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Sucralose: Everything You Need to Know

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Last Updated on July 31, 2021

Original article written in 2020 and updated in July 2021.

Is Sucralose Safe

This blog post contains unbiased facts in relation to the consumption of Sucralose. Links to data provided. If you’d like to jump to a topic or question, click from the list here:

  1. How is Sucralose made?
  2. Is Sucralose Keto?
  3. Is Sucralose okay while fasting?
  4. Are there calories in Sucralose?
  5. Is Sucralose bad for you?
  6. When is Sucralose consumption okay?
  7. What happens when Sucralose is heated?
  8. Does Sucralose impact blood sugar?
  9. What’s the difference between Splenda and Sucralose?
  10. Sucralose and Diabetes
Is Sucralose Safe?

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.

Is sucralose Keto?.

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.

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.

Are there calories in Sucralose?

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 energy drinks. More on blood glucose below.

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 bad for you?

“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 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. Artificial sweeteners have been tested time and time again and have found to be safe in relation to gut health while also showing no impact to insulin levels.

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

When is Sucralose consumption okay?

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). Sucralose is a better dietary choice 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.

What happens when Sucralose is heated?

When Sucralose is heated to above 248 °F it’s possible that it will dechlorinate and then decompose into compounds that may be harmful to your health. It’s possible that the risk may increase as the heat increases.

From the findings of The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), part of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture:

This may lead to the formation of chlorinated organic compounds with a health-damaging potential, such as polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDD), dibenzofurans (PCDF) and chloropropanols. However, there are currently insufficient data to draw final conclusions. It is unclear on the one hand which toxic reaction products are generated in detail and in which quantities they are formed when Sucralose-containing foods are heated to temperatures above 120 °C on the other. Source

For now, until we have more information, I don’t see a good reason to heat Sucralose. For baking with SUGAR-FREE, low glycemic sweeteners, use: Allulose or Erythritol.

Does Sucralose impact blood sugar?

Sucralose does not impact my glucose as shown above. I’ve tested this on multiple occasions via CGM. I do not believe (in the general/healthy population) that Sucralose raises blood sugar. Sucralose is a ZERO on the glycemic index. This means: it doesn’t naturally convert to blood glucose when consumed.

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

What’s the difference between Splenda and Sucralose?

Splenda is a brand name. Ingredients in Splenda include: Dextrose, Maltodextrin, and Sucralose. Consumers should NOT confuse Sucralose with Splenda. Note: Sucralose is a ZERO on the glycemic index while Maltodextrin is over 100!

Sucralose and Diabetes

What’s the relationship for a person with Diabetes and their consumption of Sucralose? Is it safe for people with diabetes to consume Sucralose?

I’m referring to type 2 diabetes when I say: Sucralose in soft drinks and energy drinks are a much better option for diabetics than beverages with sugar. Avoiding foods that raise blood sugar is a good idea for those suffering from symptoms of a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. Sucralose has not been shown to raise blood sugar or negatively impact the health of those with type 2 diabetes.

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 safe for diabetics and will not impact those on a Ketogenic Diet.

As for gut health: there’s no convincing data in humans that Sucralose will negatively impact gut health.

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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Sucralose Everything You Should Know

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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! :)