Attention: Splenda Sweetner Users

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The Potential Dangers of Sucralose:

Reader Testimonials

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

The following testimonials have been sent to us by people from all over the world who feel they have been harmed by Splenda. We have not researched each of these accounts in-depth, but instead are posting them to draw attention to the fact that Splenda's safety -- or lack thereof -- is not only unknown and severely questionable, but worse still is not even being explored on a sufficient scale.

That Splenda is being marketed so freely and pervasively is most concerning given that there are currently NO large studies underway researching the safety of this artificial sweetener, and Splenda was released with few studies to support its safety. This is the same pattern that occurred with the artificial sweeteners aspartame and saccharine--two sweeteners that are now widely known to cause numerous health problems. In the same way that Splenda was released with few studies proving its safety, few studies were conducted on aspartame and saccharine until the negative health effects began to be seen, raising alarm and prompting investigations into the true (lack of) safety of the products.

If it sounds strange that Splenda could be marketed so widely without any real safety studies, I ask you to consider the source behind the product. Splenda is made from real sugar and is then molecularly modified to be calorie-free (essentially, Splenda is produced by chlorinating sugar). The sugar industry, which is a huge and very powerful government lobby, is profiting quite nicely from this no-calorie sweetener. It is no secret that the U.S. government is influenced by the sugar industry, and it is not a stretch to think that their influence may be the real reason why no real studies have been done.

So, with that in mind, I urge you to take a look at the many Splenda testimonials below, and then ask yourself, is eating this largely experimental product really worth the risk?


Have a sucralose/Splenda story others need to hear?

Click here to email it to us.

Please include your name, try to keep it to 500 words or less, and let us know if we can include your email address if published.

Dear Dr. Mercola,

I want to thank you for your Web site and especially for your documentation on the dangers of Splenda. I also want to pass on this testimonial in the hope it may help others.

Last evening after dinner I began to feel flush. My husband commented how red my face was getting and, sure enough, one glance in the mirror confirmed a bright red, tight, shiny visage staring back at me. In the next few hours my eyes began to swell. I went to bed hoping I could "sleep it off." How wrong I was.

This morning I got up and my face was still red, bright and swollen with puffy eyes. I am a pharmacist and I have seen many anaphylactoid (allergic) reactions before. I began to feel concerned that I too was having one. I have had only one other reaction like this before in my life--to Bactrim.

I went out for my usual morning run but by the first quarter mile I could barely breathe so I walked slowly back to the house. My right shoulder was burning so I went to the mirror and was horrified to find a HUGE 6 inch by 3 inch welt at the base of my neck (see photo).

I also felt very panicky and shaky and immediately had two bouts of diarrhea in rapid succession. After 15 minutes and a cool shower on tissue that looked scalded, I was having difficulty breathing. I was seen in the local emergency room where the physician immediately gave me a dexamethasone injection in the hip and a prescription for Epi-pen and oral prednisone over four days.

At the time I didn't know why I looked like I had ingested a sulfa drug. My husband and I tried to figure out what was different in my life over the last 12 hours. Laundry soap? Nope. Cake? Animal dander? No and no. A dear friend came to visit me in my misery and mentioned that I had started to flush at church, several hours before dinner.

I remembered that I had had a cup of coffee and had tried the new creamer sitting by the pot. I remembered the Splenda label on it, which prompted my husband and I to search the Web and we found your site.

The description by Marcia in the testimonial area caused me to burst into tears. Yes, Marcia, there are others like you. I am throwing that stuff out when I get to church! This reaction that I have had looks like a drug reaction! I am appalled an "artificial sweetener" did this to me.

Twelve hours after treatment my eyes are no longer swollen and my face is no longer red, but my neck welt is the same size, same redness and as tender as a sunburn. There are a few blisters in the welt. Even after treatment it still looks this bad! Perhaps the manufacturer of Splenda can sell it as a biochemical warfare agent after it is removed from the market as a food additive.

Thanks for getting the word out!

Lori Hunt, RPh

Pickens, SC


Dear Dr. Mercola,

I wanted to thank you for posting your article regarding sucralose, and to inform you of my reaction to eating it today.

I bought a low-carb bar called "Ultimate Lo Carb" by Biochem at a local health food store. I have been eating foods low in starchy carbs and thought this might be a good snack bar. Well, almost immediately after eating eat I became nauseous. Then my stomach starting cramping and I began dry heaving.

I wondered what could have caused this and decided to try and read the label. The only ingredient I did not recognize was "sucralose".

So, I jumped on the internet and did a search for it and found your article. In the meantime I was heaving and feeling even worse. Well, I am allergic to chlorine, as well as having a liver that doesn't function very well (I take a natural supplement called "Lipogen" for liver support as prescribed by my ND), and when I saw what you had to say about sucralose, I figured that was what was causing it.

I kept feeling worse, and I decided I needed to get it out of my system and took some ipecac (maybe not the best move, but the only thing I could think of). By the time the syrup got into my stomach the heaving was getting worse and intestinal distress was setting in. It was like eating bad seafood. I nearly died of food poisoning by crab legs a number of years back, and this was the closest thing to that feeling.

