Nevella is a brand name for the artificial sweetener sucralose, which is salso sold under the name Splenda. Sucralose is produced by treating sugar with chlorine chemicals, resulting in a substance 600 times sweeter than sugar. The official Nevella website states there are no known side effects. Alternative health care providers as well as consumers have expressed concern about possible risks associated with consuming chlorinated sugar, and people have made anecdotal reports of side effects.
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Many side effects were reported in rats that were fed sucralose during clinical trials, although the amounts fed were very high, as reported by osteopath Joseph Mercola. These effects included reduced growth rates, lower red blood cell counts, reduced levels of thyroid hormone, decreased urination and shrunken ovaries.
Sucralose is not calorie-free, but people tend to use less of it than sugar because smaller amounts are needed to sweeten food. Additionally, the body seems to digest or absorb little of this product. Certified nutritionist Janet Hull notes that some people experience diarrhea after ingesting sucralose. In clinical studies with sucralose, as explained by Mercola, some animals developed an enlarged colon. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration called this a non-significant finding because the effect is often seen with poorly absorbed substances. The University of Maryland Medical Center lists sucralose as an ingredient that can trigger or worsen episodes of irritable bowel syndrome.
Other Intestinal Effects
A study published in the January 2008 issue of the "Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health" found additional sucralose effects on the intestines. Rats fed sucralose showed a decrease in beneficial bacteria along with elevated pH in their feces. They also had elevated levels of body chemicals that limit the bioavailability of certain medications.
Some percentage of Nevella appears to be absorbed by the body rather than passing through undigested. Mercola notes that the chlorine component may have negative effects on health. Cumulative effects of absorption of dioxin, a byproduct of chlorine usage in industry, have been linked to birth defects, cancer, immune system deficiency and reproductive disorders. Some animals in the sucralose studies developed a shrunken thymus, associated with immune deficiency.
Visitors to Mercola's website have commented on numerous side effects they experienced after eating or drinking substances containing Splenda, the same sweetener as Nevella. These effects include rashes, hives, facial swelling and flushing, diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome and panic attacks. Rashes and gastrointestinal symptoms were most common.