Is sucralose bad for you? Are other non-nutritive sweeteners bad for you?

by Shawn Dolan, PhD, RD, CSSD

**NO First Endurance products contain Sucralose or any other synthetic non-nutritive sweetener***

Non-nutritive sweeteners are used to reduce calories in food. These sweeteners are also called alternative sweeteners, artificial sweeteners, and very-low calorie sweeteners. There are five FDA-approved non-nutritive sweeteners which are labeled as food additives (sucralose is one of them).

Sucralose (Splenda) is one of the newest non-nutritive sweeteners on the market in the US. The FDA has determined that sucralose is safe for human consumption and does not pose carcinogenic, reproductive, or neurological risks to humans based on over 100 research safety studies. The acceptable daily intake (ADI) is set at 5mg/kg of body weight per day. For example the ADI for a 60 kg athlete would be 300 mg/d. Most Americans consume on average 1.1mg/kg/d of sucralose. However, because the FDA classifies a product as safe or non-toxic does that mean it is good for you? Furthermore, what health benefits does sucralose provide us?

Some concerns to keep in mind:

  • Splenda is not actually calorie free (the first two ingredients are dextrose and maltodextrin), however, it is 600 times sweeter than sucrose so you need very little to sweeten food.
  • The chemical process used to make sucralose includes the use of chlorine which is considered a carcinogen and may cause GI problems, skin irritations, and headaches. However, much of the information available on side effects is anecdotal and not based on well-controlled research trials. There is evidence to support headaches are alleviated by eliminating sucralose from the diet.

So…is sucralose bad for you? The answer probably depends on your definition of ‘bad’! If ‘bad” means unsafe, the answer is probably no. If the question is sucralose good for you, the answer is probably no also! However, there are products that contain sucralose that many of us find useful as athletes (i.e. sport drinks).

Next, let’s tackle other non-nutritive sweeteners.

Following are the other four non-nutritive sweeteners along with potential concerns regarding each.

Saccharin (Sweet’N’Low)

  • It was proposed in the 1970s to be banned from food due to a possible carcinogenic affect, instead products were labeled with a warning that it may be hazardous to your health, then in 2000, it was removed from list of potential carcinogens and found widely in the current food supply

Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal)

  • Provides calories, but a neglible amount due to its intense sweetness
  • One of the most controversial non-nutritive sweeteners due to the fact that safety studies do suggest there is a relationship between aspartame and headaches, depression, cancer, and increased hunger
  • Not safe for individuals with phenylketonurea (PKU) because of the phenylalanine


  • Chemically related to aspartame but without the PKU dangers
  • Scientific studies potentially exist to support its safety, however, they are not readily available to the public

Acesulfame K

  • Many people do not realize it is included in a food (ingredient list)
  • Contains carcinogen methylene chloride which may cause headaches, depression, cancer (and others) in humans

Sugar alcohols are considered nutritive sweeteners because they contain calories, although fewer calories than sugar (i.e. sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, etc). Sugar alcohols are not completely digested in the GI tract; therefore if eaten in large amounts, they can lead to abdominal gas and diarrhea.

Stevia is considered a sugar substitute, but has not been approved by the FDA as a non-nutritive sweetener to be used as a food additive in the US. However, stevia is permitted to be used as a dietary supplement in the US.

Keep in mind; sweeteners are non essential nutrients, meaning we do not need them in our diet (at least not physiologically)! In particular, non-nutritive sweeteners (as the primary ingredient) do not provide us with sufficient energy to fuel exercise; do not provide us with vitamins or minerals necessary for metabolism; and do not provide us with nutrients to help us repair or recover from intense exercise! However, non-nutritive sweeteners may be a good alternative to another sweetener if you are trying to lose or maintain weight, control blood sugar, or as an alternative to other foods in your diet. For example drinking a diet Hansen’s Grapefruit soft drink is probably a better alternative to drinking a Coke! In addition, non-nutritive sweeteners and sugar alcohols are used in sport drinks and electrolyte hydration tablets to provide flavor with fewer calories, which can be very useful for athletes. The bottom line…consuming non-nutritive sweeteners is probably not bad for you, but not necessarily good for you either, but at times useful!

64 responses to “Is sucralose bad for you? Are other non-nutritive sweeteners bad for you?”

