New Food – After analysing a popular sweetener, researchers have found that the chemical formed when humans digest sucralose is “genotoxic”, meaning it breaks up DNA.
Sucralose is a widely used sweetener sold under the trade name Splenda®. Previous work by the same research team discovered that several fat-soluble compounds are produced in the gut after sucralose ingestion. One of these compounds is sucralose-6-acetate.
“Our new work establishes that sucralose-6-acetate is genotoxic,” stated Susan Schiffman, Corresponding Author of the study and an Adjunct Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“We also found that trace amounts of sucralose-6-acetate can be found in off-the-shelf sucralose, even before it is consumed and metabolised.
To carry out the study, the researchers conducted a series of in vitro experiments exposing human blood cells to sucralose-6-acetate and monitoring for markers of genotoxicity.
“In short, we found that sucralose-6-acetate is genotoxic, and that it effectively broke up DNA in cells that were exposed to the chemical,” said Schiffman.
In addition, the researchers also conducted in vitro tests that exposed human gut tissues to sucralose-6-acetate.
Schiffman continued: “When we exposed sucralose and sucralose-6-acetate to gut epithelial tissues the tissue that lines your gut wall) we found that both chemicals cause ‘leaky gut.’ Basically, they make the wall of the gut more permeable. The chemicals damage the ‘tight junctions,’ or interfaces, where cells in the gut wall connect to each other.”
Schiffman explained that a “leaky gut is problematic” as it means that what would normally be flushed out of the body … READ MORE.