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Splenda’s Many Secrets: Gut Flora Destruction, Side Effects

Lisa Garber
January 20th, 2013
Updated 01/20/2013 at 3:16 am
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sugarpouring 265x165 Splenda’s Many Secrets: Gut Flora Destruction, Side EffectsIt’s becoming increasingly clear that aspartame is bad news. But what about the other artificial sweetener, sucralose (Splenda)? Is Splenda safe?

Known commercially as Splenda, sucralose is a synthetic product—a chlorinated sugar molecule—of McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Splenda continues to be avidly used by consumers watching their weight and blood sugar. The Calorie Control Council is only too happy to tear apart arguments that Splenda may not be as safe as purported, including studies—even by the prestigious Duke University—and assertions by alternative medicine practitioners like Dr. Mercola, who compared sucralose to DDT.

Splenda and DDT

As The Examiner states, “most pesticides are chlorocarbons and…the bonds holding carbon and chlorine atoms together in sucralose are more characteristic of a chlorocarbon than a salt.”

The Calorie Control Council (CCC) claims, rightfully, that DDT is virtually insoluble in water and soluble in fats, such as those found in the body. “The small amount of sucralose that is absorbed is rapidly eliminated in urine.” Splenda’s makers have admitted that, on average, 15 percent of sucralose is absorbed. (Remember that that’s an average, meaning some people may absorb significantly more, others significantly less.)

Because sucralose is not a naturally occurring product, however, it might be safe to say that the body, unable to metabolize it, absorbs it via the digestive system and ultimately stores it in the body. (Perhaps a scientist can peaceably weigh in on this.)

Sucralose and the Gut

Its absorption by the digestive system may explain why researchers at Duke University in 2008 found that Splenda negatively alters gut microflora in rats and may limit the bioavailability of drugs and nutrients  (The study can be found here as published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health.) A myriad other studies showing Splenda’s adverse effects—ranging from bowel disturbances, kidney mineralization, and tumor growth—can be reviewed here.

In one human (albeit small) study, nutritionist Tamara Duker Freuman found that “because [Splenda’s] sweet taste is not accompanied by the calories (energy) our brain expects it to be, the complex systems our bodies have to regulate energy balance may be thrown off kilter.  The result is that of a diet high in artificial sweeteners may possibly, over time, cause people to seek out more calories from other sources in order to satisfy cravings that sweet—but calorically empty—foods create.”

Human Bias Affecting Studies

Although the CCC accuses studies like Duke’s as having flaws (specifically, “lack of proper control groups”), one may say the same of the studies used in defense of Splenda. One cited often was published in the November 2010 issue of Food and Chemical Toxicology, in which sucralose was found to have no genotoxicity.

It’s worth noting, however, that the makers of Splenda co-authored the study. Keep in mind, too, that Johnson & Johnson (affiliated with Splenda) was recently hit with a $1 billion fine for marketing Risperdal for unapproved uses and regularly puts toxins like formaldehyde, parabens, and phthalates in many of its products. It was only in 2011 that they promised to take known and possible carcinogens out of its infant care products, and it will take them until 2015 (allegedly) to do the same for adult toiletries.

Here is some information regarding the 110 studies proving Splenda’s safety:

  • The 110 “animal and human studies” consisted of 2 studies involving humans, with a total of 36 people involved.
  • The longest human study lasted 4 days, and focused on Splenda’s impact on tooth decay.
  • Some of the remainder “safety studies” showed Splenda to cause decreased red blood cells, male infertility, brain lesions (at high doses), spontaneous abortions in a rabbit population.

Consumer-Reported Side Effects

Consumers of Splenda have themselves come forward with complaints (which can admittedly have mitigating factors), including:

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Migraines
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Allergic response
  • Blood sugar increases
  • Weight gain

It’s apparent that well-conducted, unbiased studies are lacking.

It might be time to buckle down and sit through a few more human trials. Besides, if Splenda is so safe, it’s likely scientists will face no difficulty in finding willing test subjects. For now, though, it’s probably best to avoid the artificial sweetener.

From around the web:

  • beste telefoon

    Never heard of that one before… I'm using Stevia and i got good experience with that stuff. Is Stevia unhealthy?

