Splenda Side Effects

June 21, 2017

Splenda Side EffectsWe are all familiar with the little yellow packages of Splenda that promise to satisfy our sweet tooth without the extra calories and the carbohydrates. You may have used Splenda in place of aspartame and saccharine and the -now banned by the FDA- cyclamate because you know they are composed of dangerous chemicals. And Splenda is natural, right? Well, not quite.

“Splenda” is the commercial name used for sucralose. The manufacturers advertise Splenda as being more “natural” than other sweeteners, as the main substance, sucralose, comes from sugar. This is very misleading though, as it leads consumers to believe that sucralose comes from sugar the same way that cheese comes from milk.

The way that sucralose is produced is much more complicated, but to put it simply splenda is chlorinated sugar (chlorocarbon).  Other common chlorocarbons include carbon tetrachloride, and methylene chloride which are all poisonous!  Chlorine in numerous studies has been proven as toxic to our bodies and can accumulate in our systems over time.

The reason that a chemically altered molecule, like sucralose, can be threatening for our health if ingested, is the fact that our bodies are not made to recognize these substances and do not know how to properly deal with them. This is not the case with sugar (sucrose, lactose, fructose) that we have been ingesting for thousands of years.

So, What Are the Splenda Side Effects?

Sucralose accumulates very slowly and with habitual use. To make it more clear, if we eat something containing sucralose once, our body will manage to eventually get rid of sucralose. But if we ingest it every day, our body does not have enough time to deal with it.  A study showed that with a moderate consumption 96.7% of sucralose leaves our bodies, while high consumption the percentage falls to 92.8%.  This means chlorine is being stored in other areas of your body causing your cells to become toxic!

You may say, if it’s so dangerous, then why is it FDA approved?  (FYI, the FDA approves a lot of things that later are pulled off the market once enough people die like cyclamate and Vioxx).  The FDA points to over one hundred studies that claim sucralose is safe.

The problem is these studies are typical, and usually conducted by companies who are financially invested in Splenda, and all were short term studies. One of the studies tests if Splenda causes teeth decay, for example, which is of course a serious issue, but not life threatening. The vast majority of the studies used rats, not humans and in very, very limited amounts.

What about the other studies though? The ones that show that in amounts of 500 mg/kg sucralose is hepatoxic and nephrotoxic, meaning that it causes damage to the liver and kidneys. Those studies are not taken seriously by the FDA, as the test subjects were -guess what- rats. And their defense mechanism are not considered adequate to simulate the human body’s response.

The controversy of the FDA’s behavior here is of course obvious. It is a fact that the amount of sucralose used in these studies is very high, but it is chosen as they want to test the effects of accumulated sucralose in the human body after years of everyday use.

Apart from the liver and kidneys, a 2008 Duke University study found that Splenda alters the intestine flora as it destroys beneficial bacteria. This is a major problem because we need good bacteria also known as probiotics for a healthy immune system.

Many people report the side effects as resembling allergic reactions. The most commonly reported Splenda side effects are:

  • migraines
  • dizziness
  • intestinal cramping
  • rashes
  • acne
  • headaches
  • bloating
  • chest pain
  • tinnitus
  • gum bleeding

And the list goes on! Of course, it’s hard to pin point that Spenda was exclusively responsible for these side effects, but in the reports people claim that they felt better once they stopped using Splenda.

James Turner of “Citizens for Health” is fighting for the labeling of products containing Splenda, to give consumers a choice to avoid sucralose. There is a good reason for that, as even if someone chooses not to use Splenda in their beverages, it is used as an additive in so many low calorie and/or sugar free foods and prepackaged goods, that it is quite hard to avoid it.

What Sweetener to Use Instead of Splenda?

Concluding, Splenda does not have any long term research and we know by its chemical makeup that it is not good for you.  Too much chlorine in your system is toxic and there are healthier, natural sweeteners available today like Whole Leaf Stevia.

I suggest you make the switch to Stevia or raw local honey to satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way!

Sources and Further Reading: Mayo Clinic article on artificial sweeteners:, National Cancer Institute on artificial sweeteners and the link to cancer:, A complete guide to sweeteners by Brian Rigby, A blog with reports about “Splenda Sickness”

Josh Axe

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  1. Linda hastings on

    I have been using Splenda for years and was shocked to learn of the toxic ingredient of chlorine. I no longer have diareah that I blamed on another perscription I was taking. No more Splenda for me!