  1. sterling says:

    Dr. Dolan, thank you for the informative article. Last year I was worried about too much sugar in my diet so switched to artificial sweeteners, but was told that they were poisonous. So I switched to agave and stevia. Good to hear that Splenda is probably not dangerous since I consumed it massive amounts last summer. :-)

  2. Mance says:

    Very informational and helpful article.
    When my wife was pregnant she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
    We went to see a dietitian who gave us similar information about Sucralose, adding that while my wife was not encouraged to consume it, it was the safest of sweeteners for her and the baby if she planned to consume sweeteners.
    She kept her consumption to a minimum and delivered a healthy baby, and I’ve taken the cue that if I do need a sweetener (psychologically, usually) that I will opt for the one safest for baby and mama.

  3. boby says:

    What about “gastro-intestinal distress?” It is a common side effect, and I can attest to it first-hand! I stay away from the stuff. Give me sugar. I’ll run it off.

  4. Shawn Dolan says:

    Your question and comment regarding gastrointestinal distress is a good one! Based on published peer reviewed data on humans, no GI effects have been observed up to 1000mg of sucralose per day. However, individual GI systems respond differently to different substances. Sucralose is absorbed in the upper part of the GI, then excreted in the urine or feces. Some individuals may retain more in their gut before excretion which could cause the GI effects. The GI effect may also be dose dependent (higher dose, more effect).

  5. J.St.Germain says:

    Regrettable that First Endurance has in no uncertain terms “ruined” the EFS product with the inclusion of toxins, i.e. sucralose. Based on my research and meta-analysis of longitudinal data on the long-term cognitive and metabolic effects of sucralose, I’ll be formulating my own from this point forward.

  6. Robert Kunz MS says:

    We are sorry to hear you feel this way. At First Endurance we rely heavily on the available research to formulate our products. This article reviewed the research on sucralose and found it to be quite safe. We would not formulate any nutrients into our products without this research. We do not rely solely on public perception. First Endurance goes far beyond typical nutrition companies when it comes to our research, by including a group of highly educated and widely varied team of scientists. This team includes Toxicologist Patricia Rosen MD

    Please realize practically all vitamins and minerals become toxic at advanced levels. Including those viewed by the public as highly healthful like vitamin e, c, a..etc. Singling out sucralose as a toxic ingredient does not parallel the research. Toxicity happens at levels higher that what is typically ingested. For sucralose this level is thousands of times higher that what you find on the market and tens of thousands times higher than what is found in EFS Lemon Lime and Fruit Punch. The same is true for vitamins you ingest every day.

    Finally, you do have an option. Our EFS Tangerine and EFS Grape flavors do not contain any sucralose. We have done this not because of safety but because this offers a lower sweetness lower flavor version of a formula that can hence be mixed at double strength.

  7. Keri says:

    If you took ALL the chemicals into a site that explains WHAT CHEMICALS are really used in artficial sweetners, you would understand, “tiny amounts” of anything wont kill you, BUT……over time, YOU’RE FILLING your body with those chemicals including formaldayde (great if you’re deceased) and bleach which is fine for white sox!………….I SWITCHED TO “SWEET ONE” AND STEVIA PRODUCTS AND CAN BE FOUND IN SOME STORES IN THE MID WEST AND ON THE NET………I tossed ALL SPELNDA AND ASPARTAME products into the trash! and that cost me $$$$$ but my insides are worth it. Did you know airline pilots were told NOT TO EAT/DRINK anything w/ aspartame in it…..(it gives them headaches etc) lets live a better life ok?

  8. Robert Kunz says:

    Thank you for your comments. We encourage our customers to pose questions and concerns about our products and will always do what we can to answer those questions. Please realize that Sucralose is a cleaved sugar, so it does not contain these additional chemicals that you find in aspartame or other non-nutritive sweeteners. Sucralose is not the same as Aspartame or Acesulfame K which are synthetically produced. The most important item to remember is that currently there is no evidence that sucralose, at the micro levels used, poses no health risks.

    We again urge any customers to pose concerns or even data that help refute or support these claims.

  9. Lloyd says:

    Been using FE products since the launch of Ultragen and can’t believe for a minute that you are “selling out” by including artificial sweetners in your range! Why not just use 1 or 2 grams of fructose if you have to or Lo Han or Stevia ? Its common knowledge that the FDA and big corpotates such as Monsanto, ADM, Tate & Lyle etc are in bed together, so don’t take their word that these sweetners are safe. Look what happened to all those peolple that died from taking Vioxx! Many studies in rats have shown that when artificial sweetners such as aspartame, ace-k, sucralose are fed to them they develop all sorts of cancers. Please read Sweet Deception by Mercola and Excitotoxins by Blaylock.

