1

votes

Did Anyone Get Constipation After Using Splenda?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 29, 2011 at 3:32 AM

I came down with chronic constipation after I started low-carbing. I recently came across an article from Dr. Mercola's website claiming that Splenda might destroy certain good gut bacteria.

Is it possible that you can come down with a case of dysbiosis (disbacteriosis) by using Splenda? I've been supplementing with some digestive enzymes and Probiotics but no real effect so far. I did not realize the possible link between Splenda and dysbiosis.

Has anyone made this link while low-carbing or Paleoing? I tend to be a heavy Splenda user ... in coffee, tea, etc. I've been thinking about making a complete switch to Stevia for good but Splenda simply tastes too good!

62f89aa727cf3ce77c36651347cabc14

(884)

on December 10, 2011
at 09:22 PM

How this isn't the accepted answer, I have no idea. I'm tired of the drivel that gets upvoted over relevant scientific knowledge here.

083f1759ac6bcee7cd5081f6d062c822

on May 08, 2011
at 12:00 AM

These supplements being processed items wouldn't be paleo. From what I understand, honey in small amounts...like a half cup in a batter yielding 24 muffins, wouldn't be excessively bad for you. We are talking about breaking with paleo tradition already when we are talking about sweetening anything to begin with.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on April 30, 2011
at 02:49 AM

That's my another angle of attack. So far all my TSH levels are kind of low normal ... near the lower end of the range. That would indicate that I'm hyper, not hypo, right? Anyway, I recently heard about Dr. Karaz* who says thyroid tests may not indicate Hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's. So I plan on investigating that angle. I already have another autoimmune disease (Sjogren's) so it's not inconceivable that I have this as well.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on April 30, 2011
at 02:47 AM

Stevia and Lo Han are the only viable alternatives. The only thing I haven't let go of Splenda is they're so convenient and come in different flavors. Even with Stevia, it's sold ilke a dietary supplement. So they're hard to use. I agree, Splenda has got to go.

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on April 29, 2011
at 11:21 PM

Honey's also a horrible sweetener. More fructose than HFCS as well, I think approx 70%.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 29, 2011
at 11:16 PM

90% fructose, even HFCS is like 55%. Unless you're trying to destroy your liver...

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 29, 2011
at 11:15 PM

agave is awful for you. don't use it.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on April 29, 2011
at 05:59 PM

Hmm interesting, well I guess I was just throwing it out there. Hope you figure it out; would be good if it were just as easy as getting rid of the Splenda. Gut health is such a complex topic ....

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on April 29, 2011
at 03:43 PM

Actually, let me revise what I said. When I add some starch to my diet, my colon walls do seem to get more moist and this helps in the expel department. In the very beginning, the bulk seems to return as well. However, in a few days the bulk returns to the pellet-like Bristol Chart 1 and the moisture also seems to get reduced while I'm eating the same amount of starch. So it seems to work somewhat but inevitably I'm still left with Big C. Yes, I think Paul's suggestion is valid. However, for me there seems to be some other underlying issue.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on April 29, 2011
at 02:19 PM

Thanks for that link. Yes, I'm aware of the Jaminets' position. I've experimented with safe starches (yams, sweet potatoes, yuca). My stool gets more bulk when I eat them. However, after a few days, constipation returns. It seems to only work in the beginning. Plus, I have T2 diabetes and I have to exercise real self-control not to compromise my BG control. I try to stay just above ketosis, like the Jaminets suggest. But constipation still seems to remain. I'm currently trying their latest suggestion for taking antioxidants (Vit C, Se, Zn, Cu, NAC, etc.) but no result so far.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on April 29, 2011
at 06:16 AM

It could have nothing to do with the Splenda at all. I'll give the same suggestion I always give when I hear about constipation on LC or VLC: it could be the lack of glucose. See my answer here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/23721/questions-for-my-doctor-regarding-digestion/23741#23741 Other links there as well.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on April 29, 2011
at 06:15 AM

It could have nothing to do with the Splenda at all. I'll give the same suggestion I always give when I hear about constipation on LC or VLC: it could be the lack of glucose. See my question here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/23721/questions-for-my-doctor-regarding-digestion/23741#23741 Link there to the Jaminets.

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

8 Answers

3
Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 29, 2011
at 05:51 AM

anything that has to use a psychologically evocative name to get me to buy it or convince me it is a good product is usually a huge red flag for me.

