11 Sucralose Side Effects

There are some sucralose side effects that may cause you to think twice about using the sweetener. Sucralose is sold as a sugar substitute known as Splenda and is 600 times sweeter than table sugar. The product Splenda contains no calories and does not cause an insulin boost. The product has even begun replacing aspartame. The FDA reviewed studies in human beings and animals and found that sucralose did not pose any carcinogenic, reproductive, or neurological risk to humans.

Sucralose is a synthetic compound, which is basically sugar that has been modified by adding chlorine atoms. Chlorine is added to many products and does not necessarily make the product dangerous. On the other hand, consuming chlorine is not advised in large amounts. This synthetic compound is created when sugar is treated with trityl chloride, acetic anhydride, hydrogen chlorine, thionyl chloride and methanol in the presence of dimethylformamide, 4-methylmorpholine, toluene, methyl isobutyl ketone, acetic acid, benzyltriethylammonium chloride and sodium methoxide, which makes it unlike anything else found in nature.

Digesting Sucralose

Once sucralose becomes ingested it goes largely unrecognized by the body as food, which is why it has no calories. Most people don’t absorb a significant amount of it in their small intestine–only 15% by most accounts. Ironically, your body will try to clean unrecognizable substances by digesting them, so it is very likely that the healthier your gastrointestinal system is the more you’ll absorb the chlorinated molecules of sucralose.

The Side Effects of Sucralose

The sweetener has been implicated as the cause of many side effects, including:

  • Skin Rashes/Flushing
  • Panic-like Agitation
  • Dizziness and Numbness
  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Intestinal cramping
  • Bladder issues
  • Stomach pain

 There have been no long-term studies of the side effects of sucralose in humans, but the Splenda manufacturer’s own short-term studies showed that very high doses of sucralose shrank thymus glands, enlarged livers, and caused kidney disorders in rodents. The doses were measured at a level far beyond what would be expected in an ordinary diet.

Splenda contains more than just sucralose when it is sold at your local stores–it’s made with dextrose, and sometimes with maltodextrin, neither of which were included in the original studies of sucralose. The evidence of side effects associated with sucralose is accumulating slowly. Most of the testing is funded by the food industry, which has an interest in the outcome. One thing is certain. Some of the chemicals that comprise this artificial sweetener are known to be hazardous.


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Posts By Sequoia
  • Ray Nicholson

    How in the world can they tell if an animal is having chest pain, depression or any of the other syptoms mention? Another thing is what are the most reason sudies for humans? If this product can cause memory lost if used in like energy drinks?

  • A Ro

    Ray, the article states “short-term studies showed that very high doses of sucralose shrank thymus glands, enlarged livers, and caused kidney disorders in rodents.” The other symptoms mentioned were linked to people who actually had those side effects from consuming sucralose. It’s important to read an article clearly and fully so that we don’t start a chain reaction of misinformation.

    I’m not sure if this product can cause memory loss, but I do know that aluminum does. Aluminum is found in the packaging of many types of food and drinks. It’s also found in deodorant and is currently being sprayed in the air as a means of “bioengineering,” along with other heavy metals.

  • Russell

    i was just diagnosed type 2 betic a couple months ago. I immediately stopped consuming all sugar, and trying different sweeteners. The best one i like is stevia. But was having to settle for sucralose in a lot of the diabetic products. I started to have real bad leg pain, painful skin in hairy areas, so my dr immediately put me on amyltriptiline. seemed like it wasnt working. There was some real bad days, and some hardly any pain. I just figured it was to to my job, being on my feet all day sometimes. well, just a couple days ago, on a day off, i ate 5 or 6 sugar free fudge bars(splenda sweetened) over the course of the day. That night was the worst nite i could remember. now yesterday, i didnt consume any sucralose, and my leg pain was almost not there. thats when i started to make the correlation, so just for an experiment, i ate the last fudge bar this morning, and 10 minutes later, i had that all too familiar muscle pain in my legs.

  • Carolyn

    I’m the only person in my family that’s not diabetic. But I’m also the only one who exercises, watches what I eat and don’t eat any of the artificial sweeteners including SPlenda. I used stevia, but had to be careful about using too much and it being bitter. So I found this product called Newsweet and it works good. I can bake and use my normal recipes, just replace the sugar with Newsweet. No more stomach issues nor diahrea either. I think you can only buy Newsweet online.