    Sucralose gets 10/10 for marketing but nil for health ! How can a sweetner (sounds better than drug) be approved by testing on just 100 people, and just how independand was that research ?

  10. Robert Kunz MS says:

    Again, we certainly appreciate the concerns posted by some of our customers and welcome any and all feedback. Fructose is a slow absorbing sugar with a very low glycemic index. At First Endurance we rely heavily on the most current research available and use this research to formulate our products. Because Fructose is low glycemic and slow absorbing it is not an optimal carbohydrate source for the replenishment of carbohydrates during exercise. We use only fast absorbing high glycemic carbohydrates.
    There are some studies showing cause for concern when using aspartame, ace-K, but no current studies proving concern using Sucralose. Realize that sucralose acts more like and extract than a true synthetic derivative like ace-k or aspartame. Its manufactured by cleaving a sugar so the end result is a non-nutritive sweetener. We have have done extensive research by our Endurance Research Board that includes Toxicologist and MD Patricia Rosen and again conclude that the current research poses no risk. We do not claim that Sucralose is healthy, only that currently the research basis shows no ill effects. Lo Han and Stevia are both plant extracts that essentially ‘extract’ the active ingredient to a concentration that is highly sweet. There is always the perception that because they are from from a natural source it must be safe. You simply need to look at ephedra (an extract of the herb Ma Huang) to know this is not true. Classifying ingredients as Natural=safe and Synthetic=not safe is not accurate. Its also important to note that many, many nutrients fed to rats at ultra-high levels will become toxic and some even become carcinogenic..this includes natural ingredients like beta carotene, vitamin c and hundreds of other natural nutrients that we consume every day and have no concerns over. Stating that sucralose does this also is hardly an argument.
    Please do keep the comments coming!

  11. Lloyd says:

    Thanks for your note Robert, but I still can’t believe what a blunder you guys have made here! I appreciate fructose is an inferior sugar and in large amounts can also affect gastric emptying, but 2 grams out of 24 grams of carbs is nothing and would not detract from the formula and together with a minute amount of stevia, say 30mg, would do the same job as artificial sucralose. Comparing Ma Huang to stevia is like comparing a Hummer to a Hybrid, one is a stimulant and the other is a natural sweetner that has been used by cultures of South America for hundreds of years. It has also been approved in Japan as a natural sweetner since 1970 and is perfectly safe. Ma Huang is indeed a strong herb but how many Chinese have died from taking it the last century or two ? It was only when obese Westerners with weak hearts starting taking huge amounts of it for dieting that problems arose! “Cleaving a sugar” almost sounds natural but don’t forget the chlorine and other chemicals that are added to sucralose – the end product could not be further from nature and is more like fertilizer than sugar ! Highly respected supplement companies such as Jarrow and Now Foods have never sold sucralose. I wonder why ? Why feed your customers junk “that is probably not bad”

  12. Cory D Cvrk says:

    Having Bipolar, approaching forty, and nearing 220 lbs, my doctor recommended a diet substitute. Recently, I tasted GR-2 and to my surprise, it didn’t cause the usual intestinal discomfort. Not to plug GR-2, but it blends corn syrup and Sucralose and tastes good. I’m considering using the drink to break my habit of sugar based sodas. Compared to the other health degrading drugs I consume, Sucralose seems least harmful. Obesity and diabetes I’d like to avoid. Temporarily, Sucralose could be used to change my drinking habits. That works for me and the grocery bill.

  13. Cindy says:

    As a nonclinical toxicologist in the pharmaceutical industry, I know and appreciate the extensive testing required prior to release of a new product, including food additives. Approximately 2 years ago, I started occasional use of diet products. At first I had no problems. Then I got slight GI distress from the Weight Watchers fudge pops and stopped buying them. Recently, I have experienced transient upper GI pain upon drinking the Swiss Miss product containing sucralose (Splenda). The pain was intense immediately after each and every sip of cocoa but would subside between sips. The clinical trials and post-marketing experience may show that this is an uncommon side effect and sucralose may be a great product if you don’t experience pain, but I won’t be using sucralose-containing products in the future. :-(

  14. Cindy,
    You obviously you have some great experience and knowledge in this subject matter. Our ability to communicate with our customers and athletes via our blog, website and through our yearly customer service questionnaire gives us an ability to react and improve on our products when needed. We now have enough input on sucralose that we are actively looking for alternatives to both the EFS Lemon Lime and EFS Fruit Punch formulas. For those sensitive to sucralose, remember that EFS Grape and EFS Tangerine do not have this sweetener.

