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The Top 5 Reasons To Never Use Splenda

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This article posted here with permission, from Greenmedinfo.com, written by the founder, Sayer JiFor more news from them, you can sign up for their newsletter here

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Splenda is marketed as a no-calorie, no-guilt sugar substitute. Blood sugar stable, it “passes right through” the body, so it’s safe for diabetics AND you won’t gain weight! Are these claims masking the ugly truth about this chemical imposter? As mounting research shows, when it comes to our diet, there is no free lunch.

The allure is plain to see: a sweetener made from sugar, that tastes like sugar, but has zero calories. If the marketing is to be believed, this product is better than the real thing. It’s everything we love, with all of the evils removed.

When it comes to product marketing, beware the free lunch. Despite claims by the manufacturers that Splenda use is part of a healthy lifestyle, research is piling up that tells a very different story.

From the myth-busting studies linking Splenda to diabetes and weight-gain to sobering research showing increased risks of cancer, and more, our sucralose research portal reveals 22 different signs of trouble associated with this artificial sweetener.

Before we dive into the top reasons to avoid Splenda, let’s separate fact from fiction regarding exactly what this false promise really is.

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What IS Splenda?

The brand name “Splenda” refers to the chemical compound sucralose. The story of this substance does not attempt to conceal its bizarre origin: The year was 1974, when a chemist at a British college was told to “test” this new creation. Instead, he heard “taste,” which he did. The substance had an intensely sweet impact on the tongue, and like that, a new “food” was created for the public.

Seeing the actual chemical name of Splenda makes the synthetic product’s true nature much clearer:

1,6-dichloro-1,6-dideoxy-BETA-D-fructofuranosyl-4-chloro-4-deoxy-alpha-D-galactopyranoside

Although the product is touted as being derived from sugar, sucralose, aka Splenda, is not a form of sucrose, or cane sugar. Natural sugar is a hydrocarbon built around 12 carbon atoms. Sucralose is produced through substituting three hydroxyl groups (hydrogen + oxygen) with three chlorine atoms in the sugar (sucrose) molecule.

When sugar molecules are transformed into Splenda, they become chlorocarbons, the same chemical family as the deadly pesticide, DDT, disinfectants like Clorox Bleach, and the WWI poison gas, dichlorourea. Thanks to its sugary simulation, this dangerous toxicant has earned a place on grocery store shelves and in products worldwide.

Who’s Protecting You?

You may be thinking, “The FDA would never approve this if it wasn’t safe.” Common sense dictates that trying to pass toxic chemicals off as foods would never be allowed to happen in civilized society, right?

Sadly, our collective past has proven that regulatory safety nets often fail to protect consumer safety. Artificial sweeteners like sucralose and aspartame are approved for sale in 90 nations around the world, despite overwhelming evidence linking them to a wide range of serious health conditions, such as cancer, liver failure, and brain damage.

But as concerns about sucralose mount, the scientific consensus is taking notice. A recent Italian study linking Splenda to leukemia in mice prompted the Center for the Public Interest in Science to downgrade the safety classification for Splenda from “safe” to “caution.”

New evidence indicates that many of the associated health concerns present at even lower exposure levels than the manufacturers would have us believe. “Use caution” may prove to be an understatement with serious health consequences.

How Much is Too Much?

While manufacturers go to great lengths to cherry-pick studies in which damage occurs only in high doses, research shows the amount of Splenda required to cause toxic effects is much lower than current guidelines allow. In fact, the acceptable daily intake of Splenda may be set hundreds of times too high to ensure safety.

In 1998, the FDA approved an acceptable daily intake (ADI) for humans of 5 mg/kg per day, based on toxicity studies in rats measuring observed effect level. This safety limit was based on observations of the rats’ outward presentations of disease symptoms.

Since that time, much has been learned about the importance of what is unseen in our biological ecosystem, namely the trillions of microbes that constitute the microbiome. Research into the impact of Splenda on gut health concluded that the observation threshold for adverse effects to the microbiome of rats was 454 times lower than when initially measured, indicating that significant effects are expected in humans who are consuming far less than the advertised acceptable daily intake of Splenda.

Top 5 Reasons to Avoid Splenda

When you understand what Splenda is, and realize there is no regulatory safety net between you and harm, it makes understanding the facts about Splenda even more critical. Here are five alarming reasons to avoid this artificial sweetener.