  • captainentropy

    It's good you found the source of your IBS. The studies that have been done on a sorbitol/fructose connection have shown little to no relation to IBS, so it's a very controversial connection. But a small percentage of people could have the right combination of conditions to have a noticeable effect.

    But for inhibiting bacterial growth, I've read this claim before and there is really no solid conclusive data on that claim. The one study showing an effect on enterobacteria was done in a small cohort of rats and the many flaws of this study have been extensively reviewed in the literature. There is one or two reports that look at sucralose's effect on strains of oral bacterial and the results indicate that the negative growth effects observed were fully reversible. This means that sucralose, in the dental studies, behaved in a bacteriostatic rather than bacteriocidal manner. In other words, it doesn't kill bacteria. And that was at concentrations that you would *never* consume in a single serving (cup of tea, soda, cookie, etc.) much less what you would ever likely encounter in a week of use! And that study in rats (Abou-Donia et. al) that everyone of the anti-sucralose crowd seems to think is a deadly indictment against sucralose, found that "there was no significant treatment effect on enterobacteria." That's a major component of the gut flora!!

    Gut bacteria is super important in good health, disease, immunity, etc. But don't be fooled into thinking the probiotics you get in your kefir or yoghurt or whatever are really that beneficial. There are so many microbes in our gut that to think that whatever would survive the transit to the gut would displace the "bad" microbes is really wishful thinking. There might be some benefit after heavy doses of antibiotic use or other specific uses but the benefits of probiotics are not very solid (yet).

    And please don't tell me you get health advice from Dr. Oz. That guy sold out to the pseudoscientific woo community a long time ago…

  • dwp

    Sucralose, Sorbitol, Maltitol, etc are making their way into so many products. I found out Sorbitol was, without question, the source of my inflammatory bowel issues. After doing some research, it appears to me that they all have two things in common, which is the ability to inhibit bacteria growth and they are not broken down or metabolized easily by the body. I am sure in small doses, it may not be an issue (like toothpaste, mouthwash, etc), but when it has become part of every meal how can it not affect gut bacteria (probiotics).
    Every time I try to tell people about it, I am looked at like I am crazy, so I decided to just keep it to myself since it will give me an edge. It guess it can't be so since Dr Oz has never mentioned it. I think the only hope is if George Clooney decides to make it his next cause.
    In the meantime I am going to try and take advantage of this and research and invest in probiotic companies, since it won't be long before everyone thinks they need them. I think this will be a boon for the probiotic industry and they will either makes tons of money or be bought out by Cargill. Either way the stock will go up.
    I just feel for the children who don't get to choose what is in their food.

  • Lance Smallwood

    They should just all sit down and conduct a thorough study already. All this back and forth is getting nowhere. It would be best to just come out with a conclusive result so the public can start figuring out what to do.

    • captainentropy

      It would be nice if that were possible. But a thorough study would take an enormous amount of resources. And other than anti-sucralose proponent's wailing about this there is no rationale for such a massive series of studies. Like I've pointed out countless times in this thread there have been tens of millions, hundreds of millions or more probably, of people over the last several decades that have likely consumed billions of servings of sucralose and there has not been any correlation with any symptom that would be consistent with a toxic or dangerous compound.

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  • Kathleen

    If it is a man made, unnatural chemical to the body, then it is a neurotoxin, destroying healthy cells, until, which time, the body can figure out how to create an enzyme to remove it from the body.

    • captainentropy

      Back that claim up. Show us how you come to this conclusion.

      This is simply the naturalistic fallacy, and simply can not be applied to all synthesized chemicals.

      Are you suggesting that "natural" chemicals can not be neurotoxins? I'm pretty sure hundreds of species of snakes and spiders and other critters would beg to differ.

      • Joshua

        I just worry about the amount of this we consume. I work in a grocery store and it’s showing up in everything. Juice ,sports drinks ,gum ,salad dressing it’s everywhere

  • Katie O'Dea
  • melanne

    I am so frusterated with this industry that pushes fake sugars as "good". All the shakes at GNC are loaded with fake sugar (I know, because I was fired from there for not selling enough of it). I shop with a place that refers to themselves as "The Wellness Company" Melaleuca, and all of their shakes are sweetened with Sucralose. I sent them a letter and they emailed me back a pdf file with statements going on about how safe sucralose is for everyone. I remember back when all the diet sodas were sweetened with Nutrasweet and how "safe" that was, too. Meanwhile, I just stick to my Ovaltine. So far, no sucralose. I'm sure it's got a ton of other crap in it, but I like a quick shake sometimes.