  • Kate

    It would be great if those who experienced effects also detailed how much they ate of the Splenda/Sucralose. If you have a side effect and can make the correlation like Russell did I have to recommend making a complaint to the FDA as well as writing the manufacturer of the product and even the HQ of the grocery store where you purchased it. Sad to say but they don’t know what they don’t know.

    Personally I’m a purist really and have used Stevia for years, through trial and error I like the liquid form only and the NOW or KAL brands with no aftertaste. I also choose only honey, agave or real maple syrup for other options depending on the use. There is a new sweetener out now that has good info and use called Lakanto. For diabetics I’d like to encouage more protein in your diets (veggies have quite a bit) like using Whey protein shakes excellent trial done which in fact proved that DIET is the problem/answer not prescriptions. Don’t be afraid of the health food store, go and ask questions, get a great book by many wonderful authors like, Dr Young, Jordan Rubin, Dr Ray Strand and others. Do not rely on your Dr to heal you, he is not God and you are responsible for You. No one else controls what you feed You. Only one body for One life so take care of it…Jack Lalane and his wife knew it a long time ago and proved it is possible.

  • John P. Adams

    I read a report on Splenda (a year or so back) that claimed it to cause memory loss and it killed something in the gut essential for a good functioning immune system, and seemed to not return after being off of it for two weeks. The study was done on rats. There was, also, mention of infertility in the male rats after just a couple weeks of a certain dose. Though, I’m not certain as to the site that I read this on, I felt confident that it was reputable. I’m sure that it can still be found if someone was to research it. I have NO faith in the FDA… That’s for certain!

  • Gayle

    A few years ago I was having headaches and severe joint pain and just thought the joint pain was a really bad case of arthritis. My elbow would hurt so bad that some nights I couldn’t sleep. My mom watched a show and told me other people were having some of the same problems and thought it was because of Splenda (sucralose). I stopped using Splenda and within a week my symptoms were gone, just plain gone. Just the other day I had a tblspoon of sugar free dressing and by that night my legs and arms hurt so bad I couldnt make it up my steps standing up. Guess what was in that dressing. Splenda! I will not touch the stuff now!

  • luke

    after looking up sucralose a few different ways… Wikipedia in my opinion gave the best information on the stuff..

    the bad thing i found is even if you avoid artificial sweeteners you will most likely still consume them through something else you buy because it does something like increases shelf life. 🙂 the bad things said about sugar were worse and the lists longer, aspartame is rated worse then sucralose, i wonder if the problems with sucralose are mostly because chlorine is involved in making the stuff?! the list of chemicals used to make sucralose is CRAZY, but a good thing about it is that most of it is not digested by the body at all. i just started trying the stuff, just as a break from sugar, not as a replacement, i say all sweeteners are sugars and all have similar side effects… it simply takes way less sucralose then it does sugar to sweeten something… another bad thing about sucralose is it does something to kill certain good bacterias.

  • Anonymous314159265358979323

    While this article starts out well by explaining the chemistry of sucralose, it ends up being a non-informative article. Table salt contains clorine (sodium cloride), yet is perfectly safe in reasonable amounts; and the danger comes, not from the clorine in table salt, but from the sodium in excessive table salt intake.

    The studies so far say sucralose is safe; and trying to scare everyone without controlled studies showing proof of harm is a real dis-service to the public.

  • Janet Hrechka Dorkin

    Everyone makes typos!

  • ⋚≶≶Rêverêche≷≷⋛〻

    If you know so much, how about you end your sentence with proper prunctuation? ;P

  • Juanita Miller


  • Juanita Miller

    As far as I can tell, chlorine IS spelled correctly.

  • Juanita Miller

    LOL!! Touche.

  • jack2211

    Chlorine is added to many products and does not necessarily make the product dangerous. On the other hand, consuming chlorine is not advised in large amounts. This synthetic compound is created when sugar is treated with trityl chloride, acetic anhydride, hydrogen chlorine, thionyl chloride and methanol in the presence of dimethylformamide, 4-methylmorpholine, toluene, methyl isobutyl ketone, acetic acid, benzyltriethylammonium chloride and sodium methoxide, which makes it unlike anything else found in nature. — from the article.

