Sucralose is one of the most commonly used zero-calorie sweeteners as it’s relatively cheap to produce and packs a heavier sweetness punch than aspartame or saccharin. If you eat any kind of diet treats, use a sweetened workout product / protein powder, drink certain diet sodas, or use Splenda (or any imitation “yellow sweetener packet”), then you’re regularly taking in sucralose.
Like the other zero-calorie sweeteners, it passes through the body without being broken down, so it’s never converted into caloric energy (and thus can’t possibly be stored as fat). All well and good, right? We get sweetness without any negative effects, other than maybe some gastric distress if you eat too much.
Sucralose can’t possibly directly spike insulin levels.
However, a handful of studies have raised the concern that it could indirectly mess with insulin levels by preventing the body from properly metabolizing glucose. Most of this stems from a 2013 literature review that came to the conclusion that sucralose was not biologically inert, and potentially could “deregulate” the body’s handling of glucose.
Increased GLP-1 Response
The literature review looked over 476 previous studies involving sucralose and found a pattern of increased Glucagon-Like Peptide-One (GLP-1) response in subjects that were given sucralose regularly.
GLP-1 is a hormone secreted by the gut that regulates pancreatic insulin secretion based on the current level of glucose in the body. It also has a number of other interesting effects, like triggering feelings of satiety to reduce appetite and slowing down the emptying of the stomach.
So more GLP-1 actually isn’t necessarily a bad thing on its own. But the concern is that, as with insulin and spikes induced by dietary sugar, the body might lose its ability to produce it if it is continually taken in externally in large amounts.
Far From Conclusive
The literature review really can’t be called conclusive, however. Evidence of possible “deregulation” leaned almost entirely on mouse studies and studies of human cells in petri dishes, and glucose had to be administered simultaneously with sucralose to get this result. At present there’s no evidence in human patients that the body can get thrown off-kilter in this way by taking in sucralose and glucose, and the literature review actually acknowledges this at one point.
Increasing GLP-1 artificially has actually been done to treat patients with diabetes for some time. These treatments are endorsed by the American Diabetes Association and they have widely been shown to be effective. In diabetics, GLP-1 supplementation appears to be nothing but beneficial thus far.
So at this point, there simply isn’t any evidence to indicate that sucralose throws off our systems in any way. That doesn’t mean that it’s an impossible proposition, but without testing in actual humans, it’s just a theory that doesn’t have enough supporting it to merit cutting out sucralose.
Right now, the conclusion is that sucralose seems like a very safe alternative to sugar. While it’s not perfect, the metabolic damage done by drinking too much high-sugar soda vs. drinking a sucralose-based drink is simply far more extreme. For most dieters with a sweet tooth, the pros of using sucralose far outweigh the cons – so long as you limit your calories and keep your protein and fruit & vegetable intake high.
Pyroxamine: Burn Extra Calories
Myokem’s Pyroxamine is a focus-driven fat burner that comes in a capsule, so it doesn’t need any sweetener. It’s only “sweet” in the fact that it’s amazingly popular – it’s been prone to sell out lately, so you should get on it while you can. See the difference in energy, focus and fat burn for yourself!