Joseph Mercola MD released and article on May 14, 2015 titled Could This Headache Causing Neurotoxin Be on Its Way Out? The sweetener Equal (aspartame) is being replaced by Splenda (sucralose) in Diet Pepsi. Splenda is a chlorinated version of sugar. The other artificial sweetener in Diet Pepsi is acesulfame potassium, which tastes sweet, but contains some methylene chloride that is carcinogenic. As Dr. Mercola’s article discusses, there are good reasons to question the safety of Equal and Splenda.
There is well documented research that shows serious concerns with artificial sweeteners’ health effects. With Splenda, the substitution of chlorine molecules in sugar leads to approximately 50% destruction of useful bacteria in the intestines. Israeli research in 2014 showed that the destruction of these bacteria causes metabolic syndrome that leads to obesity and diabetes. The people that consume diet drinks are often diabetics, and the artificial sweeteners cause many diet soda drinkers to become obese and diabetic. This is a vicious circle that is compounded by advertisements and misinformation regarding the effects of artificial sweeteners on diabetics.
Splenda contains chlorine and chlorine is a poison. Despite previous claims, Splenda does get into the blood stream where it has to go through the liver and pass through the kidneys and out the bladder. Another issue with all regular and diet sodas is the presence of some form of acid as an ingredient. Common acids in sodas include phosphoric acid, citric acid and carbonic acid. The acids add to the stress placed on the liver, kidneys and bladder from the use of artificial sweeteners in diet sodas. Non-carbonated water with natural flavors is a good substitute for sodas.
It is interesting that The Sugar Organization that promotes sugar has very little negative information to say about artificial sweeteners. The site provides information on five common artificial sweeteners, acesulfame K, aspartame, neotame, saccharin, and sucralose. All contain harmful chemicals, with saccharin as the least sweet and least toxic. It is hard to choose which of the four remaining artificial sweeteners are the most toxic. Neotame is aspartame with 3,3-dimethylbutyl added to reduce the production of phenylalanine. The warning label on Diet Pepsi required by people with a genetic reaction to Equal is causing the switch to Splenda.
If sugar is treated as a spice instead of a main ingredient, it is relatively safe. Pure stevia appears to be safe as a sweetener, but it is expensive. Truvia, which wasn’t mentioned by The Sugar Organization sounds like stevia, but is nearly 100% erythritol (sugar alcohol). It is considered to be a natural sugar since it is derived from sugar. Splenda is derived from natural sugar. Erythritol kills fruit flies and is now being considered for a patent as a “safe” pesticide by scientists from Drexel University. Pepsi is substituting Splenda for Equal because the public is rejecting Equal. It should be rejecting most of the artificial sweeteners. Acesulfame K remains in Diet Pepsi.
If you care about your liver, kidneys and bladder, stay away from all soft drinks. If you care about your intestines, stay away from artificial sweeteners because you need good bacteria to help digest your food and avoid obesity and metabolic syndrome. Eat a little sugar if you want natural sweetness. If you are diabetic, you have a difficult choice, but artificial sweeteners are definitely a health concern.