  2. Darlene on

    I usually used Equal, but had trouble finding it in restaurants while on vacation. I started using Splenda and within hours I was covered, head to toe, with a bad rash. I immediately went back to using Equal. Two years ago I was diagnosed with fatty liver disease. My brother asked me to stop using Equal and switch to Stevia. I did and my liver tests have been much better. Have been using Stevia ever since.

    • Jim on

      If you had fatty liver disease you are most likely obese or even super obese. Why don’t you take responsibility for your own actions. It is not the artificial sweeteners it is all the other food and lack of exercise that made you fat.

      • Maria on

        I am a 5″3, 133lb. female
        And have a fatty liver. My bmi is on spot and I am 53 yrs. Old. I am not obese. I also do not drink.

  3. Lynda Krivoniak on

    I just had another reaction today and my eyes are swollen, but I can’t get a shot due to no insurance between jobs. The restaurant I was at gave me Splenda or Aspartame?? Then boom…can’t touch anything plastic or my eyes swell up! Also tears my stomach up! I have not had an issue in a while, I am so careful. I had gone through numerous allergy tests and eventually figured this out on my own that I was poisoning myself every morning with one small packet. This was a new allergy in the past few years.

  4. Greg Lang on

    I was a heavy Splenda user. For about 2 years I had a very itchy rash on my arms. Two separate dermatologists tested me – no cause could be identified. I altered my diet (except Splenda) and stopped taking medicines one at a time to see if they were the cause – no luck. Recently I stopped using Splenda and after a few days the rash started to ease. After a week it was gone.

  5. lori on

    I have been using splenda for over two years and now have a light rash on my hands, feet and arms it feels like when I take an antibiotic which I am very allergic to many of, but not currently using any. I have had ringing in my ears since using it, I’m not sure if that is a side effect but I am going to try using Stevia instead to see if this helps. I will blog again to let you know if any of this helps…..

  6. Ron on

    Hello!!! I was on a diet since April approx 8-9 months of Advocare. Very good diet and lost 65 lbs. The problem I’ve been having is since around Xmas I starting having seizures. I’ve done a lot of research and found that Sucralose causes a lot of the symptoms I’ve been having. I’m still suffering from real bad depression more seizures and my head is just very weird. The doctors have run all kinds of tests but so far can not pin point the problem. I’ve really noticed there are so many products with this sweetener that we use every day. I have been off of everything for a few weeks but still having these problems. Can someone please help me. I really am at my wits end. Thanks!!!

  7. Hafis on

    I recently started using sucralose on a daily basis to sweeten my tea. I observed that I am having urgency following its usage. Today I put three small pellets in my cup of tea which gave me this severe stomach ache and that’s how I ended up here. I had browsed net before starting with sucralose and almost all of them suggested it has no side effects. So far I thought my stomach ache was due to stopping of PPIs that I used to take. But now I know why I am having increased bloating sensation and abd cramps for past two weeks

  8. Mike on

    I used Splenda for five years because I thought it was a natural product. During that time I suffered many health

    problems including fevers, boils, chronic joint pain and mental confusion just to name a few. At the age of 45 I was

    diagnosed with ADHD and lost my job of twenty years as well as my marriage of twenty-five years. Most of the

    symptoms went away after I quit but some are still with me ten years later however the damage has been done and my

    life will never be the same. If you are using this poison, please quit…

  9. Ronnie miller on

    Don’t recommend it. I use to drink diet Pepsi like water, 8 12 ounce bottles a day. When Pepsi changed their formula I thought great. By February I was having all kinds of pain and weakness. I tried to walk and barely made it a half mile. Gave my 25 year habit of diet Pepsi up. Problems went away. Just walked 2 miles and feel wonderful.

  10. Don on

    On three occasions in the last two weeks I’ve had a mild allergic reaction to Splenda Diet Coke. We ran out of “real” soda and I doctored the sucralose taste of the diet drink with a single sugar cube. I’ve done this once in a while, but this is the first time I did it on back-to-back days and a total of five or six drinks. The reaction is edema and tingling of the lip and gum, predominantly in the area where I sip the straw.

    I had been using sodastream for about 2 years, and some of their house brand flavors use a small amount of sucralose in addition to sugar. This never caused me any problems. It appears the higher dose of sucralose triggered the reaction.

  11. Don on

    Update: An additional symptom was irritation of the throat with mucus accumulation and a barking cough that started shortly after the previous post. That means there was a fourth incident, actually the first reaction. I was driving late at night and had brought a can of Diet Coke with Splenda in case I got punchy. A short time after drinking it I started coughing and had to hack up some mucus. I thought it was related to the something odd smelling in the air, but looking back it must have been the sucralose.


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