1. It’s toxic and carcinogenic

Regulatory agencies may be slow to recognize the signs, but our bodies know immediately what is food, and what is poison. A recent study published in the European Journal of Nutrition concluded that rats metabolize sucralose in the same way they metabolize other harmful drugs and toxins. The body treats Splenda as a poison, and works fast to remove it.

Scientists found other toxicological issues with long-term exposure to sucralose. Bowel enlargement, kidney mineralization, and changes to pelvic tissue were some of the side-effects of doses well within limits of the allowable daily intake level set for humans.

These findings do much to disprove the manufacturers claim that this substance merely passes, unaltered, through the digestive tract. The makers of Splenda argue that this “remarkably stable” chemical transits, unchanged, into the urine and feces, when in fact, up to 11% to 27% is absorbed into the body (FDA, 1999).

What effects will these accumulated chemicals have on our health? According to James Bowen, M.D:

“Any chlorocarbons not excreted intact from the body can cause immense damage to the processes of human metabolism and, eventually, our internal organs.”

Warning: Heating Splenda Increases the Risks

Recent findings add increased urgency to existing safety concerns surrounding Splenda’s heat-stability.  Advertised as “ideal for baking”, results show that Splenda is even more dangerous when heated to a mere 248℉.

At this relatively low-heat level, Splenda degrades into toxic compounds like chloropropanol and deadly dioxins. This evidence presents a sharp contrast to the claim that Splenda can safely be used in high-heat processes.

2. Increases risks of diabetes and obesity

Splenda is marketed as a way to “get a little sweetness in your life” without any of the concerns surrounding weight gain or sugar sensitivity. It’s becoming clear just how false this advertising really is. In fact, the trade-off may be far worse than the real thing.

Studies on human test subjects show that sucralose alters the body’s ability to process glucose, creating glucose intolerance, metabolic disturbances, and diabetes-promoting effects that are key factors in obesity. These harmful responses occur despite sucralose containing no calories and being classified as a ‘non-nutritive sweetener.’

In one such trial, a single dose of sucralose led to increases in plasma glucose concentrations, a 20% increase in insulin levels, a 22% greater peak insulin secretion rate, and a 7% decrease in insulin sensitivity.

This human study linked Splenda to diabetes-associated metabolic changes, including increased appetite and weight gain, calling into question its value as a sweetener for those suffering with, or wishing to prevent, blood sugar disorders.

If these sweeteners pass through the gut intact, and are mostly unabsorbed by the body, what could be responsible for these adverse impacts on gut function and insulin response?

It’s in the Microbiota

Researchers hypothesized, and later proved, that gut microbiota drove these adverse effects, including “increased weight and waist-to-hip ratio; higher fasting blood glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, and elevated markers of fatty liver disease.”

They observed significant changes to the gut bacterial composition of mice consuming artificial sweeteners, which brings us to the next reason to avoid Splenda: its effects on the all-important intestinal microbiome.

3. Harms the GI tract

Research into the microbiome continues to yield breakthrough discoveries on the intimate relationship between the ‘enteric brain’ and the central nervous system. This connection may reveal previously unrecognized consequences of the use of this artificial sweetener. It’s negative impact on the microbiome is clear:

  • Sucralose reduced the number of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract (e.g., lactobacilli, bifidobacteria),
  • While increasing the count of detrimental bacteria (e.g., enterobacteria).
  • Adverse effects on gut flora did not return to normal (baseline) despite the allowance of a 3-month recovery period.
  • Sucralose altered the pH of the gastrointestinal tract, a prime factor in the development of disease states

These findings coincide with a global uptick in inflammatory bowel disease, particularly evident in Canada, where Sucralose has been proposed to be a primary driver of this disturbing trend.

4. Contaminates breast milk

The use of sucralose has grown so prevalent, even our most vulnerable populations are incapable of opting out of exposure. A recent government-funded study found sucralose contaminated 65% of all breast milk samples assayed.

The groundbreaking study, “Nonnutritive Sweeteners in Breast Milk“, found that sucralose survives maternal metabolism and enters breast milk in the majority of samples tested. The presence of non-nutritive sweeteners in the breast milk was irrespective of whether the mother knowingly consumed the substance.

Adequate proof of the safety of sucralose in infants is not available, and tests are unethical to perform in human subjects. This is one reason for the use of animals in surrogate risk assessments. One such assessment involves testing a chemical’s safety by determining the amount needed to kill 50% of rodents within a short time frame (“acute toxicity”), and then deducing an “acceptable level of harm” to humans. This is done primarily by adjusting for body weight differences between rodents and humans.

