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What Are the Common Side Effects of Sucralose?

By C. Daw
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Sucralose is an artificial sweetener made for the purpose of replacing natural sugar to lower the amount of calories ingested, as well as various other reasons. It is used for the artificial production of the sweetness in different market products and it contains zero calories and is manufactured under heat with specific PH values. It is 600 times sweeter than table sugar or sucrose, but due to several side effects of sucralose, its use should be limited because excessive amounts could be harmful for the health, and it may cause other health and medical complications. It is found in almost each and every product on the market around the world, including different foods that are parched or cooked.

The list of the side effects of sucralose is quite long which could make it potentially harmful to the body. Its excessive use can cause several medical problems including nausea, bloating, and other gastrointestinal complications. In large amounts, it can also cause breathing problems, as well as unconsciousness in severe circumstances. Since sucralose is 600 times sweeter than table sugar and most other artificial sweeteners, its overuse can be addictive, leading to even more health problems.

If the person is highly addicted to sucralose, he or she could be an easy victim for many life threatening problems such as enlargement of the liver and kidney, hyperplasia of the pelvis, pregnancy extension, and other brain and eye disorders. It can also cause rapid reduction of weight including the lowering of the red blood cells. Excessive amounts of sucrose can make normal flu and allergy symptoms, such as a cough and runny nose, worse. Even though this may not seem like one of the serious side effects of sucralose, it can turn into severe medical conditions such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

Skin problems also have to be added to the long list of the side effects of sucralose. For people who are at high risk for skin allergies like swelling, dryness of the skin, and irritation and rashes, its use is strongly prohibited. It is also responsible for many physiological issues such as anxiety, sudden anger, and rapid mood changes. Sucralose can also cause various brain and eye problems.

The worst of the side effects of sucralose is caused by the induction of chlorine during the manufacturing process. Chlorine is a very dangerous chemical which is used in poisonous gases, as well as several modern day pesticides and plastic products. Too much chlorine within the body can cause serious medical problems, including death, when excessive amounts are ingested on a regular basis.

What Are the Most Severe Side Effects of Sucralose?

Sucralose has a lot of reported side effects. However, many are anecdotal or haven’t been thoroughly studied. These include seizures, migraines, and severe allergic reactions. However, some of sucralose's most adverse side effects are well-studied.

Metabolic Syndrome

According to a study at George Washington University, sucralose can put obese individuals at a higher risk for metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or stroke.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Your digestive tract relies heavily on your gut's microbiome, where all the bacteria that aid digestion lives. Studies show that sucralose can disrupt your gut microbiome, leading to GI inflammation. Inflammation is more likely if you consume sucralose often or in large doses. So, like sugar, you should still use it in moderation. 

Blood Sugar Fluctuations

A study by the American Diabetes Association showed sucralose could cause insulin and glucose to rise in otherwise healthy individuals. Although researchers want to conduct more studies, this side effect is an essential consideration if you're trying to lose weight or prevent diabetes. 

Sucralose Substitutes

Do you want to cut your sugar intake but don't like the taste of sucralose? Or do you want to limit the amount of artificial sweetener you ingest? Here are a few easy substitutes for sugar and sucralose. 

Honey

Honey is one of the most versatile sweeteners you'll find after sugar. It adds sweetness to tea, coffee, and oatmeal and is the perfect substitute for sugar in many sauces and recipes. It's also 100% natural.

Honey also has other health benefits, including the following:

  • Good source of antioxidants
  • Antifungal properties
  • Sore throat relief
  • Good source of vitamins and minerals
  • Associated with a reduced risk of heart disease

Honey's main drawback is that it's not vegan. So, if you like the idea of a syrupy sweetener but want to avoid animal products, consider agave or maple syrup instead. 

Stevia

Stevia is an interesting substitute because you can use it in its pure leaf form or powdered. You'll find powdered stevia in the baking aisle, while stevia plants will be in your local garden center. It's about 200-300 times sweeter than sugar.

If you want to try making your own stevia sweetener, there are a few ways to do it. You can simply crush the leaves and add them to your drink for a subtle dose of sweetness. Or, you can turn them into syrup or a powdered sweetener for a more intense flavor. 

Monk Fruit Extract

Monk fruit is a newcomer to the sugar substitute field. This Chinese fruit's extract is approximately 100 times sweeter than sugar. It also has the benefit of being all-natural. 

You can purchase monk fruit as a powder or liquid extract in the baking aisle. It’s ideal for sweetening beverages, as a sugar substitute when baking, or in recipes that need a bit of sweetness. 

Agave Syrup

Agave syrup is 1.5 times sweeter than sugar. It has more calories than sugar, but the calories balance out since you can use less. It's a good choice for beverages, cereal, and sauces.

The main drawback with agave syrup is that it has more fructose than sugar. Fructose gets metabolized by your liver, so an excess of it can put unnecessary stress on your liver.

Including Sucralose in Your Diet

Many people who swap table sugar for sucralose do so for health reasons. Individuals who are obese, diabetic, pre-diabetic, or suffering from a sugar addiction can all benefit from sucralose. 

However, when you make the switch, remember – all things in moderation. Many people fall into the trap where they feel they're "saving" calories. Make sure to constantly monitor how much sweetener you take in, both natural and artificial. 

When you incorporate sucralose into your diet for health reasons, you must stay disciplined. So, if you usually eat a single sugary cookie at lunch, don't increase it to two simply because you're using sucralose. 

When you examine all the foods in your diet that have sugar, consider all your alternatives. Sucralose doesn't have to replace everything. Instead, you can use any of the above substitutes to sweeten various dishes and drinks.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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