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Is there a chemistry biologist in the house? (sucralose)

The Splenda people don't answer the emails they solicit for product information and concerns.

Splenda is a USA brand of sucralose, a synthesized artificial sweetener made from real sugar, with chlorine atoms in the mix which renders the product "zero calories" to the human digestive system. Neat product, safe and proven stable, etc.

Question: Do the bugs in our mouths recognize sucralose as a food? Reason for asking; gingival disease feeds most efficiently on sugars. WE can't digest sucralose, but what about Oral Germs?

Lest I be misunderstood, **joke warning, a bad one** i refer =not= to Deutche-variety evangelists, but to the microscopic mealy bugs in our mouths that abcess gums and bone. Spirochetes,I think they are classed.

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Re: Is there a chemistry biologist in the house? (sucralose)

Hi, Netsky.

I've read that it can be digested by bacteria. You're probably better off without it, but if you have a sweet tooth, it's a lot better for you than sucrose!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Re: On the other hand.

In reply to: On the other hand.

Hi, Dan.

My understanding is that it definitely does help with weight loss, in that it decreases your caloric intake.

-- Dave K.
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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On yet another hand.

In reply to: Re: On the other hand.

Sorta, but it also increases your appetite. Lots of people can eat just one celery stick, only a few can eat just one jelly bean.

Dan

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Re: On yet another hand.

In reply to: On yet another hand.

Sorta, but it also increases your appetite.

That's not been my experience with it. That is the case with aspertame, AKA Nutrasweet. I've been using sucralose as a substitute sweetener for about a year now and I haven't noticed any perceptible changes in appetite. Also, contrary to the article you linked above, my A1C dropped after I started using Splenda as did my triglycerides. I also made other dietary adjustments at the same time as a result of being diagnosed with type II diabetes. They do need to do some more long term tests to quantify and qualify any real side effects to be wary of.

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Re: On the other hand.

In reply to: Re: On the other hand.

Hi Dave,

I think this is the topic of great debate when it comes to artificial sweeteners in general. Remember when all those low-fat goodies came out? Sure enough people started consuming large quantities and were wondering why they didn't lose weight. Well, they still had sweetener calories. Now come the low carb goodies. If you look at most of them, they contain enough carbs to derail a low carb diet if consumed in any great quantity, but most are loaded with fat (and not necessarily the good type either) and calories.

I know for me, when I eat a lot of aspartame I crave sweets more. I haven't noticed that with Splenda, which is why I use it sparingly -- like it in my coffee and diet soda if/when I drink that (An aside: even though sucralose is more expensive in packets than aspartame these days, I'm surprised to find it in the lower-priced lines of soda and not in the biggies!). Being a low-carber sugar is out of the question.

There was some research recently regarding weight loss and no-cal sweeteners in general. I guess folks drink two sodas and coffee with sugar and then change nothing else but replace the sugar with sucralose or other no-cal sweetener, weight loss would be an obvious expectation. But most people that diet tend to replace the sugar calories with something else over time. We also get a physiological reaction to consuming/metabolizing sugar that we don't experience when eating a sweet food w/o the calories. Kind of like drinking decaf vs. caffeinated coffee. Many dieters then need to find that "sugar high" elsewhere, or don't realize that they consume more than they otherwise would. Honestly, if you are being calorie conscious and having a treat, scooping out some "sinful" Haagen Daz vs. some light ice cream, I'll bet you dole out more calories of the light more often than not!

Evie Happy

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Re: On the other hand.

In reply to: Re: On the other hand.

Hi, Evie.

One of the problems with dieting is that we have a "set point" defense mechanism against rapid weight loss -- probably an evolutionary holdover from when we were a hunter-gatherer species. Essentially, once you start losing weight, your metabolism is somehow preserved to help maintain it. Exercise tends to overcome the phenomenon, which is why the combination of dieting and exercise is more effective than dieting alone, even when the exercise is moderate and doesn't by itself conribute much to weight loss.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Been looking into this ...

In reply to: On the other hand.

... and all the "dangers of Splenda" citations seem to repeat the same sources and studies. I am always wary of such "compilations" that are not cited with the exact study reference. The thymus one, for example, does after following the links trace to the New Scientist -- this is not, TTBOMK, a "peer review journal", but rather a scientific news source.

One of the big things is the gobbldygook over the toxicity to the thymus in rodent vs. human studies. Many substances are non-toxic to humans that are toxic to rodents so the claim that some substances are more toxic to humans than rodents is misleading as it implies sucralose is necessarily among that category. Going further they claim that the toxic dose for humans should be set at 100X the minimum toxic dose for rodents, but provide no such number for comparison.

I remember the sacharin hubbub being based on studies that given the equivalent dose of just about anything might cause cancer. It was a ridiculous amount. Using the low-ball number that sucralose is 400X sweeter than sugar, the equivalent of one teaspoon would be 10 mg of which even the detractors admit only about 2 mg might be absorbed. So it would be interesting to deal with some numbers to crunch rather than such things as "small amounts" etc.