Finally everything in my system started coming out, and my body didn't stop until my entire digestive tract was cleared out. I have never reacted this violently to anything I have eaten except for when I have had food poisoning.

Something needs to be done to get this product off the market.

I can't help but be convinced that the FDA takes payoffs. No ethical person could approve the use of things like MSG (another thing I cannot tolerate eating), which is classified by the FDA as an excitotoxin and is known to be harmful to the central nervous system. I will do everything to get people to read your article and get the word out on the FDA's latest blunder.


Shelley Flis


Dear Dr. Mercola,

I first visited your Web site about a year and a half ago when I realized that I was getting sick after two days of using Splenda. I had stirred one or two packets of granulated Splenda into a glass of iced tea and immediately became nauseous. The feeling came on so strongly the first day that I didn't even finish the tea, but didn't yet connect it to what I was ingesting.

The second day, I had taken my iced tea with me in the car and was driving to the store. It was a very hot day and as I was driving I became increasingly ill. I parked in the parking lot, opening the car door and immediately vomited. When I got home I searched the Internet for Splenda articles and found your site. I threw out my Splenda and didn't think much more of it.

However, I work at Starbucks and we have recently started carrying the granulated Splenda packets for customer use (as we also have Sweet 'n Low, Equal, and Sugar in the Raw). I was pretty upset to find that we were carrying this product that I had such a strong reaction to, and have tried to educate my co-workers about it after I heard one of them telling a customer that it was great, and is safe because it is made from sugar (which is NOT true!).

We also have been getting in Jones bottled sodas and received a case for sampling. I took a bottle of sugar-free black cherry (again, not thinking anything of it because I regularly drink diet coke) and was almost finished with it when I began to feel sick again. Thinking "oh no," I looked at the label and sure enough, "sweetened with Splenda!" Splenda has got a lot of contracts with food companies now, so please, check labels of the food you buy. The Splenda logo is all over lately.

I wrote to the Splenda people about my experience and was brushed off. They replied saying, "Splenda has no known side effects." I encourage every one of you who has had a negative experience with Splenda to write them--they can't deny all of our experiences!

Allison B.


I was recently diagnosed with diabetes and my doctor highly recommended eating foods with Splenda in it--funny, he told me to stop taking my herbs who are prescribed under a homeopathic doctor because of the side effects. Of coarse I kept taking my herbs because I am getting better on them. I started eating foods with Splenda and had severe intestinal cramping and diarrhea, kind of like flu symptoms. I thought I had an intestinal virus until some people told me about the Splenda side effects. I eat plain sugar in very small amounts now--it's probably safer.



I have a friend who has been feeling short of energy for about 6 + months and has been getting painful boils under her arms and breasts--not just a few. Something told her to stop the Splenda as it might be causing some problems. Within a week she had her old energy back and all the boils disappeared.

--Bob Bard


About a year or so ago I stopped at a drug store and bought a Pure protein bar and ate it in my car while driving. Within moments, my hands started itching and my vision started to fade to black. I knew I was about to lose consciousness, so I quickly pulled off the highway and ran into a restaurant to ask for help. I collapsed on the floor soon afterwards and went into a seizure. I could understand everyone around me, but I could not communicate verbally for some time afterward; all I could do was repeat one syllable over and over.

Meanwhile, the paramedics came and took me to the hospital. I was covered with hives and shaking uncontrollably. I was injected with steroids and many other medications and observed for a few hours while I went through an inner hell. Needless to say, the cost of the Pure protein bar, when all was said and done, was around $3,000.

I didn't know, until today looking at your Web site, what sucralose was. Yesterday my sister had a reaction to yogurt that contained Splenda--her eyes started itching, then turned beat red. I went online to look up Splenda and now realize why I ended up in the hospital last year.

Linda Rainshaw


"I stopped using Splenda some time ago now. Whenever I used it in coffee or tea (especially in coffee) I always seemed to suffer bloating and develop a sick feeling in the stomach."

Christina Elliott


I have had chronic diarrhea and my neck has been itching and swelling for about year. I went to a doctor on a number of occasions and had a series of uncomfortable and embarrassing tests. I also changed my diet. Nothing helped until I ran across your Web site last week and saw the picture of the lady with the red, inflamed neck. It looked just like what had happened to me on a couple of occasions this year (no one knew what was causing it). The picture prompted me to try cutting out the Splenda and suddenly all of my symptoms disappeared.

I only used about three packages of Splenda with coffee in the morning and rarely one or two with tea in the evening, but it was enough to make me sick every day. The GI symptoms were like food poisoning. We are exposed to so much poison these days, how can we tell which ones are making us sick? Thank you for helping me to feel better.

Pat in Oregon


Dear Dr. Mercola,

THANK YOU so much for your informative site! I am currently "detoxing" from using sucralose after a terrible reaction. It all began with purchasing a box of Splenda. The changes (in my opinion) were subtle.

