Sucralose is a zero-calorie artificial sweetener derived from sugar. Known by the brand name, Splenda, you can use this sweetener for both cooking and baking. According to “Sweet Stuff: An American History of Sweeteners From Sugar to Sucralose,” sucralose is approximately 600-times sweeter than sugar. Manufacturers also use sucralose in a variety of packaged foods and beverages. Sucralose also has several side effects associated with its use, including migraines.
A Migraine Trigger
According to “Splenda Is it Safe or Not?” sucralose can trigger migraine headaches in certain individuals. It appears to trigger headaches in some individuals but not others, and the exact mechanism and causal relationship between sucralose and migraines requires further study. Currently, no clinical evidence exists to support this causal relationship.
Another concern regarding the use of sucralose is the effect that the sweetener may have on the thymus, a small organ in your upper chest that helps your body to make white blood cells. According to “Sweet Deception: Why Splenda, NutraSweet, and the FDA May Be Hazardous to Your Health,” exceptionally high doses of sucralose may result in a decrease in your mean thymus weight. Nevertheless, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not classified sucralose as hazardous.
Other Side Effects
Additional side effects associated with sucralose include muscle aches, swelling, dizziness, diarrhea, numbness and stomach pain. Further, sucralose may cause bladder issues, panic-like agitation and intestinal cramping in some individuals.
Uses of Sucralose
Sucralose can help to retain moisture and add volume to foods including glazes, sweet sauces, cheesecakes and fruit pie fillings. The flavor, texture and cooking time of foods made with sucralose will vary when you compare with foods made with sugar. You can also use sucralose in dairy products such as light yogurt and low-fat flavored milk, low-fat coffee creamer, light pudding, light ice cream and light canned fruit.
- "Splenda® Is It Safe Or Not?"; Dr. Janet Starr Hull; 2005
- "Sweet Deception: Why Splenda, NutraSweet, and the FDA May Be Hazardous to Your Health"; Joseph Mercola and Kendra Degen Pearsall; 2006
- "Sweet Stuff: An American History of Sweeteners from Sugar to Sucralose"; Deborah Warner; 2011