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Monday, October 13, 2008

the crap in the little yellow packets

(this post was originally posted 2 years ago)

the other day I was at Wawa getting a cup of coffee and I noticed something that got me thinking and eventually researching.  
As I reached for the sugar to sweeten my coffee, there were about 5 other people at the counter fixing their coffees, too.  I waited and watched as every single one of them reached for the little yellow packets of Splenda. 
I never used Splenda, cause it just didn't seem right to me for whatever reason.. even though it is touted as..  "it's made from sugar so it's natural".   Still didn’t sit right.  I don’t easily trust marketing. 
So, last night I looked it up online and did a bit of research..  when you have a chance, read it, it's a little long but once I started looking, it was ridiculous what I found.  I think it's important that people find out about this, as it's really toxic and being sold as "natural".  You can't take the FDA word for anything.. I seriously, don't think they take their research serious at all with how it effects our health.. especially if the product is making someone millions of dollars.


Splenda is one of those products.  It's Zero calories and "made from sugar so it tastes like sugar". That is how they market it.  And they are right, it doesn't have that unnatural taste like other artificial sweeteners.  Splenda is different.  Zero calories, tastes like sugar.  Use it in coffee or baked goods, and it taste pretty much the same as sugar.  Zero calories, DING!  People are buying it up.

20% of American households using this product.. that is millions of people.  Splenda is quickly becoming American's top-selling artificial sweetener with $177 million in sales this year and passing the competition, EQUAL, at $62 million.  Everyone is being sold by this "natural" product. Zero calories, remember?

SPLENDA.. so, what exactly is it?

Splenda is actually a brand name for a chemical called sucralose.   Sucralose is a chemical not a natural product.  Splenda is marketing as natural because sucralose does comes from sugar, but it's not sugar.  Look a little closer.  Sucralose is converted from sugar cane into a chemical version with zero calories.  The human body does not recognize it as sugar because of this conversion process, and therefore does not metabolize it.  That's how it's zero calories.

So, what happened to the chemical we just consumed? Does it stay in our bodies?  Is it harmful?

Splenda's marketing company has stated that they have conducted over 100 studies on the safety of Splenda. Ok, sounds good.  Wait.. Look closer.  Only 6 out of the 100 were conducted on humans.  Look closer.  One out of those six were studying the effect on our teeth.   Look closer.  Only 36 subjects (yea, 36 humans) total were studied in the 5 studies.  Look Closer.  The longest duration of any of those 5 studies on a total of any of the 36 humans was only 4 days long. Doesn't sound like a comprehensive study when it concerns chemical consumption by the millions of human americans.

So, what about the other 94 studies? How comprehensive were they and what did they find? Not as easy to read about these findings.  The research in animals showed a staggering amount of ill effects:  40% shrinkage of the thymus glands, diarrhea, enlarged kidney and livers, decreased fetal and placental body weights, breakdown of the lymph follicles in the spleen and thymus, spontaneous
abortion of pregnancies, reduced growth rate and development, hyperplasia of the pelvis, and overall decreased red blood cell count.  The studies further indicated that as much as 15% of the sucralose (yep, a chemical) gets absorbed by the digestive system and stays in the body.  very nice.

Because of all of this, and more to say in the name of the almighty dollar, the sugar industry is suing Splenda's marketing company, McNeil Nutritionals for implying that Splenda is a natural product.

Makes you kinda want to rethink the "natural" alternative.

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