Keep it Sweet (Alert)

Click to go to our Home Page

Health Sciences Institute e-Alert

February 25, 2003


Dear Reader,

Everybody needs a little sweetness in their life. That was
clear when I saw the amount of e-mails from HSI members in
response to a recent e-Alert ("Don't Fill 'er Up" 2/13/03),
in which HSI Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D., addressed some of
the concerns with the sugar substitute called sucralose.

Judging from the questions you sent, it's clear that the
search is on for a safe alternative to sugar - particularly
for the special requirements of diabetics. An e-mail from a
member named Stephen, for instance, posed a question that
other members asked as well: "In re your article on
sucralose sweetener, is it safe for diabetics to use? I am a
Type 2 Diabetic."

The short answer to Stephen's question: I wouldn't recommend
it. And as we look at some of the details, the reasons why
will become obvious. Fortunately, however, there are good
alternatives available.

Let loose the sucralose

A member named James has found a sweetener he likes, but has
a reservation: "I'd like to see a report on the sugar
substitute "Splenda." I like the taste and it works cup for
cup as sugar does. However, someone told me the processing
of Splenda leaves something undesirable."

Splenda is a brand name for sucralose, and the "something
undesirable" is chlorine. Supposedly, the chlorine
transforms the sugar molecule of sucralose so that it can't
be metabolized by the body. That's the idea anyway. As Dr.
Spreen noted in the e-Alert two weeks ago, "There have since
been reports of up to 30 percent being absorbed and symptoms
being caused."

Also, according to the Sucralose Toxicity Information
Center, research in the 90's demonstrated that years of
sucralose use may lead to immune system and neurological
disorders. Only further testing will determine how serious
this concern is, but in the meantime, sucralose users are
essentially venturing into the unknown.

Sleepless in Splenda

A single case can't quite measure up to the results of a
controlled clinical trial, but the personal experience of an
HSI member named Larry gives an indication that sucralose
might not be quite as safe as some reports would have us

Larry writes that about a year after he started using
sucralose he began having sleep problems, which gradually
worsened to the point where he rarely slept at all. His
doctor prescribed different sleeping aids, but only one was
effective. Larry says, "The real problem was that my brain
was never shutting down. All the drug was doing was knocking
me out. I got no true sleep for nearly a year."

Finally, he discovered what he thought might be the source
of his problems: "I mixed up some fresh limeade each day
with Splenda, and realized I was having attacks to my
nervous system. I started reading all I could on the two
sweeteners I used for the most part, and I found many horror
stories about both aspartame and sucralose. I went to an
alternative medicine doc who found my body testing positive
for both aspartame and sucralose poisoning. These products
had depleted the serotonin levels in my brain to such an
extent that both the sleep receptors and my metabolism had
been completely messed up."

Two years after removing sucralose and aspartame from his
diet, Larry is now sleeping normally again, and has lost
most of the weight he gained during his ordeal. He closes
his e-mail with this statement: "I would warn anyone to stay
away from both of these unnatural artificial sweeteners."

Pearly whites

The frightening health problems associated with aspartame
are well documented. This popular sugar substitute (the
brand name is Nutra-sweet, used in most diet sodas) has been
shown to either mimic or worsen diseases such as
Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, arthritis,
lupus, fibromyalgia, depression - and the list goes on. I'll
cover the aspartame question at more length in a future e-
Alert. But right now, we'll take a look at two sweeteners
that apparently don't come with a host of drawbacks.

An HSI member named Ron writes with this question: "What
about xylitol? My understanding is that it is a simple sugar
that does not cause a spike in blood sugar level, has at
least 40% fewer calories than sugar, and has dental benefits."

Now we're getting somewhere! Try as I might, I can't find
any negative reports about xylitol. This sweetener,
developed in Finland, has been around since the late 70's,
and research really does support the remarkable claim that
xylitol may prevent tooth decay. Furthermore, the source is
natural - rendered from xylan, the structural fiber of birch

Ron's information about xylitol not causing a spike in blood
sugar level is confirmed by at least one study where the
glucose and insulin responses of 80 healthy, non-obese men
were measured after ingesting xylitol. Results showed that
both glucose and insulin were less affected by xylitol
intake than by glucose intake, and researchers concluded
that xylitol is suitable for diabetics.

Two in the plus column

To bring this sweet e-Alert back full circle, I'll return to
Stephen's original question about sucralose: "Is it safe for
diabetics?" As I've already said, with all the other
concerns raised here, I wouldn't recommend it. Xylitol would
seem to be a far better choice, especially because it
happens to be available in bulk form (just like sugar), and
can even be used in recipes, with any measurement for sugar
equaling the same measurement for xylitol.

But Stephen has yet another alternative for sugar. One of
the featured articles in the January 2003 Members Alert
("Six Diabetes-Fighting Secrets Straight from the Amazon"),
noted that the natural sweetener called stevia is 300 times
sweeter than cane sugar, and yet an animal study showed that
it suppressed glucose response while increasing insulin
levels. I should mention, however, that some people find
stevia bitter.

Among the variety of sugar substitutes, there are those that
provide clear benefits, while others appear to have
drawbacks, and still others that may have serious long-term
side effects that we simply don't know about yet. Read the
labels on your beverages and foods carefully to be certain
you're making the right choices for you.


Get cortisone-like relief in a week...then help repair
damaged cartilage...WITH NO SIDE EFFECTS! This all natural
breakthrough leaves old standbys in the dust...For faster
relief and complete joint support!

Find out how you can relieve and rebuild your

* Aching BACK
* Stiff HIPS
* Creaky KNEES
* Throbbing ANKLES
* Frozen NECK
* "Trick" ELBOW
* Burning KNUCKLES
* Or any other JOINT complaint...
(if you can't click here use the HTML links listed below)


..and another thing

Women who increase their intake of vitamin D as they grow
older may be at less risk of hip fractures and other
problems associated with osteoporosis, according to the
recent results of an 18 year study.

More than 72,000 women participated in the research
conducted by Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's
Hospital. As reported in the current issue of the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who consumed 12.5 mcg
of vitamin D daily from a combination of food and
supplements had a 37 percent lower risk of hip fracture than
women who consumed less than 4 mcg daily.

The researchers recommend that women who have a low intake
of vitamin D should take supplements or increase vitamin D
sources (such as dark fish) in their diets. They also
concluded that for older women, vitamin D intake provided
better protection for bones than calcium.

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson
Health Sciences Institute


Get as slender as you like...and not by dieting!

We can help you chisel down to your naturally healthy
size...without dangerous pharmaceuticals, yo-yo dieting,
artificial sweeteners, fake fats, or drug store appetite
suppressants. The truth is, you can lose all the weight you
want. And you don't have to "work" for it. Don't waste
another day dieting...or dreaming about your perfect size
and shape.

Click below to start feeling healthy again!
(if you can't click here use the HTML links listed below)


"What is Sucralose and is it Safe?" Lynn Grieger,
"The Sucralose Toxicity Information Center" Holistic Healing
Web Page,
"Metabolic Response to Lactitol and Xylitol in Healthy Men"
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997, 65(4): 947-950
"Safety of Xylitol" Dr. Joseph Mercola,
"What is Xylitol?"
"Aspartame (Nutrasweet) Avoidance"
"Calcium, Vitamin D, Milk Consumption, and Hip Fractures: A
Prospective Study Among Postmenopausal Women" American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2003, 77: 504-511

Copyright (c)1997-2003 by, L.L.C.
The e-Alert may not be posted on commercial sites without
written permission.