(NaturalNews) Splenda Essentials, the latest marketing venture from the makers of Splenda, includes vitamins, amino acids, and sometimes even fiber. In an attempt to win over uneducated consumers, the half real, half synthetic sweetener now sounds like it might actually be a healthy choice, but if a company sprinkled vitamin C on toothpaste, or added some vitamin K to mint flavored mouthwash, would you swallow it when you were done cleansing your teeth and gums?
The new Splenda Essentials cleverly adds vitamin B and antioxidants to its core ingredient sucralose, a nonnutritive sweetener that does not grow in sugar fields, nor does it appear naturally anywhere else on Earth. Instead, sucralose is manufactured in laboratories as a synthetic compound. In other words, although Splenda is derived from sugar, at some point during the manufacturing process, the sugar disappears, and what remains are chlorinated atoms that are bulked up with dextrose and maltodextrin.
In a courtroom in 2007, in a bitter battle over "sweetness," the manufacturer of Equal contended that the maker of Splenda, McNeil, was misleading millions of consumers by fostering the notion, through advertising, that Splenda is a natural product.
But McNeil made the argument that, "The sweetening ingredient in Splenda is made by a process that starts with cane sugar." It then added that, "Splenda is an artificial sweetener that does not contain sugar," acknowledging that the sugar disappears during the manufacturing process.
In fact, McNeil initially marketed Splenda with the tagline, "Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar. But it's not sugar." Then, after disappointing sales figures posted, they dropped the last sentence, and sales went through the roof.
In court, if you tell the judge half of the truth, and purposely omit facts, you can be convicted of perjury and deception, but when it comes to advertising and marketing products in the United States, there is an enormous gray area that companies can traverse and get away with murder, or in this case, mixing a complex chemical compound with vitamins and selling it as a "healthy" sugar substitute.
What Splenda is really made from
Another deceiving aspect of the massively popular synthetic sweetener is that the core ingredient's name is sucralose, which is two letters fatter than sucrose, the organic compound commonly known as table sugar. On top of everything else confusing, the FDA has no real standard set for the terms "all natural," so there are no defined parameters in place in order for a manufacturer to claim any product is truly all natural.
Despite its use of sugar as the starting point for making sucralose, in no place do the words "sugar" or "sucrose" appear on Splenda's ingredients list. That is because under Food and Drug Administration regulations, it cannot list a substance that has vaporized during the manufacturing process.
Sucralose is produced by substituting three chlorine atoms for three hydroxyl groups. Sucralose is not approved for use in most European countries, where national healthcare programs are prominent. Go figure.
So then what is the big deal with ingesting synthetic food agents? The mother company of McNeil, Johnson & Johnson, contends that sucralose passes through the body unabsorbed, yet according to the FDA's "Final Rule" report, 11% to 27% of sucralose is absorbed in humans, and the rest is excreted. The Japanese Food Sanitation Council reports that up to 40% of ingested sucralose is absorbed and can concentrate in the liver, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract, having a negative impact on overall health.
Dr. James Bowen, a biochemist and survivor of aspartame poisoning, warns the general public about Splenda, saying, "Sucralose is simply chlorinated sugar." Bowen's research also reveals that sucralose can shrink thymus glands (the biological seat of immunity) and produce liver inflammation in rats and mice.
A study conducted on rats by researchers at Duke University, one of the world's foremost patient care and research institutions, determined that Splenda actually contributes to obesity, destroys "good" intestinal bacteria, and can prevent prescription drugs from being absorbed.
Since real sugar is only 15 calories per teaspoon, maybe everyone trying to manage their weight should just use the real thing in their coffee or tea. Then it would also be healthier to take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away from their destination and walk it off, and buy vitamins from a local health food store.