This outdated and misleading standard does not account for low-dose, chronic exposures over time, nor does it account for the synergistic toxicities of multiple chemical exposures occurring simultaneously in real-world situations. Until such rigorous testing can be performed, the use of non-nutritive sweeteners should be halted by those wishing to conceive, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

5. Suppresses Thyroid Function, Disrupts Hormones

A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition is the first study of its kind to evaluate the effects of Splenda on thyroid function and metabolism.

Their findings reveal that sucralose is an endocrine disruptor: it disrupts the body’s hormonal systems. In this study, resultant effects included thyroid hormone suppression, increased appetite, and weight gain.

The researchers believed that Splenda’s adverse effects would be reflected in “thyroid histopathology,” i.e. increased instances of thyroid lesions and tumors. Could this be one of the drivers behind the mysterious global uptick in thyroid cancer diagnoses?

In this study, researchers lament the widespread use of non-nutritive sweeteners, particularly concerning due to lack of research on their effects on thyroid:

“Non-nutritive sweeteners are the most widely used food additives worldwide. However, their metabolic outcomes are still a matter of controversy and their effect on the thyroid activity, a key regulator of metabolism, has not been previously studied.”

The chief aim of this study was to reveal the effect of “sweet-type flavor on selected parameters of thyroid activity.”

105 rats were divided into 3 groups that could consume, free-choice, one of three different diets. The three, wheat starch-based diets had identical caloric content, yet differed in the following ways:

  • Diet #1 contained no sugar
  • Diet #2 contained 10 grams of sucrose (cane sugar)
  • Diet #3 contained .0167 grams of sucralose, enough to create the same sweet flavor intensity as Diet #2

Because previous research has established that carbohydrates directly affect thyroid, this study was designed to isolate only the difference between the artificial and natural sweetener. Results indicated that both the presence and type of sweet-flavor carrier effects thyroid activity.

Compared to the diet with cane sugar which stimulates thyroid activity, sucralose diminished thyroid hormone activity. Additionally, key hormone concentrations (T4 & T3) were lower for subjects eating sucralose than in either the sugary or non-sweet diets. Researchers determined that sucralose significantly altered the thyroid and metabolic functions of the animals, with symptoms resembling those of hypothyroidism.

This study proved sucralose is not metabolically inert, the claim often made when questions of toxicity are raised. The results provide compelling evidence that the difference in thyroid and metabolic effects observed between the study groups were due to sucralose’s significant and complex toxicological properties.

For more information and the latest medical research, check out GreenMedInfo’s sucralose research database.

Check out the research on the health benefits of natural sweeteners like honey, and stevia, a no-calorie alternative to synthetic sweeteners.

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Awareness

Boy or Girl – Baby Gender Selection Issues

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Some parents have the possibility to opt for gender selection; however, being able to decide whether to have a baby boy or girl is a controversial issue.

Many couples expecting a baby do not think it’s a big issue whether they have a boy or a girl; however there are several medical, social, and personal reasons that could influence parents to recur to some form of gender selection.

Like many other controversial practices, the legality of gender selection, also known as sex selection, varies from country to country.

The Legality of Baby Gender Selection

The United States has perhaps some of the most relaxed laws regarding baby gender selection in the world. Most European countries and Australia, on the other hand, have bans on sex selection and only allow it for medical reasons. For example, if a parent is a carrier of a mutation or gene with more chances of manifesting itself in a certain gender, baby gender selection is valid. However, if parents simply wish to balance the ratio of boys and girls in their family, they are not allowed to recur to sex selection.

This has generated a form of medical tourism in which couples from countries where gender selection is illegal, like the UK, travel to the US in order to be able to choose whether to have a baby boy or girl.

On the other hand, sex selection is illegal in the two most populated countries on Earth, China and India. In these countries, baby gender selection has been performed clandestinely for many years and for reasons other than family balancing or avoiding genetic diseases. In these societies, having a baby boy is preferred mainly for cultural and economic reasons. Parents believe that boys have better chances of earning income and eventually support them when they reach an old age.

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Methods of Baby Gender Selection

There are two major types of gender selection methods: the first one is called sperm sorting, and involves separating X-chromosome sperm from Y-chromosome sperm by flow cytometry, a purification technique in which chromosomes are suspended in a stream of sperm and identified by an electronic detector before being separated. Intra-uterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization can then be performed with the enriched sperm. The success rates for this method vary from 80% to 93%.