2
07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on April 29, 2011
at 03:57 AM

TIAS - Try It And See.

You've formed a hypothesis, now it's time to test it.

In the mean time, you might want to up your intake of fermented foods (sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, etc) and even off-the-shelf probiotics to restore some of your gut flora.

I'd strongly advise giving up the fake sugar altogether. I thought I could never enjoy coffee black. I do now, but I also don't mind it with a splash (or three) of heavy cream ;-)

1
9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on April 30, 2011
at 02:58 AM

There is pretty much no way that Splenda can kill your gut bacteria. I think that is based on Young's 1990 paper, but it was never widely cited (like 10 times in 20 years). LaBare has a couple of papers from the early 1990s demonstrating partial metabolism of sucralose by bacteria (e.g. different results from Young). I know there was a rat study or two supposedly showing changes in microbial community composition, but they were published by toxicologists, not microbial ecologists, so I'm kind of suspect of their results. Genomics of gut metabolomes have shown the presence of dechlorinase--e.g. the sort of enzyme you need to cleave the chlorines from sucralose and made it edible if you're a bacteria, but, as far as I'm aware, no one has followed up on this observation. Splenda has been around for a long time, so the genes necessary for turning it into food have already spread amongst human commensal bacteria in all likelihood. Which is to say, while obviously modifying dietary sugars will have an effect on microbial ecology, it is unlikely that Splenda is specifically killing "good" vs "bad" bacteria. So far as I'm aware, other than those kind of bad rat studies, no one has looked at the issue (and by no one, I mean no reputable microbiologist).

Beyond that, even if Splenda did select for different groups of commensals, I'm not sure why that would lead to constipation. Yes, there is cross-talk between microbial biofilms and the gut mucosa, but it isn't exactly clear that the Splenda selected bacteria would also decrease gut motility (thus leading to constipation).

62f89aa727cf3ce77c36651347cabc14

(884)

on December 10, 2011
at 09:22 PM

How this isn't the accepted answer, I have no idea. I'm tired of the drivel that gets upvoted over relevant scientific knowledge here.

1
559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 29, 2011
at 10:04 PM

I can't answer your question, but i'm sure that Splenda is not food. Eat food.

And, though in this case Mercola might be correct (?), he's like the Fox News of Alt-Health. Ok, not that bad.. some of the things he says are true...

1
4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on April 29, 2011
at 04:01 AM

My whole family seems to have the opposite reaction to splenda- stomach irritation and diarrhea. We have switched to stevia with no ill effects. The taste is a little different, but we have adjusted to it over time.

0
Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on April 29, 2011
at 05:41 PM

I feel like I've been stabbed in the stomach about 3-5 minutes after eating something with splenda in it.

0
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on April 29, 2011
at 05:14 PM

Is your thyroid ok?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on April 30, 2011
at 02:49 AM

That's my another angle of attack. So far all my TSH levels are kind of low normal ... near the lower end of the range. That would indicate that I'm hyper, not hypo, right? Anyway, I recently heard about Dr. Karaz* who says thyroid tests may not indicate Hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's. So I plan on investigating that angle. I already have another autoimmune disease (Sjogren's) so it's not inconceivable that I have this as well.

-1
083f1759ac6bcee7cd5081f6d062c822

on April 29, 2011
at 11:12 PM

no...since splenda isn't paleo. use agave nectar or honey as a sweetener.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 29, 2011
at 11:16 PM

90% fructose, even HFCS is like 55%. Unless you're trying to destroy your liver...

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 29, 2011
at 11:15 PM

agave is awful for you. don't use it.

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on April 29, 2011
at 11:21 PM

Honey's also a horrible sweetener. More fructose than HFCS as well, I think approx 70%.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on April 30, 2011
at 02:47 AM

Stevia and Lo Han are the only viable alternatives. The only thing I haven't let go of Splenda is they're so convenient and come in different flavors. Even with Stevia, it's sold ilke a dietary supplement. So they're hard to use. I agree, Splenda has got to go.

083f1759ac6bcee7cd5081f6d062c822

on May 08, 2011
at 12:00 AM

These supplements being processed items wouldn't be paleo. From what I understand, honey in small amounts...like a half cup in a batter yielding 24 muffins, wouldn't be excessively bad for you. We are talking about breaking with paleo tradition already when we are talking about sweetening anything to begin with.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!