Artificial sweetener damages DNA and causes leaky gut

A brand new study has found health concerns about the artificial sweetener sucralose so alarming that researchers said everyone should stop eating it and the government should regulate it more. The World Health Organisation has even advised against its use.

Sucralose is sold under the brand name Splenda and is used in so many packaged foods and beverages. It is sometimes listed as number 955 on food labels.

The research was published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. The researchers conducted a number of experiments exposing human blood cells and gut tissue to sucralose-6-acetate. It’s not the first study to have linked sucralose to gut health problems. The researchers discovered that sucralose causes DNA to break apart, putting people at risk of cancer. They also found that sucralose causes leaky gut syndrome, where the lining of the intestines are compromised and become excessively permeable. Leaky gut syndrome raises the risk of developing digestive problems, food allergy or intolerance, autoimmune disease and cancer.

If a substance damages DNA, it is called genotoxic. If you eat sucralose, your body converts it into a substance called sucralose-6-acetate, which the new study has found to be genotoxic. The researchers also found sucralose-6-acetate was present in some packaged foods that were so high, they would exceed the safety levels currently allowed in Europe. Lead researcher Susan Schiffman, PhD, adjunct professor of biomedical engineering at North Carolina State University has said “It’s time to revisit the safety and regulatory status of sucralose because the evidence is mounting that it carries significant risks. If nothing else, I encourage people to avoid products containing sucralose. It’s something you should not be eating.”

The FDA and TGA claim sucralose is safe, stating it is 600 times sweeter than table sugar and used in baked goods, beverages, chewing gum, gelatins, and frozen dairy desserts. Before approving it, the FDA reviewed more than 110 studies designed to identify possible toxic effects. As with most drugs and chemicals the FDA and TGA approves, most of them are conducted by the companies that sell the substance.

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