The other method, called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, consists in generating several embryos through in-vitro fertilization, which are then genetically tested to determine a baby’s gender. The chosen embryos can then be implanted. This method has a success rate of almost 100%; however, it can be quite expensive, costing up to $15,000.

Issues Regarding Baby Gender Selection

While there are few objections against baby gender selection when it is performed for medical reasons, it has become a highly controversial issue when it is used for balancing the number of boys or girls in families. Some people raise the obvious ethical question of whether people who opt for gender selection are “playing God” by manipulating whether to have a baby boy or girl. Others believe that new parents will raise a baby more appropriately if he or she belongs to their preferred gender.

Gender Imbalance Caused by Baby Gender Selection

Gender selection has caused demographic concern in China and India since it has contributed to generate a gender imbalance in the populations of those countries. In some regions of China, for example, the sex ratio for newborns is 118:100, boys to girls. This phenomenon has in turn been associated with social problems such as an increase in violence and prostitution.

It seems like a logical solution for governments around the globe to legalize baby gender selection but to analyze the personal reasons why each couple intends to select a baby boy or girl. Gender selection for medical reasons should even be encouraged, since it could prevent serious genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and Haemophilia A. Balancing the gender ratio of a family should be accepted if by doing this, a healthy family environment is created. On the other hand, China and India have shown that baby gender selection as a result of a bias towards a particular gender can not only create a gender imbalance in the population, but contribute to social problems as well.

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Awareness

Organic Certification: What the USDA Organic Label Means

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Organic and natural labels mean different things, and various types of labels tells you what percentage of ingredients are actually organic. We'll explore what to look for.

  • Reflect On:

    Do you sometimes buy products thinking they are organic or fully natural based on their wording? Have you later found out that those products aren't natural or organic at all? Read labels more closely at grocery stores to be aware.

Don’t get conned by fraudulent claims of “natural” or “organic.” Learn what to look for, and why it’s important, to ensure you’re getting the quality you are paying for.

The industrial age of the 20th century brought about changing agricultural practices that have generated increasing alarm about the effects of these practices on the environment and health. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, irradiated and genetically altered food and fiber products has created a groundswell of rightful concern. It has led to the growing demand for non-toxic, organic products that many are willing to pay a higher price for to ensure the healthful purity of food and clothing provided for their families.

With such profit opportunities, it’s little wonder that the lucrative organic product market has suffered abuse with so-called “organic” labels being fraudulently placed on products that have not earned the right. As a result of pressure from farming and consumer groups, legislation for the standardization of organic certification was introduced in the 1980s. It has been updated to include more vigorous enforcement and control methods since, with the current standards established in 2002 by the USDA.

The Standards of USDA Organic Certification

Specific standards must be met in order to legally claim a product as USDA certified organic. Organic producers must utilize methods that conserve water, maximize soil health, and reduce air pollution. The specific standards to earn USDA organic certification include:

Free of synthetic chemicals such as insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, and additives

Free from irradiation and genetically modified organisms

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Agricultural products grown on land that has been free of prohibited substances for a period of three years

Animals used for meat, eggs, milk or other animal products must be exclusively fed foods that are organically grown, may not be given antibiotics or hormones, and must have access to outdoors.

Clean and sanitized harvesting and processing equipment throughout the process from harvest to finished, packaged product

Detailed chain-of-handling records from the field through final sales

Physical separation of certified organic products from non-organic products throughout the process of production

Regular on-site inspections from USDA-approved inspectors to ensure compliance

Understanding the Certified Organic Label

Once the rigorous process of certification has been completed, organic producers may place the USDA certified organic seal on their products. Currently, there are four levels of certified organic products, with a specific definition of the percentage of organic ingredients the final products contains. They are as follows:

• 100% organic: all production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic.

• Organic: at least 95% of the production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• Made With Organic Ingredients: at least 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• No organic wording or seal: less than 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic and no claims may be made on the front or back of the product.

Manufacturers or producers who knowingly label a product “organic” when it does not meet the USDA standards are subject to fines up to $11,000 per violation.

