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Is Sucralose Safe?

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Let’s make it clear from the start: we do not encourage regular consumption of sucralose. However, let’s get in to some unbiased facts & opinions in relation to sucralose.

Is Sucralose Safe?

Note: in the creation of products at cardnl we do NOT and will not use sucralose.

First off… how is sucralose made?

Sucralose is made by a multi-step process that starts with ordinary table sugar (sucrose) and replaces three hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sugar molecule with three chlorine atoms. – sucralose.org

The artificial sweetener contains no calories and is 400-700 times sweeter than sugar.

I would not classify this ingredient paleo in any way, shape, or form.

Is sucralose keto?

Technically speaking, the Keto Diet has nothing to do with nutrients or gut health; it’s simply a mechanism that controls blood glucose and encourages ketone production.

I’ve found no evidence that sucralose will take a person out of ketosis. I’ve also found no evidence that sucralose will raise blood sugar in the short term. I’ve personally tested this via CGM with several products that contain sucralose (more on that below). I can confidently say sucralose is keto friendly (technically speaking).

I would consider this alternative sweetener a better option for diabetics than beverages sweetened with sugar (in all its blood sugar raising forms).

Is sucralose okay while fasting?

If you’re approaching a therapeutic fast or want to get the benefits of autophagy, no, don’t consume sucralose during a fast. However, if you’re just daily intermittent fasting – yes, it’s perfectly fine while fasting. There are no calories in sucralose. Here’s two examples of my blood glucose after consuming an energy drink with loads of caffeine and sucralose. One with Bang and one with Reign.

Bang Energy CGM
Rebbl Reign Energy Smart-Sweets CGM

View this post to see how other ingredients in packaged products impact blood sugar.

Is sucralose good or bad?

“The effect of sucralose on first-pass drug metabolism in humans, however, has not yet been determined. In rats, sucralose alters the microbial composition in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), with relatively greater reduction in beneficial bacteria. Although early studies asserted that sucralose passes through the GIT unchanged, subsequent analysis suggested that some of the ingested sweetener is metabolized in the GIT, as indicated by multiple peaks found in thin-layer radiochromatographic profiles of methanolic fecal extracts after oral sucralose administration. The identity and safety profile of these putative sucralose metabolites are not known at this time. Sucralose and one of its hydrolysis products were found to be mutagenic at elevated concentrations in several testing methods.”PubMed

It’s likely that sucralose will cause some gastrointestinal discomfort and may alter gut bacteria (negatively). I believe all artificial and all natural calorie free sweetener alternatives that don’t raise blood sugar WILL have some type of impact on gut health (generally speaking).

It’s generally agreed that sucralose is safe for consumption – but this doesn’t mean it’s recommended / or that we know all there is to know about it.

Sucralose has also been shown to NOT be carcinogenic. – PubMed

When is sucralose consumption okay?

There’s ZERO NEED to consume sucralose if you’re trying to be as perfect as you’re willing to be and eat a whole foods diet.

If you want a fun energy drink or powdered supplement on occasion with sucralose, go for it (if it helps you maintain or reach goals). I’m not saying it’s healthy or that consumption of sucralose should be part of your regular dietary habits but IT IS better than sugar.

I’m okay with moderate to low consumption of sucralose in cold beverages. I am never okay with sucralose in baked goods (anything that’s heated up). There may be negative reactions with sucralose and other ingredients when heated.

Does sucralose impact glucose?

Sucralose does not impact MY glucose as shown above. I’ve tested this on multiple occasions via CGM.

Short term and moderate use is likely not going to impact glucose control. From a A 12-week randomized clinical trial investigating the potential for sucralose to affect glucose homeostasis “No statistically significant differences between sucralose and placebo groups in change from baseline for fasting glucose, insulin, C-peptide and HbA1c, no clinically meaningful differences in time to peak levels or return towards basal levels in OGTTs, and no treatment group differences in mean glucose, insulin, or C-peptide AUC change from baseline were observed. The results of other relevant clinical trials and studies of gastrointestinal sweet taste receptors are compared to these findings. The collective evidence supports that sucralose has no effect on glycemic control.” – PubMed

It’s unknown whether or not long term sucralose consumption will impact insulin sensitivity.

In Conclusion

I’m not encouraging the consumption of sucralose. There’s no metabolic benefit to consuming it. It’s not an ideal ingredient. However, the data suggests that moderate-to-low consumption of sucralose will not impact insulin sensitivity or raise blood sugar. Meaning: it’s most likely safe for diabetics and will not impact those on a Ketogenic Diet.

As for gut health: it’s probable, there may be a negative impact to overall gut health (this will depend greatly on the person and the amount consumed).

If drink mixes and canned beverages with sucralose help you reach your health goals, I don’t believe moderate consumption will get in your way. BUT… don’t consume too much, there’s no long term benefit and there might be detrimental health concerns we don’t yet know about.

The content on this site is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice.

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Ven

Wednesday 16th of December 2020

I don’t think sucrolose itself is too bad, it’s bad in Splenda form since it’s mixed with maltodextrin to get that 1:1 substitution with sugar.

Rob Benson

Sunday 20th of December 2020

Agreed.

Mara

Wednesday 18th of November 2020

Rob, thanks for all the research you’re doing and sharing. I recently purchased a product labeled sugar free and it ended up having sucrulose in it. It is something I wouldn’t eat often but I’m thinking I’d still rather have the sugar than the artificial ingredients. Appreciate your thoughts!!

Rob Benson

Monday 23rd of November 2020

What's the product you purchased that has Sucralose in it? I think moderation in cold applications is just fine. NEVER heat it up though.

Cindy

Saturday 22nd of August 2020

I get horrible headaches from consuming sucralose. So I don't consume that man made chemical sweetener.

Rob Benson

Thursday 5th of November 2020

Oh no... glad you're listening to your body. Eliminate what is bad and keep what is good! :)