  • Mikegreen40


    Here is a post that will clear up the issue. If one eats 40lbs of sugar a day this could be an issue. In this case if one eats 40lbs of sucralose. Now the article is very biased in several ways. FIrst, it does not clearly state that the issues arose in a study that was done on rats and was in far excess of what one would have in their lifetime. Second, the author does note that there are potentially severe chemicals in the sucralose. However, it is a misconception by saying that these are potentially dangerous by them selves. Yes, Chlorine is dangerous by itself. So is breathing pure Oxygen. But when Oxygen is combined with other chemicals it provides the air we breathe and water we drink. PERSPECTIVE folks

  • Randall Weber

    What I would like to know is does sucralose have an impact on the production of adiponectin?

  • Jeff Dimov

    I have the opposite problem. I can hardly find products made without sugar or aspartame or corn syrup and the like. I have found it pretty difficult to find a selection of products that use sucralose or stevia. It is pretty maddening. I prefer sucralose and/or stevia. Of course I like sugar but I don’t want to consume the amounts of sugar that the food industry pushes on us all. Same with salt. Why? Why all the sugar and all the salt. The food industry is trying to kill us all.

  • klab

    There is chlorine (and fluoride) in municipal tap water. Food for thought…

  • VonMagnum

    I’ve seen a lot of sites demonize Splenda/sucralose and aspartame and in the past saccharin as well (the latter never proven to cause problems in humans as it’s passed out in urine and no one eats the 5x their own body weight they fed to mice). There may indeed be problems with these artificial sweeteners. I’ve noticed the odd nerve numbness in my fingers, but then I’ve had that problem before from simple tight neck muscles, but then what is making them tight? It’s hard to prove.

    But the thing is all these sites are screaming to get you to stop using sucralose and/or aspartame, but what is your alternative? Sugar??? Sugar may be “natural” but it’s anything BUT healthy for you. Sugar not only causes obesity in high quantities (each and every can of soda typically has 17 packets worth of sugar in it; how many do YOU drink a day?), but it’s also directly linked to Type 2 Diabetes. Now aspartame and sucralose MIGHT pose a potential health problem or cause side effects like gas or diarrhea (personally I’ve never gotten the latter from either one and I drink 8-14 cans of diet soda a day for the past 30 years, mostly aspartame). Now what’s worse, something like diarrhea or diabetes? You’ll have to make that choice for yourself. All I know is I have family members with Type 2 diabetes and no can of Coke or Pepsi is worth that living hell.

    Yes, you can choose to drink plain old WATER. Good luck with that. It tastes like nothing (or worse like minerals or chlorine from many taps) and it’s about as refreshing as nothing (to me at least). Now I can add Crystal Light lemonade packets and it’s delicious! It really tastes very similar to lemonade and only has a few calories per glass. The problem is it’s also now a glass of aspartame! You CANNOT flavor water with any type of sweetener without adding either obesity/diabetes causing sugar or one of these supposedly harmful artificial sweeteners. So you either live with plain water that you might not want to ever drink because it tastes like nothing or minerals or you choose your POISON, be it sugar or artificial sweeteners.

    Personally, I take my chance with the sweeteners and have occasional deserts made with real sugar but avoid sugary drinks entirely. I’m still alive at 40 and had no diseases the last time I checked. I used to eat 36 eggs a weak when I did low carb for months at a time and that was “supposedly” bad for me and yet my actual good to bad cholesterol risk level is so low it’s almost off the bottom of the risk chart! (It turns out the lecithin in egg yolks are GOOD for you, just the OPPOSITE of the advice given for decades. It turns out low-fat diets are BAD for you (your body NEEDS a certain amount of fat), again, the opposite of what they recommended for decades and they’re only finding out the bad effects it actually has had NOW. I’ve seen the “experts” waffle on whether coffee is good for you or bad for you so many times, it made my head spin! Last I heard, it’s REALLY good for you in reasonable quantities and actually fights diabetes.

    The point is that some people are allergic to artificial sweeteners and they should avoid them. Other people like myself are probably never going to know for sure just what kind of potential damage they are actually doing since the fringe of fanaticism out there is not a good information source and 30 years after starting to drink diet soda out of a 40 year lifespan so far, I’m not dying of anything or suffering any particularly weird effects just yet.