Why Organic Certification is Important

When you see the official USDA organic certification seal on food, clothing, and bedding products, you can be assured that these products have met the meticulous standards required and are free of chemicals, toxins, antibiotics, and hormones. When you see the USDA certified organic label, you will understand the value of the higher priced organic products as compared to non-organically produced products.

With the current stringent organic certification requirements enforced by regular inspections from USDA accredited agents, the USDA certified organic label has great meaning and importance to the consumer. Look for the label to know that you are getting the quality you are paying for.

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Awareness

WHO Finds Global Lack Of Inactivity Rising Especially In Wealthier Countries — What You Can Do

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Inactivity is on the rise and it's the cause of a wide range of health concerns. Our population is only becoming more inactive, not less, and it's time to change that.

  • Reflect On:

    There are many factors of our modern world that make us less active. Our jobs, driving rather than walking/biking, too much screen time. What can you do differently to bring more activity into your life? What story stops you from starting?

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than a quarter of the entire population on this planet are not getting enough physical exercise, this number has barely improved since 2001. There are many factors that contribute to this, but just how much damage are we doing by failing to be active?

The lack of physical exercise raises the risk of many health problems, such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes and various types of cancers.

Interestingly, according to their study published in The Lancet Global Health, higher income countries, such as the UK, were among the least active population. Women were also found to be more sedentary throughout the world, excluding two regions in Asia.

The study looked at self-reported data on activity levels from 358 population based surveys covering 168 countries and included 1.9 million people.

The populations of higher income countries, which include the UK and USA showed an increase in the proportion of inactive people and had actually risen from 32% in 2001 to 37% in 2016, in the lower income countries it remained at 16%.

Those who were classified as inactive did less than 150 minutes of moderate exercise and around 75 minutes of intense activity per week.

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It was found that women were less active than men overall, except for in South and Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and higher-income Western countries. The authors believe that this was caused by a few different factors including extra childcare duties and cultural perspectives that may have made it more difficult for them to exercise.

Why More Inactivity In Wealthier Countries?

According to the researchers, in the wealthier countries, many of the jobs have transitioned to more office or desk jobs, meaning a more sedentary type of lifestyle. On top of that much of the population of these countries drive automobiles or take public transit to and from work which in many cases accounts for a lot of their time.

In the lower income countries, many of the jobs require the people to be more active, are physically demanding and people often have to walk to and from their jobs.

The WHO has had a goal to reduce the global levels of inactivity by 10% by 2025, the authors of the study feel that at the rate we are currently going, this target will be missed.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Regina Guthold said, “Unlike other major global health risks, levels of insufficient physical activity are not falling worldwide, on average, and over a quarter of all adults are not reaching the recommended levels of physical activity for good health.”

Regions with increasing levels of insufficient physical activity are a major concern for public health and the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.”

Co-author, Dr. Fiona Bull added, “Addressing these inequalities in physical activity levels between men and women will be critical to achieving global activity targets and will require interventions to promote and improve women’s access to opportunities that are safe, affordable and culturally acceptable.”

According to the WHO,

Exercise guidelines for 19- to 64-year-olds

How much?

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week
  • strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles
  • break up long periods of sitting with light activity

What is moderate aerobic activity?

  • Walking fast, water aerobics, riding a bike on level ground or with a few hills, doubles tennis, pushing a lawn mower, hiking, skateboarding, rollerblading, volleyball, basketball

What counts as vigorous activity?

  • Jogging or running, swimming fast, riding a bike fast or on hills, singles tennis, football, rugby, skipping rope, hockey, aerobics, gymnastics, martial arts

What activities strengthen muscles?

  • lifting weights, working with resistance bands, doing exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups, heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling, yoga

What activities are both aerobic and muscle-strengthening?

  • circuit training, aerobics, running, football, rugby, netball, hockey

Final Thoughts

I was surprised to see that the WHO didn’t touch on inactivity due to too much screen time — watching television, Netflix, Facebook scrolling, messaging, texting, browsing etc. Certainly, the increase in screen time plays a roll with the amount of inactivity, especially in the higher income countries. If you are someone who spends too much time staring at a screen, then it is important to consider the above information. Can you limit your screen time and replace it with something active? Or would you consider jumping rope, or rebounding while watching the television? Our health is our greatest wealth and having awareness about an issue is the first way to create change and take responsibility for our lives.

Could you walk or bike to work instead of drive? What about trying a new sport? Could you commit to adding a few hours each week of physical activity? These small decisions could have a profound impact on your health, longevity and overall well-being.

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Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

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