There are a range of artificial sweeteners available to those who wish to avoid sugar or honey. Sucralose, commonly sold under the brand name "Splenda," was approved for sale by the Food and Drug Administration as a tabletop sweetener in 1998, and the following year as a general sweetener, according to the National Cancer institute. While the FDA considers the substance safe for human consumption, there are some negative effects associated with it.
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Sucralose may have a negative effect on the gastrointestinal system. According to a 2008 study published in the "Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health," some laboratory rats that ingested large amounts of sucralose experienced a decrease in the number of helpful bacteria present in their digestive tract. These bacteria aid in digestion and are also found in humans. However, there is no evidence to show that humans who ingest sucralose experience similar effects.
According to a study published in the "American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Journal" in 2008, sucralose may be associated with migranes or other headaches. The study reports that consumption of some artificial sweeteners, including sucralose, can cause mild side-effects such as nuisance headaches and possible migraine headaches. However, there are no studies that research the effect of sucralose on populations prone to migraines.
The 2008 study published in the "American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Journal" reports that toxicology studies of sucralose showed little effects. However, toxicology tests showed that some subjects experienced a shrinking of the thymus gland after ingesting a diet that consisted of 5 percent sucralose. However, this reduction is not attributed to the toxicity of sucralose, but rather the body's reaction to ingesting a diet that has a nutrition deficit.
While some people may experience temporary health effects after ingesting sucralose, there is no evidence to show that the substance is associated with a higher risk of cancer in humans. The Food and Drug Administration reviewed over 100 scientific studies that investigated the health effects of sucralose, including its impact on cancer rates. The agency found no evidence that sucralose poses a cancer risk, or poses any threat to human health, according to the National Cancer Institute.