Sucralose Found in Fatty Tissue, Produces Previously Unidentified Metabolites
By Heather Callaghan, Editor
Sucralose is a common artificial sweetener sold under the trade name, Splenda®. The last time I went on the Splenda® website, it discussed the decades-long process of finally obtaining FDA approval.
This probably won’t surprise our readers, but the findings of a new study on sucralose differ from those studies that were used to garner regulatory approval.
Unlike previous study claims – it turns out that 1) sucralose does break down in the gut, 2) can be found in fatty tissue 3) it produces two fat-soluble metabolites and 4) stays in the body indefinitely after consumption is stopped due to its affinity for fatty tissues.
Again, this is concerning – a thorough test recently found that the fat-soluble metabolites lasted for days after the ingestion of the product stopped…
NOTE: I do not in any way condone animal testing. However, these results are too important not to publish.
North Carolina State University reports on the paper, “Intestinal Metabolism and Bioaccumulation of Sucralose In Adipose Tissue In The Rat,” is published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A:
The researchers used the same experimental model used by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to assess the safety of foods based on accepted daily intake. In this case, that involved administering an average dose of 80.4 milligrams/kilogram/day to 10 rats for 40 days. Urine and feces from the rats were collected and assessed for those 40 days, and for the following two weeks. At the end of the two-week follow-up period, fatty tissue from a subset of the rats was also tested.
The researchers, from North Carolina State University and Avazyme Inc. – an analytical testing company – used techniques designed to detect both fat- and water-soluble metabolites. That’s significant because industry did not use state-of-the-art techniques that targeted the full suite of fat-soluble metabolites in the studies it submitted to the FDA when seeking FDA approval for sucralose.
“Our techniques were more suited to extracting and preserving fat-soluble metabolites,” says Susan Schiffman, an adjunct professor at NC State and co-author of the recent study. “We were also able to use state-of-the-art analytical techniques to identify those metabolites.
Schiffman said [emphasis mine]:
We found two metabolites in urine and feces throughout the sucralose dosing period. Those metabolites could still be detected in the urine 11 days after we stopped giving the rats sucralose, and six days after the sucralose itself could no longer be detected. That’s particularly interesting, given that the metabolism studies that the FDA’s approval were based on reported that ingested sucralose was not metabolized.
Researchers note that the “metabolites were acetylated compounds, which are highly lipophilic – meaning they are easily dissolved in fat. That means they are more likely to stick around in the body.” (I recently wrote about how DDT’s breakdown products are lipophilic.)
The sucralose itself was detected in the fatty tissues of rats two weeks after the rats had stopped receiving sucralose.
Based on previous studies, we know that sucralose can be passed on by nursing mothers in their breastmilk. And, among other findings, we know that sucralose can reduce the abundance of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Our new study shows that sucralose is also creating metabolites whose potential health effects we know little or nothing about.
As a result, we feel that it may be time to revisit the safety and regulatory status of sucralose.
Industry Science Sees What it Wants to See
It’s becoming more and more apparent that many of the environmental toxicants we have major exposure to love to hang around in our fat stores. Or, do we create fat stores to house the toxicants until our bodies can safely get rid of them? Either way, why does it take 30 years after a product (like BPA) is mass produced to find out the real health effects?
What do you think of this artificial sweetener business? Let me know below!
DISCLAIMER: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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