    • healinginthevalley

      Hi Melanne, if you're looking for a fabulous and HEALTHY alternative to your Ovaltine, I would be happy to give you additional information about Isagenix! I've been using their products for almost 4 years now and the products are SOO incredibly "clean", that I know for me personally, I am a Lifer :) I've included my link below if you'd like to explore it!

  • dublgoatski

    Here is another article which may have some information for you all on the subject. I don't use artificial sweeteners and never have. I find an organic brown sugar which is minimally processed to be the least harmful and most tasteful, if for some reason I need a sweetener.

  • nana gocha

    i've switched to agave syrup.I bought the kind in the stores, & they were terribel tasting. I buy the clear in the gallon size from the grain barn in Lansing. It has NO ugly taste, & I use it in coffee. They say diabetics can use it also. I also never drink anything with asparatane in it, I was buying it because the water tasted good, as it was flavored, but had the sweetener in it. After a few months I began breaking out w. a rash, & found out it was from the asparatane. So many sweeteners are ugly.

    • LieutenantEntropy

      look up the fructose content of agave. Its very high.

      • captainentropy

        Fructose isn't regulated the same way as sucrose. That's why it's largely ok for diabetics. But also because of it being regulated differently you don't want too much of it.

        Watch this lecture. It's thorough, persuasive, and pretty hard to say he's not qualified to argue his point

  • Liy

    Eat everything in moderate, is the key to healthy living.
    A piece of cakes with Splenda may cut down 80% of calories of a normal sugar cakes, but it doesnt mean that we can eat 2 or 3 pieces more as our mental thought it is healthy. Many people eat less because of calorie but tends to eat more when the packaging state low sugar, low calorie.
    Splenda sucralose may not be natural, it doesnt mean sugar as a sugar itself is processed "naturally". The processing of sugar cane, or corn syrup involves a lot of chemical as well…

  • Firebird7478

    I'm not having a single one of these issues with Splenda. I follow a low carb, high fat diet. I use Splenda in my tea and protein shake. I am not out eating breakfast cereals, pop tarts, candy bars or soft drinks. I do not have stomach problems, migraines or dizziness. My eye sight issues are due to kerataconus which is a condition I was born with.

  • Z…………

    Scientist must "protect" their science, telling us that artificial sweeteners not doing harm is CRIME, they know that but must protect market and their pocket

    • captainentropy

      and what would you call it when anti-GMO advocates "protect" their "science"? That knife cuts both ways. Mercola is just protecting *his* bottom line too, right?

  • captainentropy

    "it might be safe to say that the body, unable to metabolize it, absorbs it via the digestive system and ultimately stores it in the body. (Perhaps a scientist can peaceably weigh in on this.)"

    I'm a scientist. BS in Biochemistry, PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology. First of all, for any compound to be metabolized it must be preceded by adsorption in the gut. So, sucralose can be adsorbed in the gut but it is not able to be taken up into cells, since it can not be transported by glucose transporters, thus is can not be metabolized. That's the point of it in fact. There is some evidence that sucralose is actually a competitive inhibitor of glucose transporters. Excess glucose is stored via glycogenesis. If sucralose can't be taken into cells it can not be converted to glyocogen or fat and thus can not be stored.

    Ok, the comparison of sucralose to DDT is a typical association fallacy. The fact that DDT and sucralose both contain chlorine atoms has no bearing on the the two behaving in a biologically similar manner. They may, but that fact alone is not a predictor of function – they have vastly different molecular structure. "More similar to DDT than sugar"? Based on what?! DDT, at least at doses one would normally encounter when DDT is used normally, is not toxic to humans. The EPA and the WHO both have attested to that. They base this on a great deal of scientific data. It *is* toxic to fish, amphibians, and birds, though. Which is why it should be used only when absolutely necessary (e.g. malarial mosquitoes) because of its threat to the ecosystem.

