Sucralose – Pool Cleaner For Your Insides
If you’re about to get started on your Spring health kick, and hope to lose some weight in the process, then you need to read this.
Two of the most important and effective methods that we usually employ to kick start our metabolism and lose a few kilograms are to eat low carbohydrate foods and drink plenty of water; we drink our protein shakes, snack on low carb bars and wash it all down with litres of water. But what if doing this was actually making you more likely to struggle with weight and develop a whole host of other health issues too?
Check the label of any mainstream protein bar or powder or any food being promoted as being low carb, and you’re pretty likely to encounter the artificial sweetener sucralose, also known by its brand name Splenda. In Australia, the labelling laws don’t require it to be named as such so you’ll usually only see it listed as “artificial sweetener 955” and in some cases it doesn’t need to be listed at all (hello liquid fish oil, I’m looking at you).
So what’s the problem with sucralose you ask? Despite being approved as safe for use around the world a question mark is firmly dangling over its possible link with the development of cancer, immune suppression and liver inflammation. The research equivocally shows that we do absorb sucralose (in varying degrees which suggests that the affect that it might be having on you entirely depends on your own unique make up) and once it’s in our body no-one has conclusively proven what happens to it. All you really need to know that chemically it’s an organochlorine, the most famous of which is the now banned insecticide DDT. I don’t know about you but I am pretty certain that can’t be a good thing to have floating around inside of me.
But what about weight gain? Over the last few years research has shown that our gut microbiotia (the bacteria which live in our digestive systems and out number our own cells by 10 to 1, technically making us more bacteria than human) directly effects our weight. Lean people have lots more of one particular group of bacteria and obese people of another. This distinction in gut flora changes with a person’s fluctuations in weight, shifting to the lean type when we lose weight and vice-versa, and animal studies show that when the gut flora of obese mice are transplanted into lean and germ-free mice, they too become over weight despite eating less food.
So our gut flora are precious (for a hundred different reasons and not weight loss) and we need to avoid anything which might disturb them, which is why research from Duke University is so disturbing. Researchers here found that when rats were fed sucralose over a 12 week period, their gut flora halved, and even more worryingly, some strains of bacteria remained low even 12 weeks later.
Now I’m not saying that sucralose is the cause of any weight problems you might have, but when there are much safer and more natural sweeteners around, why take the risk?
No-one has suggested what it is about sucralose that kills off our gut flora but it seems reasonable to point our finger firmly at its chlorine content, yes the very same stuff we pour into our swimming pools and tap water. Sydney has some of the highest chlorinated water in the world so if you want to really fast track the destruction of your gut flora, drink lots of tap water. So what could be better than an artificially sweetened protein powder or snack bar washed down with tap water? Just like pool cleaner for your guts!
Kate’s Better Protein powder and bar are both sweetened with prebiotics which actually encourage the growth of the good bacteria in our guts instead of destroying them.