    I am a bit concerned lately, however that Pepsi just changed over their diet colas to sucralose from aspartame. This clearly changes the flavor. Coke has offered a Splenda version of Diet Coke for a LONG time now (over a decade) and they still sell aspartame sweetened Diet Coke as well (in far larger quantities from what I’ve seen on the shelves) and the reason is that they don’t taste the same! Diet Coke with Splenda has a bad aftertaste (it tastes shockingly just like a teaspoon of sucralose if you taste it directly). It may taste better than saccharin and I personally think it works better in coffee and unsweetened juices better than aspartame, but IMO aspartame tastes better in soda (at least until it expires). In fact, having spent 30 years drinking aspartame soda, I’m concerned that the sucralose variety may have side effects I know the aspartame variety never had during that time period, but aspartame is being SO DEMONIZED by some groups that many companies are switching to sucralose.

    For example, my mother stopped eating yogurt PERIOD because they changed her Yoplait Light over to Splenda and she says it tastes awful now and she really misses the original Yoplait Light with aspartame. She’s diabetic, so she refuses to eat regular sugar sweetened yogurt and now avoids yogurt entirely. Safer? I doubt it. I wonder if Yoplait realizes how many customers they lost with that switch. Apparently they didn’t actually bother to taste test it before they made the switch based purely on bad publicity for aspartame.

  • CherMoe

    Anonymous spelled it “clorine.”

  • CherMoe

    My opinion is that they’ve replaced one “poison” with another in diet products.

  • CherMoe

    She would do well to find something else to please her or get used to the taste, because Aspartame was extremely toxic … and the only reason it was ever passed by the FDA is that somebody greased some palms with green. It is one of the most toxic and dangerous additives they put on the market, from all that I’ve read. Now we’ve got the GMO’s to worry about which they are shoving down our throats, and having it be in like 90% of our foods. These things DO cause health problems and cancer.

  • VonMagnum

    From all that you’ve read? I’ve also read a LOT of OPINIONS on the matter that demonize aspartame, but I’ve yet to see a SINGLE SCIENTIFIC STUDY that proves it’s harmful to those that are not allergic. In fact, aspartame is less toxic than sucralose (in terms of daily allowance) by quite a lot. I’d be dead by now if it was even 1/10 as bad as some of the people on the Internet make it out to be. And your “greased palms” theory is nonsense. Aspartame has been on the market for ages. If it were toxic to anyone other than those allergic to it in everyday quantities (16 cans of diet pop I believe is the limit per day relative to dosage compared to only around 6-8 for sucralose). Given I drink 12 cans of diet pop per day on average and have been doing so far over 30 years, shouldn’t I be dead?

    One thing is proven and that is consuming large amounts of SUGAR every day leads to Type 2 Diabetes in the long run and *THAT* is BAD NEWS

  • Farallon7

    Table salt is NOT safe AT ALL. The studies you talk about were made and funded by the same company that produces this product.

  • Anonymous314159265358979323

    Since it bother you so much, I’ve edited the original response to correct the spelling of “chlorine”. I apologize that my spelling error so disturbed you, you couldn’t address the issues raised in this article or the points I made in my response.

  • Anonymous314159265358979323

    “Table salt is NOT safe AT ALL.” say’s whom? The studies cited are pier reviewed published works. This is not true for this article.

    If you are really interested in finding out more, there is a lot of information, at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sucralose including “Results from over a hundred animal and clinical studies in the FDA approval process unanimously indicated a lack of risk associated with sucralose consumption.” and “In determining the safety of sucralose, the FDA reviewed data from more than 110 studies in humans and animals. Many of the studies were designed to identify possible toxic effects, including carcinogenic, reproductive, and neurological effects. No such effects were found, and FDA’s approval is based on the finding that sucralose is safe for human consumption.” Many of these studies were long term.

    Reports of negative consequences in animal studies are commented on: “An expert panel, including scientists from Duke University, Rutgers University, New York Medical College, Harvard School of Public Health, and Columbia University reported in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology that the Duke study was “not scientifically rigorous and is deficient in several critical areas that preclude reliable interpretation of the study results”.” One study showing issues used a dosage “equivalent to 11,450 packets per day in a person”. This same dosage of sugar for even one day would have serious and immediate health effects or possibly kill a person without medical intervention.

  • Anonymous314159265358979323

    “Greased some palms”? Do you have proof of this or is this just what the voices in your head are saying?