    So, let me get this straight. The Calorie Control Center's criticism of Mercola's article is dismissible because they support use of artificial sweetners (at least that's your unstated premise), but Mercola's arguments are perfectly acceptable…because, why, exactly? Isn't his website selling tons of CAM products? Isn't it in HIS best interest to attempt to downplay the relevant literature when it's convenient for HIM and HIS bottom-line? Hypocrites. Actually, let me address a bit of that first, because there are major problems with what he's saying. The 2008 study he's referring to does NOT say ANYTHING about reducing gut bacteria levels or increasing pH in human intestines, the study found that to be the case in RATS. Unless there are a lot of rats reading this article, the study is nothing more than a guide for future research. And btw, the CCC critique is pretty solid, even if it is self-serving. Sometimes the two are not mutually exclusive. It is really misleading to extrapolate from ONE study in RATS to claiming that it is doing the same thing in human intestines. Really, that entire page is an example of how NOT to interpret scientific data and is fraught with numerous logical fallacies. Very sloppy, but not unexpected from CAM advocates.

    Ok, regarding artificial sweeteners, the research that suggests that they can actually lead to weight gain is a quite provocative hypothesis. Even though the sweeteners can not be metabolized – and are thus non-caloric – the thought is when the tongue senses the sweetness it signals the intestines to prepare for (real) sugar uptake and presumably ramp up insulin-mediated glucose metabolism. This results in *greater* amounts of sugar uptake and storage from the already, or soon-to-be, consumed carbs. More works needs to be done, but it does begin to address why some (most?) people who use these artificial sweeteners don't realize the weight loss that would be predicted by their use.

    • Anonymous

      Very interesting. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to post this.

    • Fayfie

      Thank you so much for sharing your time and expertise with us.

    • Toby

      So…do you and your family consume artificial sweeteners???

      • captainentropy

        No. Not intentionally. I think they taste awful, be they Splenda, Nutrasweet, stevia, agave, etc. Yuck. I try to minimize my sugar intake anyway, we (as a society) eat way too much of it anyway and it's the main reason by our obesity epidemic. Purified sugar that is, and especially HFCS.

    • Bcbossarte

      Splenda is made from corn -GMO corn specifically . For use in the USA . Their second plant does not use GMO corn and that splenda goes to Europe . Fact!
      GMO corn has Bt in it . Explodes insects stomachs when they eat it. And it doesn’t do Anything to humans guts or system? Not a scientist, just a critical thinker who follows the money!

      • captainentropy

        "Explodes insects stomachs"? Not exactly. The Bt toxins belong to a family of compounds called pore-forming toxins (delta-endotoxins). These Bt toxins are proteins (made by Cry and Cyt genes in Bacillus thuringiensis – where "Bt" comes from) that are are first cleaved by a specific protease in the insects' gut. This cleaved product binds to specific receptors found only on intestinal luminal cells of certain insects (and no, we humans do NOT have these receptors). These proteins then insert into these luminal cells' membrane and do two things: create pores in which the cellular material leaks out and activates signalling pathways that lead to destabilization of the cytoskeleton and ion channels. These actions cause the cells to lyse. This results in the insect not being able to absorb nutrients from the plants they are eating, resulting in them dying by starvation.

        Do you know where else you will find lytic destruction of cells? The complement system which is a component of *our* immune system called the innate immune system. This kind of immunity is also found in all plant and animal life on earth.

        Perhaps if you spent less time thinking you're on to something by "following the money" and more time following the facts you wouldn't be wallowing around in this nonsense. Critical thinking is quite the opposite of what people like Mercola, those who wrote this article, and most all other anti-GMO people (and CAM proponents, vegans, homeopaths, anti-vaxers, etc. etc.) do.

        Once this anti-GMO activist got around to actually understanding the data, lo and behold, he changed his mind:

        • LieutenantEntropy

          However, given that only a few people took the time to express appreciation for your thoughtful comments, I suspect that the majority of readers are not able to appreciate the level you are operating on and hence are not able to appreciate what you are talking about.

          I hope you are not casting pearls before swine.

          • captainentropy

            Thanks for the kind words, Lieutenant ;)

            I'm not sure if I'm casting pearls before *swine*, uncritically-thinking, pseudo-scientific, knuckleheads at least. It is tough though. I was once in the realm of the uneducated, though certainly skeptical, and I fell victim to the same seductive logical fallacies that these people are. At least I had the intellectual honesty and determination to challenge my beliefs, learn the facts and contemporary scientific consensus, and slaughter my sacred cows when they weakened.