    Thank you all for your willingness to share your input and concerns.

  15. A. Cristina says:

    30 years ago, on doctor’s advice, I began to use Sucaryl instead of sugar. After using this product for over a year, I developed intense headaches particularly after even mininal activity. One very hot day, after a bike ride, my head was splitting. I made ice lemonade for everyone and, finding I was out of Sucaryl, I used sugar like everyone else. The headache disppeared nearly instantaneously. I have never again touched any artificial sweetener or non-caloric sugar substitute. What I learned was that the brain requires GLUCOSE for its normal metabolism. Glucose is the basic molecule all sugars (sucrose, fructose, lactose, etc.)are broken down into. My use of Sucaryl deprived the brain of an essential nutrient, urgently needed during exercise, intense intellectual activity, or in times of stress, thus causing the headache. In other words, the headaches was the brain’s shout of distress and its demand for energy FOOD!!! Today I do have diabetes type II so I manage my sugar and carb intake, but I will NOT use non-foods as food substitutes or man-made sweeteners to fool the palate and intoxicate or deprive the body of a needed nutrient. Its health and well being are valuable to me and my responsibility. I’ll not trade them off for self-indulgence. Athletes are wrong to use diet anything, or athletic drinks with sugar substitutes, particularly when increased activity demands an increase of glucose in the diet. Bad thinking and bad eating.

  16. A. Cristina says:

    In addition to the above… I find all the research that is being done to justify and validate the manufacture and use of ‘food’ products which are not food, of processed non-foods, of man-made sweeteners, and of food substitutes and additives in general to be one more of the many ‘sicknessess’ plaguing our civilization and endangering our health. I have diabetes type II because I have exceeded my body’s capacity to process my food intake, i.e. I have over-indulged. According to modern thinking, I can continue to over-indulge with near impunity if I simply choose products made with non-caloric food substitutes. The sickness of the spirit now rides upon the sickness of the body! I say, NO! I say, indulge and accept and suffer the consequences OR say NO! to myself and be responsible for my own health and well being and reject all the nonsense BS. We have become a nation of FAT, irresponsible, self-indulgent addicts who over-eat and over-consume and cannot live without their constant food and/or drug fixes and demand a food and drug industry dedicated to side-stepping consequences. Yes, we are indeed SOUL AND WILL SICK. And no wonder then our whole health establishment, our politics, economics and public life are in the mess they’re in. The mess started with a self-indulgence that brings in fat profits into fat corporate coffers! But now, thanks be to all the gods, the whole system is grinding to a halt and, hopefully, eventually, the coffers and the bodies may grow thinner and their owners discover a measure of self-discipline.

  17. Irene says:

    I really would like to see the research, tests and studies that were done on sucralose. I have seen many sites say they research this data, yet there is not one that will show me the actual results of the research, tests or studies. Are you like many others and not able to produce the actual case, animal or human studies on sucralose? If you can not produce this information, then I will not take into account anything said on this site. Produce or be quiet.

  18. Irene,
    We thank you for your comment. First Endurance bases our decisions on clinical research and we do not bias where that research comes from…so, yes there maybe some truth to those who believe the clinical research on sucralose is ‘tainted’ because it is funded by manufacturers, but, peer reviewed data is the best data available and because its peer reviewed it should minimize bias. Hence, we based our decision on the best available data. Below is the published data available on sucralose and until there is better data to refute this, we stand behind our position that there is little concern for the use of sucralose at the levels used in EFS Lemon and Fruit Punch. Also, understand that due to the passion and concern of our customers (not the data) we are currently pursuing other alternatives.

    References on Sucralose
    Position of ADA: Use of nutritive and nonnutritive sweeteners (2004)
    FDA: Food additives permitted for direct addition to food for human consumption: Sucralose (1998)
    Grotz, et al. Lack of effect on sucralose homeostasis in subjects with type 2 diabetes. JADA (2003)

    Murphy et al. The scientific basis of recent US guidance on sugars intake. Am Jn Clin Nutr. (2003)

    Borzelleca & Verhagen H. Sucralose safety assessment. Food Chem Tox. (2000)

    Roberts et al. Sucralose metabolism and pharmacokinetics in man. Food Chem Tox. (2002)

    Raben et al. Sucrose compared with artificial sweeteners: different effects on ad libitum food intake and body weight after 10 wk of supplementation in overweight subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. (2002)

  19. Irene says:

    ok, now I will go away and count your site as one that is not into the truth as you did not post the last comment I made that showed other sites to help people find the truth about artificial sweeteners. One day you will see and will know the truth.

