Is Sucralose Bad for Pregnant Women?

Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that is 600 times sweeter than sugar, according to FamilyDoctor.org. Unlike other artificial sweeteners sucralose does not leave any aftertaste and has a taste similar to actual sugar. Unlike regular sugar, sucralose contains almost no calories. Pregnant women may elect to take artificial sweeteners such as sucralose in order to manage their blood sugar, the American Diabetes Association notes.

Pregnant women looking at ultrasounds drinking tea (Image: Andersen Ross/Blend Images/Getty Images)

Uses

Sucralose is used extensively in baking as well as chewing gum, coffee, fruit juices and sodas, sweet sauces and ice cream, the American Pregnancy Association states. Sucralose can also be used as a table-top sweetener in place of table sugar. Sucralose is also used in medicines, nutritional supplements and vitamins. Sucralose is heat-stable so it is safe to use in baking, cooking or with hot beverages such as coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

Safety for Pregnant Women

Sucralose is safe for human consumption when used in moderation. Pregnant women can consume sucralose as part of their diet without having to worry about adverse side effects. Sucralose is safe for pregnant women because it does not elevate blood sugar levels and does not add to their caloric intake and does not affect the growing child, according to the American Pregnancy Association.

Benefits

One of the benefits of using sucralose as an alternative to sugar is that that sucralose will not contribute to any weight gained during pregnancy, the Mayo Clinic notes. Sucralose can be used as a sugar substitute for diabetics. About 4 percent of all pregnant women may be afflicted with gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes may occur because the hormones from the placenta can sometimes impair the mother's insulin. Gastational diabetes can cause birth defects to occur. By using sucralose, diabetic pregnant women can better control their blood sugar and thus limit the complications associated with the disease.

Health Concerns of Other Artificial Sweeteners

Sucralose is generally considered safe for pregnant women because it does not pose any particular health concern compared to other sweeteners. Unlike other sweeteners, such as aspartame and acesulfame-K, sucralose does not have any particular health issues. Aspartame can cause birth defects and conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. Aspartame is particularly detrimental to women who have a hereditary condition called phenylketonuria, or PKU. PKU is a condition where your body is unable to break down the phenylalanine in aspartame. Cyclamate is an artificial sweetener that is banned in the United States and may cause cancer, the American Pregnancy Association states.

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