  • Anonymous314159265358979323

    The article doesn’t say anything about poison. It cites anecdotal reports of discomforts with using a product some people may be sensitive to. The reports of uncomfortable reactions may be accurate for a small percentage of the population, but that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the product; any more than calling antibiotics a “poison” just because I’m allergic to some of them.

  • Anonymous314159265358979323

    Based on the studies, Sucralose is not metabolized so I would doubt it contributes to anything but good taste and low calories.

  • Solarcide

    Whenever I eat anything with sucralose as an ingredient I get a bad taste in my mouth for hours. Surely I”m not alone in this.

  • Spike

    People need to wake up to the fact that depopulation is going on and this is one of those ways.. there is poison in most if not all our foods these days. And the cheaper the food the worse it gets.. they go after the poor first..

  • Paul B

    Yes, very high doses in those studies–depending on the study, as much as the equivalent of 11,500 packets of Splenda a DAY in a human being.

  • Joel WS

    While your thinking is logical, about salt and all, it is not backed by actual fact. In case you missed the studies, here is a good start. Sorry it took me three years to reply, but the information was available prior to the time frame in which you posted. I hope this explains a few things for those who are still interested.

    “Science Review Reveals Laundry List of Health Hazards Associated with Splenda Consumption”

    December 18, 2013.

    An in-depth scientific review of sucralose (Splenda) reveals an extensive list of safety concerns, including toxicity, DNA damage, and heightened carcinogenic potential when used in cooking.

    When heated, it releases chloropropanols, which belong to a class of toxins known as dioxins. Dioxin—a component of Agent Orange—is among the most dangerous chemicals known to man.

    Sucralose can destroy as much as 50 percent of the microbiome in your gut. What’s
    worse, it appears to target beneficial microorganisms to a greater extent than pathogenic and other more detrimental bacteria.

    Both animal and human studies have shown that Splenda alters glucose, insulin and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) levels, thereby promoting weight gain, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes.

    Full article:

  • jhnjul

    Artificial sweeteners have always tasted, well, artificial to me. No thanks.

  • Bob Carl

    BLAHHHHH!!!!! LOL Why don’t you all go back to kindergarten and learn to play nice?

  • Naphtali Yearling

    Place where I work is giving out these single cup electrolyte
    replenishment packets. Says ‘no sugar’ so tried one in a tall glass of water.
    Soon after my body started getting a numbing tingling feeling and I started to
    feel as if I was going to pass out. Dumped that drink and guzzled lots of
    water. Felt normal soon after. Has both sucralose and maltodextrin. Never

  • Iseeitall

    People are getting sick from Splenda/Sucralose, so in this case the FDA got it wrong.

  • Iseeitall

    Only fools use aspartame and think it is safe, lol.

  • Iseeitall

    Better use a filter.

  • VonMagnum

    Only arses call people fools while talking out theirs, lol.

  • Anonymous314159265358979323

    Sorry, easily deluded people ThinK they are getting sick from Sucralose. I’ve not seen any independent double blind testing that shows reliable data confirming anyone has been adversely affected by Sucralose. Thinking Sucralose is the cause of hypocondria symptoms isn’t the same thing as actually causing any real physical issues.

  • Anonymous314159265358979323

    I confess, I did edit the spelling after the response was posted.

  • genetics73

    Chloropropanol and dioxin are totally different compounds: one is a linear hydrocarbon with a hydroxyl group (the “ol” in the name) and a chlorine atom (one example would be CH3CHClCH2OH – 2-chloropropanol), and the other is an aromatic ring-containing substance (for example, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, the most common form). So, rather than spread false information and cause needless panic, study chemistry and show some understanding of science.

    To emphasize, Splenda, no matter how you heat it, CANNOT form dioxin upon heating, nor can it be broken down to dioxin. The article reference you link to is a bunch of pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo, worthless and wrong. I doubt that its author has any significant credentials; he is promoting his own bizarre product, counting on the gullibility of ill-informed readers. In THAT, he appears to have found a receptive audience.

  • mike rokker

    I don’t remember what’s in CARBMASTER which is KROGER store brand but that Is what I eat for yogurt as it has way less carbs… I think that might have aspartame instead of sugar, if you have KROGER stores in your area, maybe your mother would like the taste of that