There’s clearly something unnatural about artificial sweeteners – and new research shows that the ever-popular Splenda sweetener could release toxic chemicals when it’s cooked. According to a study recently published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health baking or cooking with Splenda releases carcinogenic dioxins into food.

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The papers detail that the heating and cooking process generates chloropropanols, a toxic class of chemicals that could be linked to a higher risk of cancer. The study also discovered that sucralose, the secret ingredient in the “no calorie sweetener,” reduces the quantity of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.

Worse yet, the GI tract seems to be able to metabolize and absorb sucralose, despite claims that it simply passes through the body. Scientists observed that both human and rat test subjects exhibited changes in glucose and insulin levels after ingesting sucralose. The research proves that the chemical sweetener is actually not a biologically inert compound, and it could be a big problem for diabetics and those who blindly believed that Splenda is sugar and calorie-free. Previously, studies into the effects of saccharin revealed that the key ingredient in Sweet’n Low could cause bladder cancer.

Of course, the real problem is our addiction to sweets – from soda and supermarket isles dedicated to candy and cookies to new inventions like the cronuts. People would be much better off if they curbed their intake of sweets and adopted healthier eating habits.

+ Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health

Via Treehugger

Images © Larry Jacobsen and Jeff Adair