A Word on Sucralose

This ingredient is the subject of much debate in online communities. However, at ingfit we don’t take our information second hand from someone else’s interpretation of it in a blog post or article (or comment on social media). We go straight to the science.

06-May 2020, by Bronwyn MacRitchie

Why is it Contentious?

Firstly, one of the problems that we have uncovered is that many of the articles which people cite as having found problems with ‘sucralose’ have in fact studied Splenda (1,2). Splenda is a sweetener brand that CONTAINS sucralose but is in fact plated on MALTODEXTRIN! Maltodextrin has a GI of 110, almost double that of sugar. And is on the ingfit banned list. We don’t allow any products on our site to contain it. So, citing a study which has not looked at sucralose as a standalone ingredient but has looked at it in combination with maltodextrin is not a valid case for finding issue with sucralose.
The vast majority of published literature on humans has found sucralose to be safe and to have no carcinogenic effects at all and little to no impact on blood glucose and insulin in reasonable doses in humans (3,4).
There have been some rodent studies which show that rodents fed extremely high amounts of sucralose (amounts humans would not realistically reach even WITH a really sweet tooth) which do show impact on insulin, glucose and gut bacteria (5,6).

The Cutting Edge Science on the Matter

Looking at the published literature over the last three years in humans, the exact answer is not entirely clear. Some studies show impact on blood glucose and insulin (7,8) while others show minimal to none (9,10).
Because the answer is not exact in the science, and for some of the team who have self-tested it has been an issue, and for others it hasn’t, we believe sucralose falls into the category of individual body response.
Therefore, we do stock foods that contain sucralose, but just as with foods that contain gluten we have made it known on the product page so that you can make the choice for yourself with the knowledge that it MAY have an effect on your insulin or glucose, but is not otherwise harmful.


1.     Abou-Donia, M. B., El-Masry, E. M., Abdel-Rahman, A. A., McLendon, R. E., & Schiffman, S. S. (2008). Splenda alters gut microflora and increases intestinal p-glycoprotein and cytochrome p-450 in male rats. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A, 71(21), 1415-1429.
2.     Rodriguez-Palacios, A., Harding, A., Menghini, P., Himmelman, C., Retuerto, M., Nickerson, K. P., ... & Pizarro, T. T. (2018). The artificial sweetener splenda promotes gut proteobacteria, dysbiosis, and myeloperoxidase reactivity in Crohn’s disease–like ileitis. Inflammatory bowel diseases, 24(5), 1005-1020.
3.     Magnuson, B. A., Roberts, A., & Nestmann, E. R. (2017). Critical review of the current literature on the safety of sucralose. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 106, 324-355.
4.     Chappell, G. A., Borghoff, S. J., Pham, L. L., Doepker, C. L., & Wikoff, D. S. (2020). Lack of potential carcinogenicity for sucralose–Systematic evaluation and integration of mechanistic data into the totality of the evidence. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 135, 110898.
5.     Bian, X., Chi, L., Gao, B., Tu, P., Ru, H., & Lu, K. (2017). Gut microbiome response to sucralose and its potential role in inducing liver inflammation in mice. Frontiers in physiology, 8, 487.
6.     Bornemann, V., Werness, S. C., Buslinger, L., & Schiffman, S. S. (2018). Intestinal metabolism and bioaccumulation of sucralose in adipose tissue in the rat. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A.
7.     Bueno-Hernández, N., Esquivel-Velázquez, M., Alcántara-Suárez, R., Gómez-Arauz, A. Y., Espinosa-Flores, A. J., de León-Barrera, K. L., ... & Escobedo, G. (2020). Chronic sucralose consumption induces elevation of serum insulin in young healthy adults: a randomized, double blind, controlled trial. Nutrition Journal, 19(1), 1-12.
8.     Romo-Romo, A., Aguilar-Salinas, C. A., Brito-Córdova, G. X., Gómez-Díaz, R. A., & Almeda-Valdes, P. (2018). Sucralose decreases insulin sensitivity in healthy subjects: a randomized controlled trial. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 108(3), 485-491.
9.     Thomson, P., Santibañez, R., Aguirre, C., Galgani, J. E., & Garrido, D. (2019). Short-term impact of sucralose consumption on the metabolic response and gut microbiome of healthy adults. British Journal of Nutrition, 122(8), 856-862.
10. Grotz, V. L., Pi-Sunyer, X., Porte Jr, D., Roberts, A., & Trout, J. R. (2017). A 12-week randomized clinical trial investigating the potential for sucralose to affect glucose homeostasis. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 88, 22-33.


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Bronwyn MacRitchie

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