Sucralose (or, Splenda) has been approved by the FDA as a safe general food sweetener for all kinds of foods since 1999.
Over 110 scientific studies have confirmed the safety of using sucralose as a sugar-substitute (which led the FDA to make its decision on allowing sucralose to be used in food). (source)
So, why is it the most controversial and in some circles, the most hated, food ingredient out there?
Well, one study performed by researchers in Italy back in 2016 found a positive correlation between sucralose consumption and cancer in mice. (source)
(Note: positive correlation means “if one thing increases, so does the other”. So, in this context, more sucralose = more cancer.)
Annnnnd that’s all it took for the media to go wild & start pumping out stories that sucralose is in fact bad for you, and we’ve been eating it for years and years.
For starters, news media LOVES to scare people, so if they see something that’ll freak people out, even if it doesn’t show the whole story, they’re going to run with it. Hence why the famous slogan of news media is “if it bleeds, it leads.”
Second, it is one single study that shows any sort of negative effect of sucralose consumption, compared to the 120 other studies that show no negative effects at all.
Third, the details of the study are wayyyyy different than the headlines people have been reading.
Yes, the study did indeed find a correlation between sucralose consumption and rates of cancer in mice. But the amounts that they fed the mice are completely astounding.
In the group fed the lowest amount, the human equivalent dose would be the same as 70 cans of diet soda a day.
In the group fed the highest amount, the human equivalent dose would equal 2,000 cans of diet soda a day. (source)
Someone consuming 70 cans of diet soda would likely experience health issues much earlier on … namely, cavities and poor dental health.
And if someone tried to drink 2,000 cans of diet soda in a single day, they would die of water intoxication well before they hit the 1,000-can mark.
In fact, hyponatremia (aka water intoxication) can occur after drinking 10 liters of water, or roughly 26 cans of diet soda.
So unless you or somebody you knowing is consuming bags of Splenda daily, there’s really nothing to worry about worry.
Go ahead, drink your diet Coke. It’s fine.