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Re: Is there a chemistry biologist in the house? (sucralose)

In reply to: Is there a chemistry biologist in the house? (sucralose)

http://www.jclindent.com/Abstracts/Mandel_v1335.html
http://jdr.iadrjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/69/8/1480

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0MKX/is_3_71/ai_93204932

Sucralose is a sucrose molecule having selected substitution of hydroxyl groups by chlorine. This substitution inhibits bacterial and enzymatic metabolism and sucralose neither provides energy nor is cariogenic.

These deal specifically with the oral bacteria associated with cavities, but one of those is at also associated with periodontal disease.

If you are interested, xylitol is a 5-carbon sugar alcohol that is very useful as a substitute sweetener. It is good for diabetics and there are a lot of medically sound studies that have been done to demonstrate it has natural antibiotic properties (chewing xylitol gum can be very good for chronic ear/sinus infections) that can help reduce cavities and perio problems.
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Re: Is there a chemistry biologist in the house? (sucralose)

In reply to: Re: Is there a chemistry biologist in the house? (sucralose)

"The incorporation of 126 mmol/L sucralose into glucose agar medium caused total inhibition of growth of Streptococcus..."

Thanks for these abstrates, Evie!

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Abstrates...

In reply to: Re: Is there a chemistry biologist in the house? (sucralose)

Abstrates? Lost me there. did you possibly mean abstracts?

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(NT) (NT) yeah, brain fart not an abstraction here.

In reply to: Abstrates...

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One alternative: Stevia

In reply to: Is there a chemistry biologist in the house? (sucralose)

Its from a very sweet herb, I think. I tried it recently -- My wife uses it.

BTW, I remember some years ago, reading in a popular science magazine, that they had made a "left handed" sugar molecules which looked exactly like sugar, tasted exactly like sugar, but went straight through your system after ingestion. At the time, they had speculated that it would make it to the market, eventually, as a viable alternative to all these other sweetners. Im not sure what happened to it. Im sure it wouldnt have even been "seen" by the little critters in our mouthes.

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Not teeth, but other side effects? ...

In reply to: Is there a chemistry biologist in the house? (sucralose)

Empirical studies on both aspartame and Splenda suggest that both can effect symptoms such as head-aches, mood swings, hyperactivity etc. in those individuals who are adversely susceptible.

The timescale for noticing differences seems to be between a few hours and around 4 weeks.

Another thing to be aware of. (if in doubt, leave it out).

As a PS on dieting, marketing gimmickry aside, I always thought that these were best used in small amount for the odd thing that one simply couldn't live without, e.g. sweetened tea, and that it was better just to cut down on fattening foods generally otherwise. In other words, a small amount of cake sweetened with proper sugar is better than a large amount of cake where the sugar calories are replaced by the chemical substitute - on chemical-additive grounds and also towards the retraining of one's eating habits.

My research was because of someone who must eat little or no sugar on health grounds where other considerations apply.

Regards
Mo

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Just my personal experience ...

In reply to: Not teeth, but other side effects? ...

... I was never a big regular soda drinker. By the time I took to drinking soda I was already calorie conscious enough to choose diet sodas. Drank them a lot in my college days, less so once I got out on my own. Back then it was saccharin sweetened sodas. When the aspartame sweetened soda came out I didn't even like it because it seemed too sweet (I really don't like the taste/syrupy feel of sugary drinks) but I did like it in things like coffee, oatmeal and the like. But I find aspartame makes me crave sweets more, build up a tolerance for sweets, and require more to get the sweetness after a while (I think I once got up to 4 packs of Equal to one of those single serving oatmeal packs!). Also hard on my complexion.

Since Splenda came out I have generally replaced the Equal with that. Mostly for my coffee and soda (which I only really drink as mixers when I have a cocktail). I haven't noticed any of the Equal symptoms. I'm not much of a sweets person anyway, but even with infrequent usage I do react to aspartame vs. sucralose.

I think you're right though. If one views no-cal sweeteners as a sort of "get out of jail free" card to eat certain foods in something other than moderation, they are useless for weight loss let alone even weight control!

Evie Happy

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How does Splenda hit your tastebuds, Evie?

In reply to: Just my personal experience ...

For me it is less sweet than sucrose, and puts a noticable chemical after-taste seemingly in the back of my throat. Of course that really cannot be...

.. but another writer informally compared the chorinzation of the sucrose molecule of sucralose to a some sort of pesticide manu. process.

And having had -that- sort of taste in my mouth in the past from spraying poisons (not on forum, grin) I felt a sort connection between the two, taste wise. The free use I was making of Splenda for the week before my first posting is now cut back considerably. I don't know -why-, because my logical side says it MUST be quite safe long term. OTOH my superstitious inner self says "watchit".

BTW, a long ago friend kept a pet monkey named Watchit. Can you imagine how the cute little guy got that name? Ask and i'll tell the short tale because I don't want to perhaps bore or annoy you without permission.

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Re: How does Splenda hit your tastebuds, Evie?

In reply to: How does Splenda hit your tastebuds, Evie?

I think the taste is all in your head. Splenda tastes exactly like sugar to me with no chemical aftertaste. Equal likewise, although any others have all tasted different.