  20. Irene,
    I’m not sure what you mean. We posted the references used to base our decision.

  21. MC says:

    Wow, I hear a lot of pseudo-science and paranoia here. These are the arguments of people who have nothing but anecdotal evidence and even conclusions poorly drawn.

    The lady who switched to sugar ONE TIME and her headaches went away… well, did you try the substitute again to see if the headaches came back??? Your “evidence” lacks any kind of control. And you think you are choosing responsibly?

    The person who complained about comparing Ma Huang to a synthetic sweetener… HE DIDN’T DO THAT! He used that as a means to demonstrate the knee-jerk assumption that all things natural are GOOD and all things synthetic are BAD is not a valid one. He merely gave an example of a case where assuming the natural thing was safe was not true.

    The person who suggested that all chemicals are bad because Vioxx was bad… well how silly is THAT argument??? “They must be lying about everything because they were lying about Vioxx, right????” Really intelligent reasoning there in the face of all the studies.

    Just like Dr. Kunz has reiterated frequently, EVERYTHING becomes toxic at large enough concentrations! EVEN PURE WATER!!!!

    The woman who now has Type II diabetes and still continues to prefer actual sugar over a safe substitute… that is laughable! The sugar caused your diabetes!!!

    And Irene… last but not least… now I’m convinced you are right!!! That highly scientific evidence you gave… “One day you will see and will know the truth”… that has convinced me! You are not rational.

    Blessing to you all. Be strong FE. Don’t change your products because of a few paranoids who believe the claims of booksellers with something to gain from this controversy!

  22. Irene says:

    Maybe if this site would post all comments you would see the sites that I posted, but as usual this site only posts what goes along with “their” idea of what is right and doesn’t post all comments. If you would reasearch it all and read the book “Ecitotoxins the taste that kills” by Russell L BLaylock, MD maybe your eyes will be open also.
    I have made 6 posts and as you can see not all of them are posted. This makes me know that this is a site that wants everyone to consume what they think is healthy and end up with some horrible diseases later in life.

  23. We have told Irene that we will gladly post any peer reviewed clinical studies. What she offered previously was simply websites with opinions from their authors. Furnish clinical studies and we will gladly post them. Again, we have based our inclusion of Sucralose on the clinical studies available because this is the best resource available. Additionally, we have already stated that due to the perception of our customers, we are reviewing other options in our formulas, but will make decisions based on sound science.

  24. Irene says:

    Sheeple, I say sheeple. This is all I have to say about this site. Good bye all and Good luck with your health.
    If you do not know what a sheeple is: it is a person that follows along with whatever the powers that be say as a sheep would follow its master.

  25. John B says:

    Any artificial sweetener is potentially dangerous to anyone who is a non-diabetic. This is because the intensity of the sweetness tells the brain that it should release a certain amount of insulin to remove the glucose derivatives from the blood stream. However, since artificial sweeteners don’t have as much calories (ie: very little gets absorbed into the bloodstream), you get left with an unnecessarily large amount of insulin floating around in the blood stream. Over time, this has a negative effect on the receptors that respond in insulin uptake from circulation, and will ultimately lead to their down regulation. In the long run, a healthy person who takes in too many artificial sweeteners will make themselves far more prone to diabetes through this process. So a diet coke isn’t really better than regular coke. They are both bad.

  26. pat kapsak says:

    Can Sucralose cause gall stones ? thank you. pk

  27. Shawn Dolan says:

    Hi Pat,
    Based on the literature I have read, sucralose has not been shown to cause gall stones. The most common type of gallstones are made of hardened cholesterol. A diet high in cholesterol and fat, while low in fiber may contribute to the development of gall stones. In addition, individuals who have high triglyceride levels may be at increased risk for developing gall stones.
    Thanks for the question.

