Sucralose, marketed as Splenda, is a calorie-free sweetener used in thousands of food and drink products worldwide. There are no FDA or official warnings on sucralose, but many people believe it still has harmful effects as no long-term studies on humans have been conducted. Despite a lack of scientific evidence, some alternative medicine practitioners advise against the use of artificial sweeteners and the use of chlorine in sucrose continues to cause concern for some consumers.
As some artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, are known to have negative health effects, many consumers extend that concern to sucralose. One area of concern is that chlorine, a carcinogen, is present in sucralose. Chlorine is used to convert sugar to sucralose. As sucralose does not break down in the digestive system, however, the chlorine is not released into the body. The National Cancer Institute states that there is no scientific proof to link sucralose to cancer.
FDA Approval and Limits
After reviewing 110 studies on the use of sucralose in humans and animals, the FDA approved sucralose in 1998 for use in food and drink. However, the FDA did place a limit on the amount of sucralose a person should ingest each day. The acceptable daily intake, or ADI, of sucralose is 5 milligrams for every 2.2 pounds (one kilogram) a person weighs.
While no negative effects of sucralose have been found, there are some benefits. Replacing sugar with sucralose can help overweight people control the amount of calories consumed each day. Unlike sugar, sucralose does not cause dental problems or tooth decay. In addition, sucralose is safe for diabetics.