    • Rebecca

      I have a science degree as well, though only a BS. As much as I agree with you on certain points and your logical arguing techniques, I beg to differ on a few things. First of all, it has not been tested safe for any length of time. I take a more European approach to new "foods" in that, if it hasn't been proven safe on the long term, it shouldn't be widely consumed or available for such consumption. I do believe that sucralose (deceptive "ose" name) is considered a chlorocarbon is it not? chlorocarbons are dangerous to human cells correct? Perhaps I have been misinformed… Also, sucralose has a slight caloric breakdown, of ~96 calories per cup, which tells me that it is indeed getting absorbed as calories somewhere, which means it does have an effect on the digestive system and respective cells. Some people have more fragile DNA than others, you know that. Even if sucralose is absorbed on a very minor level, a mutagenic chlorocarbon, even if only slightly metabolized, can wreck havoc on the poor cell's dna in its wake. Another point worth mentioning: dissolved sucralose is very unstable. When added to drinks, the drinks sour very quickly and the flavor completely changes within a short period of time.( I say this from personal experience in dumping gallons of diet lemonade down a drain because of souring within 24 hours of being added to the lemonade. This was not a one time occurance, rather a common one.) If there is such a change in it's stability in cold, lemon water; what is happening in 98 degree stomach acid? I just have a hard time believing that it is safe with almost no testing, and the few tests done on the rats, seem highly unfavorable. When you kill off gut flora in a human, you can almost kiss vitamin K and many other vitamins, and their absorption, away….let alone the effects on the immune system. I appreciate and greatly respect your scientific background. Thank you for writing this post to encourage critical thinking.

      • captainentropy

        Searching PubMed I find 246 articles dating back to 1979 on sucralose (or trichlorosucrose as it's also known). It's been approved for general consumption since 1991 in Canada, 1993 in Australia, and 1998 in the US. 2004 for the EU. Considering that is a timespan of 9-22 years, and presumably hundreds of millions of people over that time frame have consumed it (and perhaps many exclusively so) and there hasn't been any reported "problems" (i.e. toxicity, serious illness) in the medical literature. That is a strong indicator that it's safe. It's not like observations made about lead, or mercury, etc. which clearly showed toxicity over time and dose. Speaking to that, there is no scientific evidence of toxicity, and I don't mean the studies haven't been done, they have and they show that it is safe. Note I put quotes around the word 'problem' earlier. Its use does pose a potential problem related to obesity, or rather the lack of weight loss when used, due to the possible mechanism I mentioned above. The notion of testing for "safety" is simply a catch-all strategy that anti-science people use to try to remove products from the marketplace for ideological reasons. Aspirin for example was never tested by the FDA for safety. Actually, if it was it might actually be regulated because it does have acute and chronic poisoning levels easily achieved. Lots of people die each year due to aspirin toxicity.

      • captainentropy

        As for chlorocarbons, well, it depends on the compound. Many of them are toxic and dangerous to health. However, there are many that aren't. There are tons of naturally occurring organochlorine molecules in all forms of life, even humans. Read these if you can get access:, And I'm not saying that any of the naturally occurring organochlorines are particularly safe for humans, I'm just saying that the a priori assumption that organochlorines are incompatible with, or detrimental to, life is utterly without merit. Don't get sucked into either the naturalistic or association fallacies without understanding what they are. The bottom line is don't judge a book by its cover. You wouldn't accuse Brad Pitt of being a serial killer just because he has the same hair color as Jeffery Dahmer, would you? So why would one claim sucralose equal to DDT just because they both share three chlorine atoms? It lacks critical thinking, and it's simply not a fact-based claim.

      • captainentropy

        As for the stability, there's no scientific evidence that sucralose is any less stable than sucrose. To the contrary in fact. Sucralose can be detected in wastewater, so it clearly is stable in the environment and all the unsavory environments it would encounter after elimination from the body or other forms of release. As for the "souring" of your lemonade you experienced, be careful not to make hasty conclusions. Think about all the possibilities of what could be happening. I could just as easily conclude from this anecdote that: in the absence of sucrose (or any other caloric sweetener) bacteria in the drink would have to metabolize other compounds. Perhaps the metabolizing of other molecules in your lemonade are generating unpalatable acrid byproducts. Or the molecules consumed by bacteria, which otherwise, in the presence of sugar, would not have been preferred for their metabolism, are what are supposed to give lemonade its proper taste.