  28. jo hardy says:

    I am a sugar sensitive,i have reactive hypoglaecemia, genetic, [mother had it] all my life, Sucralose triggers MY insulin mechanism and I don’t give a hoot what the blurb says to the contrary. I cannot use it. I am ok with saccharine. i will take my chances with it -i would rather live with the knowledge of the assumed risks from saccharine [no proof yet in humans] than have insulin spikes and all the horribe symptoms of low blood sugar and associated weight gain. for anyone else who wonders why they are hungry, anxious, nervy, sleepy, frightened, shaking, or hallucinating after ingesting sucralose [or sugar in any other form] – you might be sensitive to it too!

  29. Craig says:

    Is there any truth to the idea that sugar substitutes like sucralose can produce the hyperinsulin effect described by some, thus making you crave sugar even more than if you had just had sugar in the first place?

  30. Lloyd says:

    I can’t comment on the possible hyperinsulin effects but one should be aware that a recent study by scientists at Duke University proved that the stuff is bad news and reduces good bacteria in the body. The study is on Citizens for Health website if you are interested. There are also lawsuits in the pipeline against J&J for false advertising. My guess is by the end of 2009 First Endurance won’t have sucralose in any of their products !

  31. Shawn Dolan says:

    Hi Craig,
    Thanks for your question. I have seen data in animals (mice, rats) to support the concept of sucralose and other non-nutritive sweeteners having a similar impact on insulin secretion as glucose, but not hyperinsulinemia. However, I have not seen data to support this in humans, several studies demonstrate that it does not have this effect (Ma et al, 2009 American Journal of Physiology, Gastrointestinal, and Liver Physiology).

  32. Craig says:

    Thanks Shawn. More to the point, is it possible that even the small amount of insulin secretion following sucralose or other artificial sweetener ingestion could make you hungrier for more ‘real’ sugar that your body now expects than you might have been had you taken sugar initially?

  33. Shawn Dolan says:

    There is evidence to support individuals who drink diet soda end up eating (and craving) a greater amount of carbohydrate later in the day. I think anytime you try to trick the body, it ends up outsmarting us! That said, the amount of non-nutritive sweetener and the purpose for consuming it probably dictates whether this response occurs. For example, if you are not restricting carbohydrates, but simply choosing a drink that is sweetened with a non-nutritive sweetener, this response probably does not occur. However, if you are choosing mostly foods sweetened with non-nutritive sweeteners, your body will still want the carbohydrate eventually. Furthermore, I beleive people responsd very differently to non-nutritive sweeteners, so it is difficult to generalize.

  34. Shawn, great point. There is no doubt that as we consume sweet foods, we begin to crave them more. The inverse is also true. So even with non-nutritive sweeteners weather they are artificial or naturally derived like stevia we are inviting a palate that will crave more.

  35. Diane P says:

    I’ve recently read that Splenda(sucrolose) kills the good bacteria in the gut. Is this true?
    And I’ve also heard there is an appetite stimulating effect to artificial sweeteners. Is this true?
    I’ve started to avoid them and will seek out real sugar if I must have something sweet. At least my body knows what it is , according to Dr. Oz

  36. Shawn says:

    Hi Diane P,
    As Lloyd indicated in a previous post, there was a study published in 2008 (Abou-Donia et al.) that showed male rats who ingested Splenda for 12 weeks had decreased fecal microflora (beneficial bacteria). I have not seen any data on humans to support this yet. I discussed the impact of alternative sweeteners and appetite/cravings above.
    Thanks for the post.

  37. Zach Bijesse says:

    “Shawn Dolan says:
    February 23rd, 2009 at 10:56 pm
    Hi Pat,
    Based on the literature I have read, sucralose has not been shown to cause gall stones. The most common type of gallstones are made of hardened cholesterol. A diet high in cholesterol and fat, while low in fiber may contribute to the development of gall stones. In addition, individuals who have high triglyceride levels may be at increased risk for developing gall stones.
    Thanks for the question.
    That’s garbage. A diet high in dietary cholesterol has no effect on blood cholesterol. Diets high in fat aren’t bad for you; as long as you’re eating equal or greater amounts of vegetables (which would supply your fiber and other carbohydrates), and are not eating any (partially) hydrogenated oils. If you don’t believe me; google it. I’m sick of people thinking things that the FDA and their puppeteers want them to think.

  38. Debra says:

    I just drank “clear n’ natural” diet flavored drink. I felt so shaky and weird. It scared me. Then, I had the runs like you wouldn’t believe. The majority of the ppl on here who mention the complications they had are telling the truth.

    It’s not right. I feel sick.

