Can Two Little Letters Make a World of Difference in Health Outcomes?
The marketing of Splenda by Johnson and Johnson epitomizes the advertising genius of how to sell a chemical sweetener to the American public. Not only has Johnson and Johnson done an A plus job on the brand name for sucralose, but sucralose is now seen as the answer to the obesity problem in the United States. It is now in thousands and thousands of food products consumed by the American public. Most of the products are advertising the lessened caloric intake of the product per serving. Most buyers of these food and drink products don’t even know they are consuming sucralose and not sucrose.
It is amazing how two little letters can spell the difference between believing you are ingesting a naturally occurring sweetener verses a synthetically manipulated chemical where three oxidizing chlorine atoms are added to the chemical compound that resembles a sugar molecule.
What is generally misunderstood by the public is that salt which is a combination of sodium and chlorine which are toxic when isolated are not toxic for human consumption when it exists within the human body when it is at the normal saline solution level within the body. This paradox is explained by the fact that salt is a compound, a unique chemical substance, and not merely a mixture of sodium and chlorine. In fact, sodium atoms and chlorine atoms do not exist as such in salt! Every sodium atom has lost an electron to a chlorine atom, forming positive sodium ions, Na+, and negative chloride ions, CL-. It is not these negative chlorine atoms that are worrisome. It is oxidizing chlorine atoms that are being ingested.
Many products now consumed by growing infants and children contain this artificial sweetener. Often, even if the mother is concerned about her infant or child consuming this artificial sweetener, the presence of it in the product is missed due to the fact that the generic name of Splenda which is listed in the ingredient statement is sucralose and not sucrose and is misread because of the similarity of the two words. Was the naming of the generic form of Splenda just a coincidence? Also, many times the type size of the ingredient statement is in such small type, that the human eye can’t read it properly. In other words, the American public is being put at a disadvantage even if they want to avoid the artificial sweetener because of the current food labeling regulations.
From time to time, I’ve been offered food samples at food stores, which are promoting new food products that are designed to entice the individual into buying the new over older food product on the market. Too frequently, they now contain sucralose, but I see very few people reading the label of the new product before tasting the food or drink. I can instantly taste the chemical nature of sucralose in liquid products and reject them immediately, even without reading the label.
Infants don’t have that luxury, but are being feed products with sucralose. Infants sometimes become dehydrated for a variety of reasons and need electrolytes to restore their fluid balance to normal. The pediatrician will advise the mother to buy an over the counter electrolyte such as Abbott’s Pedialyte or the mother may find a generic form at a retail store. Abbott’s brands as well as some generic brands now contain sucralose.
I doubt that most pediatricians and mothers are aware of the fact that an artificial chemical has been added to this life-giving electrolyte solution that prevents death if the dehydration issue is not addressed properly by the physician.
The infant is not in a position to reject the artificial sweetener and is being trained as an infant to accept this chemical in his food products as he grows into adulthood. No one knows the long term potential detrimental health impact of this chemical on the bio systems of the human body.
The United States has an Infant mortality rate equivalent to Croatia. There are more than 40 countries in the world that have fewer infant deaths per 1,000 new born. If our healthcare system is the best in the world, why do we rank so low with Croatia? We spend twice as much per capita on healthcare than any other nation and this is the result?
The FDA approved the use of sucralose, based on over 100 short term studies supporting the safety and the fact that the consumption was seen as being limited to a few 100 milligrams a day. The CUMULATIVE effect of sucralose ingestion being in multiple products consumed daily has not been considered or recognized as a potentially dangerous health issue on a long term basis.
In fact, the cumulative effect of overdosing on drugs both Rx and over the counter, other food chemicals and artificial sweeteners and artificial flavors and enhancers has also not been recognized as a potential health hazard or the combination of a number of these chemicals being consumed daily.
Only now, after 50 years on the market are the true overdosing dangers of the over the counter product acetaminophen being recognized. Tylenol is the major brand of acetaminophen. Over 50% of all liver transplants each year in the US are caused by acetaminophen and it is reported many 1,000’s of additional deaths are also caused by this OTC drug that was once said to be much safer than aspirin.
Is it going to take another 50 years before the FDA recognizes the potential cumulative negative effects of artificial sweeteners and other food chemicals such as MSG on the health of the American public?
Isn’t it time for the American public to demand that we eliminate all chemicals from our food supply? Our infants should not be trained to accept chemical sweeteners as a food source that is unhealthy for them and provides no nourishment for a growing infant.
When will the FDA shake off the yoke of Rx political influence that hinders objective health decisions being made for the health and wellness of the American public?
It’s time good nutrition trumps good marketing and we become number one in world health and not in the cellar with third world countries.
Founder N2E Health Education Foundation, LLC
Bringing Health Education to the Community
T. Braun, Pharmacist, Buyer, Marketing Executive for a Major Drug Chain. Active for over 45 years in Pharmacy.
Legal Stuff: Disclaimer – This document is informational in nature. Medical advice should be secured through your physician.
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