I think if the company claims the Cl in sucralose is the same as that in NaCl THAT is disingenuous ... the bonding is totally different. But to imply that sucralose by virtue of containing covalently bonded chlorines is necessarily similar to all molecules that do is absurd. Chemistry is my field so I can use an example related to this one. Sucrose contains hydroxyl groups ... that is -OH attached to a carbon backbone. Know what else contains those?? Why methanol CH3OH (toxic to humans), ethanol (C2H5OH) ... hic! ... and decanol (C10H20OH) which doesn't even mix with water. My point is that just because these compounds are also carbon based and contain -OH groups, they do not behave the same nor do they have predictably similar toxicities. Extending their theory about chlorine to hydroxyl containing compounds and you have methanol=toxic therefore sucrose=toxic. Absurd!

What determines sequestration of compounds and their metabolites into tissues/fats vs. being excreted depends on their chemical properties like solubility. The stability of the "offensive group's" bonding is another issue of whether it gets washed out with the molecule or breaks off to do damage on its own. IOW, the elimination of absorbed sucralose is highly unlikely to be much different than that of the sucrose from which it is derived. If sucralose were shown to be binding to blood proteins or body fat then I might have reason for concern, but replacing a couple of OH's with Cl's is highly unlikely to result in the necessary changes in chemical properties for that to occur. It is just a twist of fate that such a small change fools the enzyme that metabolizes sucrose.

That said, I wouldn't be rushing out to eat it morning, noon, and night. But I personally am not the slightest bit concerned over its safety. Sweet dreams Happy

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I think you've got the chemistry part right, but ...

In reply to: Re: How does Splenda hit your tastebuds, Evie?

Some people do experience an unexpected taste from various artificial sweeteners. There is precedent for the phenomenon with other chemicals. I can remember in high school one of our tasks was to have a number of people taste a paper strip impregnated with some innocuous chemical. Most people tasted nothing, but a few people thought it tasted pretty nasty.

I have not tasted Splenda, so I cannot comment on that; however, I have tasted diet drinks made with most of the other 'artificial sweeteners', including the Nutrasweet ones, and I can tell the difference between the 'diet' drink and the 'real' drink with high reliability even when I do not know in advance which one was poured into the glass.

There is apparently enough heterogeneity in our taste bud receptors that even though most people notice no difference between the taste of sugar and the taste of some of the newer artificial sweeteners a few of us do.

In my case, that peculiarity of the taste buds does not translate into any other unusual taste/olfactory abilities. I frequently cannot identify spices based on taste, and I have a hard time recognizing various odors.

IOW I get the worst of both worlds. I don't always recognize the subtle flavors of well prepared food, and I can't enjoy diet drinks. Oh well.

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Re: I think you've got the chemistry part right, but ...

In reply to: I think you've got the chemistry part right, but ...

I used to hear a guy called Dr Edell on the radio who believed there was a genetic factor involved, which determined that some people could taste artificial sweetners as just plain sweet, while others could taste something else besides.

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Re: I think you've got the chemistry part right, but ...

In reply to: I think you've got the chemistry part right, but ...

Hi Bill,

When I go back and re-read netsky's post I get a slightly different impression than I originally did. It seemed to me at the time that his perception of a "chemical taste" came on after he had read the information comparing sucralose to pesticides.

I do remember there being a study that suggested tasting the bitter aftertaste with saccharin was genetic. I used to drink Tab long after other sodas switched to aspartame because that was the lone holdout that wasn't supersweet because it was still made with saccharin. So I guess I was one that perhaps even preferred the aftertaste to aspartame's hypersweetness in a soda. Still I was an aspartame addict for a few years in my early 20's.

I can also tell you what a soda is sweetened with. You can tell regular vs. artificial sweetness by the texture -- sucrose or HFCS both add a syrupy texture and their own after-feel (if not aftertaste) to sodas. But I have some great Atkins ice cream recipes I make in my ice cream maker. I challenge anyone to tell the difference between the butter pecan I make sweetened with Splenda and the sugar versions of "homemade" ice cream you can buy locally here in New England. If one is just looking to cut sugar calories and bakes identical recipes of cakes I think you would really be hard pressed to distinguish Splenda from sugar.

I'm not a big fan of using artificial sweeteners anyway. Since I've gone low-carb I don't even crave sweets and I would rather indulge in a pasta dish than a piece of cake. But I like my coffee with "cream and sugar" -- lately I accomplish this by adding Atkins shakes -- not the most natural of products out there, but lower in fat than cream and with a good dose of potassium, other vitamins & minerals, and protein. If I'm going to have a cocktail, there's no reason to accompany that by sugar so I use diet soda for mixers Happy

Evie Happy

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Re: How does Splenda hit your tastebuds, Evie?

In reply to: How does Splenda hit your tastebuds, Evie?

For me Splenda tastes about as sweet as sugar but does have a different taste. I wouldn't refer to it as a chemical taste, just different. I enjoy it on everything in place of sugar and it bakes where artificial sweeteners don't so you can make those low carb desserts Happy

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