they show that such impurities may have significant or even greater toxicity than the parent compound,” the toxicologist said.

Sweetener manufacturers support sucralose safety

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved the use of sucralose in 1998 in 15 food categories. A year later, the agency approved the chemical as a general purpose sweetener.

After reviewing this latest study from North Carolina State University, the Washington, D.C. Calorie Control Board has defended sucralose as a safe product that has been “comprehensively tested.”

The board also questioned the reliability of the new study.


“This study was conducted in a laboratory setting that cannot mimic the complex mechanisms of the human body, even when human cells are used,” said Robert Rankin, president of the Calorie Control Council, in a statement sent to Fox News Digital.

(Study author Schiffman argued that “the study was conducted on human tissue, so it has a lot to do with potential human health problems.”)

Woman with gut

Both sucralose and sucralose-6-acetate have been shown to cause damage to the “tight junctions” that hold the intestinal barrier together, resulting in “leaky gut”. (iStock)

“For the millions of people who rely on low-calorie and no-calorie sweeteners to help control body weight and reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and obesity, it’s important to know the facts, which is that sucralose has been scrutinized by scientific and regulatory bodies around the world and is safe to consume,” Rankin added.


The International Sweeteners Association, based in Brussels, has also said it supports sucralose.

“Sucralose, like all other low-calorie or no-calorie sweeteners, plays an important role in providing consumers with a choice of sweet-tasting, low-calorie or no-calorie options,” an ISA spokesperson wrote in a statement provided to Fox News Digital.


“Sucralose has undergone one of the most extensive and rigorous testing programs of any dietary supplement in history, resulting in a consensus on its safety throughout the global scientific and regulatory community,” the spokesperson added.

Fox News Digital also contacted Tate & Lyle, the creator of Splenda, but the company did not provide a comment as of press time.