      • captainentropy

        "Some people have more fragile DNA than others, you know that." Uhhh, what are you talking about? There is absolutely nothing inherently different about the DNA, from a chemical point of view, between any two people on the planet. People have different abilities to repair DNA damage, this is true, but the DNA itself isn't fundamentally different between people. That's nonsense. One of the things I study in my lab is DNA repair and the biological effects of ionizing radiation. And again, just search PubMed to see for yourself, there are NO reports that sucralose is mutagenic in any way, the opposite is reported (that it is not mutagenic). You're just making stuff up.

      • captainentropy

        You are also making large leaps in logic with respect to data, published or not. For example, regarding your souring observation, you assume the answer is the sucralose without addressing all other possibilities. And when you talk about the gut flora you are presuming that the rat experiments are 1) reliable and reproducible – remember this is ONE study, science operates on consensus, not isolated papers, and 2) directly relevant to human physiology. You can't make either of those claims. I read the paper, the two papers refuting it, and the rebuttal of the critiques. The expert panel's critique made a lot of important points. To me, the bottom line is, one paper about upsetting gut flora (which is an important claim) – big effing deal. Reproducibility is the key to scientific rigor. By all means, repeat this study, with larger numbers of animals, and better controls (like the critique pointed out). Until then to argue, in the lack of any epidemiological evidence to the contrary that splenda is toxic or unsafe, that it should be removed from the market is just advocating for bad science and bad policy. And again, I don't use artificial sweeteners, ever. Don't like the taste, and I see no real use for them. Too much sugar/sweet is what's behind the obesity epidemic. Redirect your efforts to reducing that.

        Also, and since all you anti-sucralose people loooovee to trade in conspiracy theories about big-pharma and "anti-sugar" groups refuting the "anti-sucralose" crowd, etc. you should know that this study on Splenda done in rats was funded by, wait for it, the The Sugar Association. So, please proceed with the special pleading as to why this type of funding of a study is ok but the McNeil company (one of the makers of splenda) funding artifical-sweetener studies, is not ok.

      • captainentropy

        "I just have a hard time believing that it is safe with almost no testing…" That is simply the fallacy of personal incredulity: "I can't explain this or understand it, therefore it must not be true." This is why we have experts on scientific consensus and this is why we're supposed to listen to them. But, besides, it HAS been tested for toxic effects – none ever found. Plus, like I said, millions and millions of people have used it for decades and there is no known pathology due to its use. Now, the argument that 'well, it hasn't been tested under A, B, or C conditions for an effect on X, Y, or Z, therefore we must assume it isn't safe' (and I'm not saying you're making this argument) is just an argument ad ignoratiam. There MAY be effect Y seen under conditions B (or whatever millions of permutations that might exist) but is that *possibility* sufficient justification for removing something from the market in the absence of demonstrable negative consequences of use? NO! NOTHING can pass such scrutiny. This is the same nonsensical argument people who think vaccines cause autism, or that cell phones or overhead power lines cause cancer use all the time. They have a preformatted viewpoint that whatever they're against, in this case being sucralose, is dangerous/toxic and when data emerges that doesn't support their position they simply move the goalpost and say more testing needs to be done.

        Once there is a preponderance of empirical evidence and a consensus of scientific/medical experts for or against some claim, the debate should really be over. Are we there yet with this? If not, we sure are close.

        • Kathleen

          Captain of entropy needs to get off
          His soap box.

          • captainentropy

            …and let idiots have control of the discussion? I don't think so.

            If being more intellectually rigorous, avoiding logical fallacies, and actually understanding the science under discussion constitutes being on a soapbox, then I'll gladly stand upon it.

  • gordon hoselton

    fake sugars can be a boon to diabetes sufferers, in context.

  • Rick

    Agreed re avoiding fake sugars. Minimising actual sugar intake is a priority also- we evolved for a diet not served by the modern world

  • Kel

    Go Duke!. I can't use fake sugars because it tastes bad and I get a migraine. I'm always telling people to stay away from these and diet sodas and no one listens. I'd rather be fatter than get cancer.