  39. Zach,
    It seems you did not interpret Shawn Dolan’s statement as it was written. Her statement is based on clinical research and associated risk factors. We agree that a fat can be healthy if done appropriately, she is merely stating the risk factors associated with a high fat/Low fiber diet. Eating vegetables, as you stated effectively increases your fiber which is basically what Shawn Dolan says.

  40. Zach Bijesse says:

    It seems you did not interpret Zach Bijesse’s statement as it was written. His statement is based on the fact that the “clinical research” is corrupt and the associated risk factors are not present in a high fat diet. Any diet with “low fiber” in it has risk factors; so I don’t know why you are adding “high fat” in there.

  41. Robert Kunz MS says:

    The article and comments on this string are surrounding sucralose and its use in consumable products. We have stated that clinical research is the best information available to determine its safety. We also have listened to our valued customers with their concerns about this non-nutritive sweetener and because of this we are testing new EFS drinks that do not contain sucralose. You can read about our new EFS Prototype drinks here.

  42. Zach Bijesse says:

    Okay, that’s good. Has you opinion differed about stevia since your past comments on it?

  43. Robert Kunz MS says:

    There is no evidence that we are aware of showing concern for the use of Stevia, though we are proceeding with caution. Though our goal is to produce the best endurance supplements, drinks and bars in the World there is more to performance than just the formula. We critically review the research both from a safety and an efficacy standpoint. Sometimes clinical research does not extrapolate to the endurance market or general public. Because of this we do extensive testing with our ERB and our athletes by sending prototypes of new products. We then rely on their input and feedback to determine the next steps.
    Over the last six months we have been researching and testing different nutrients, upgrades and flavors of our EFS drinks. One important attribute is flavor/sweetness. Our data from the hundreds of athlete testing the EFS confirms that there is a percentage of athletes that prefer a drink that is slightly sweeter. This is important because it stimulates them to drink what is necessary to finish their race. In order to deliver a superior product to these athletes, we tested EFS with a very, very small amount of Stevia.
    At this point in our testing we have three flavors (Grape, Orange and Lemon Lime) that are non-nutritive sweetener free (no additional artificial or natural sweeteners added), and one flavor (fruit punch) that has a minute amount of natural stevia extract. Its important to note that all drinks are also free of color and use only natural flavors.
    We are still testing prototypes and still collecting data and feedback.
    I welcome all comments on the direction we are taking in regards to non-nutritive sweeteners or other concerns.

  44. Zach Bijesse says:

    I love that there’s no coloring. Good thinking.
    Don’t forget that a current issue is that our society has been conditioned to high levels of sweetness. There is an increasing amount of talk concerning how to undo this conditioning.

  45. Robert Kunz MS says:

    You are very right Zach, though we believe we are seeing the trend changing to less sweet. When we first launched EFS (originally called E3), five years ago we offered low sweet formulas with no sucralose and they failed miserably. In a short 5 years, we believe a positive change has been made that allows us to launch 3 of 4 flavors that are very low in sweetness but with very pleasant flavors. We will be expanding our test of the flavors to our Team First Endurance customers in the coming month.

  46. Evangelina Batko says:

    You not going to believe it but I have lost all day scrounging for some info about this. I wish I knew of this site earlier, it was a interesting read and really helped me out. Have a good one,

  47. N10Shin says:

    Another product of baseless scaremongering. That burger you just ordered from McDonald’s is far, far, far, far more harmful to you in short and long term than the amount of Splenda or Aspartame you will drink in a week. With all the horrible things people ingest on a regular basis, I think artificial sweeteners should be on the bottom of the list. Your body does not need extra sugar in the form of glucose and you’re doing yourself a favor by not ingesting it in copious amounts. For people like me who are more or less addicted to soft drinks, the weight gain and sugar intake that would be had by drinking normal soft drinks instead are a dozen times worse than whatever side-effects might come of ingesting Aspartame. The effects of Aspartame aren’t proven, but the effects of weight-gain are.

    It’s better not to drink soft drinks at all, but that’s something so ingrained in my lifestyle that it’ll be a hell of a time to eventually remove. Until then I’ll go with something that doesn’t make me morbidly obese, thanks.

  48. Tim Purcell says:

    So, we can be better informed:
    Is there a list of what sweeteners, artificial or natural, that are used in the First Endurance Products?

    I am Especially interested in any products that use suralose, aka Splenda.

  49. Robert Kunz MS says:

    EFS Lemon Lime and Fruit Punch have a tiny bit of natural stevia plant extract. All other First Endurance products are free of any non-nutritive sweeteners.

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  52. Louie Holmes says:

    i thought aspartame can cause cancer in laboratory animals ..

  53. Hand Winch  says:

    aspartame have some bad side effects too so be careful with it:,-

  54. the great thing about stevia is that it is also tooth friendly like xylitol sweeteners”;-

  55. aspartame is good but i think Xylitol is even better because it is natural and organic .

  56. Heather says:

    Hi, I just wanted to list some of the side effects I’ve had with taking 5 hour energy which contains sucralose. I just put two and two together today. I’ve know all along from taking 5 hour energy that I would get shaky and have an upset stomach. These symptoms weren’t completely unexpected since I am a smaller woman, so I didn’t think too much of it. I should mention that I was taking 2 little bottles per week to help me stay awake and do school work after my daughter goes to bed. Certainly not an overwhelming amount. About a month ago, I was having vision problems in my right eye. My vision would be mostly blurry, clearing up suddenly and only momentarily throughout the day and then going back to blurry. This was very distracting and I found it difficult to focus on tasks throughout the day. During that time, I also started getting headaches, so I decided to stop taking 5 hour energy as there was a correlation with it and my headaches. I didn’t take any 5 hour energy for a couple of weeks and didn’t have any of these symptoms. I just took one this morning to help me focus and the blurry vision in my right eye came back almost immediately. Not to mention I am very shaky. I will not be taking 5 hour energy anymore and I already avoid sucralose in foods anyhow (now I’m glad that I do). Just wanted to share my story in case it can help someone in a similar situation.

  57. Dave says:


    Did you ever think that you blurry vision and your headaches could also be attributed to not getting enough sleep 5-6 days of the week? I am sure that would begin to cause problems alot faster than those small amounts of sucralose. You should research the negative effects of not getting adequate sleep you will be suprised at what you find.

  58. k000l Aiiid says:

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  59. David says:

    For me the jury is out on non-nutritive sweetners.  I try to use honey/organic maple syrup in tea etc. where possible, but found this article after googling sucralose as it appears in many of the protein and meal replacement powders I am looking at (and have been taking for many years as a triathlete). 
    Personally, I would rather take the hit with a few more calories in those products than using these non-nutritive sweetners, but I’m not sure there is sufficient evidence that they need to be avoided altogether.

  60. HitsugiGhoul says:

    I think everything is high amounts and exessive use is a problem….
    I still use sugar, honey, rice syrupss etc but I use Artifical Sweeetners on occasion , not as a regular sweetener.  I am a tea addcit lol ( this is also not good for health) but I in somedays have 6 cups of tea when I am at home with 2 tsp -3 tsp of sugar in each, so I may either mix Arificial Sweetner with sugar or use somthing like Splenda or Sweet and Low and I have also an Aspartame based sweetener ( not Equal).
    I sometimes think, like MSG so people have reaction to it but not all people,  also Dr. Oz says its ok to use but he worries about the weight gain point as Artificial Sweetened products will leave you craving more sweet things as it does not feed the craving that a product that is made with cane sugar would. 
    As for natural sweetners like Steiva and Nectress or Norbu ( both Monk Fruit extract sweeteners) how natural are they?  They are highly processes and are white in colour, if you know know the Monk Fruit/Luo Han Guo you would know that when making the tea it is a pretty amber colour and is very sweet, yet the sweeters are white and not as sweet. 
    Also I think we should think of the accumlative effects of Artifical Sweeteners in the long term. 
    EVERYTHING IN MODERATION, Artificial or Natural

  61. HitsugiGhoul says:

    @Robert Kunz MS  i know this comment is 5 yrs old but what is the difference between High Frutouse sugars and plain furctose?

  62. DavidBoccabello says:

    Why would anyone trust the FDA with any type of testing and research…look at the dozens of current lawsuits against FDA approved drugs…a company pays $20 million dollars to the FDA to test their drug. Trust the FDA??? No Thank You.

  63. Mikcila says:

    I really appreciate your article. I have had bad effects from Xylitol and my research into it has made me stop using it. I have MASSIVE sugar cravings though, but have some sort of sugar intolerancy since I get sick (sinus, candida) after eating any. What must a person such as I do? Any suggestions? Agave sugar? Honey? Or abstinence in general?

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