However, my family and friends noticed immediately. I became withdrawn and disinterested in my usual hobbies. Everything became a "chore." I was tired during the day, but couldn't sleep at night either. I play flute which requires a quick mental process and fingering skills to match but suddenly I was struggling to play. Typing is difficult, as well.

During the past three weeks I noticed myself "zoning out." I'd become forgetful and moody. I thought perhaps it was the Splenda, because that was the only thing different in my daily habits.

I quickly dismissed the thought - despite having experienced a similar situation with Equal a few years back. I called it "Jekyl v. Hyde Syndrome." But it seemed I noticed the changes much quicker with Equal than with Splenda.

I really suffered yesterday. I was an emotional wreck. I cried and cried. I felt like I was losing my mind. My husband and son discussed my disturbing behavior while I was in the shower. Our son, Tim, recalled that the changes began with that little yellow box. Steve, (my husband,) mentioned it to me. Little by little, things fell into place, including the unexplainable accident I recently had in our truck.

I had just stopped at a stop sign and the trooper said that I couldn't have been going over 15 miles an hour when I nearly rolled our truck. Even he said that I narrowly escaped injury. I nearly had a second accident last week.

My senses had become SO dulled, I could barely function.

I could not focus on anything. Even playing my flute was so hard. I normally stand to play, but for the past two weeks at practice, I sat a lot. I felt "dazed."

This morning, I feel MUCH better than I have in the recent weeks. Not quite "normal," but much better. Even the acne (on my otherwise clear skin) is fading away. Yep! I had a patch of acne, which appeared when I began using Splenda!

How many people are suffering from what appears to be diseases - or even acne, when it is simply a reaction to a chemical they are ingesting? If companies were forced to list the ingredients of these products, such as arsenic, they'd sure be a lot more careful! I mean, who would intentionally poison themselves?


Debby Fazekas


Dear Dr. Mercola,

Four years ago I began to have panic attacks and was on BuSpar for about a year. I started reading about aspartame and consumed the product daily -- mostly in diet drinks and was a big consumer of Diet Rite. After learning about problems other people were having I quit completely consuming the stuff. And have been panic free for 3 years.

In December I started using splenda and at the same time started having a great deal of anxiety and had a couple of panic attacks but didn't think about the link of Splenda and the anxiety until about a week ago. I also had my mom visiting and introduced her to Splenda -- guess what -- she started having panic attacks during her visit and actually cut her visit short due to her feeling bad.

I haven't consumed anymore of it for a week but am still having problems. Oh, I also was having an irregular heart beat which I did see my doctor about. He assured me that my blood pressure was excellent and cholesterol also good and I shouldn't worry about my heart.

I consume very little to no caffine. Local doctors don't put much faith in the idea that Nutra Sweet caused problems. I'm sure my new theory about Splenda would carry even less weight. By the way, I have a very stess-free life-style. I run my own little business and set my own hours. I don't believe my environment is causing any irregular stress.



I found this website while researching the new sweetener SPLENDA, a sweetener included in the DIET ICE BOTANICALS drink made by Talking Rain Beverage Co., Preston WA. 98050 Ph. 1-800-734-0748, WWW.TALINGRAIN.COM, currently sold at SAMS warehouse club.

The shocking thing I read at the end of your article on this is the Food Poisoning like symptoms. I've probably drank about 30 -16oz bottles of the stuff, which supposedly contains St, Johns Wort, Kava-Kava, and Ginseng, among other "good" things for you. My son has been sneaking a few bottles to past Mom, despite my apprehension.

We both came down with a similar food poisoning which lasted nearly 10 days for him, and is going on day 3 for me, and I'm throwing the stuff out today.

Thanks for your information,


My son was hospitalized four days after suffering from acute renal failure. An otherwise healthy 14-year-old with no family history of kidney problems, he had been consuming Splenda whenever we ran out of sugar. I had noticed his sugar binges (he adds the stuff to iced tea, lemonade, orange juice and cereals), and I decided to stop purchasing sugar to discourage his excessive consumption. He quickly found the box of Splenda.

The doctors were (and still are) puzzled by his symptoms of lethargy, excruciating back pain (at the kidney level), vomiting and headaches with a blood creatinine level of 389H (almost four times the normal level) and blood urea of 15.6 H (twice the normal level). After four days of IV, his levels dropped to almost normal, and he was released from the hospital.

We have no proof that his ailment was caused by his consumption of Splenda. Ultrasounds and X-rays did not reveal anything, and the doctors deemed it was not necessary to perform a biopsy. It is, however, the only lead that I have. My son consumes no vitamins or other dietary supplements. There were no signs of infection. It is the only hypothesis that I can think of. Does anyone else have a similar story linked to sucralose?

--Worried parent in Canada


I have been experiencing extreme and unusual bouts of depression, anxiety, crankiness and fatigue lately. They are occasional but severe and can last for a day or more. I tried to think of what could be causing this depression. I cut out alcohol, reduced stress by cutting down on commitments, increased exercise, reduced caffeine and started eating fish oil.

But I still feel plagued by these dysphoric emotions. I used to be a very social person with lots of friends but over the past three months I've been declining invitations and feeling paranoid or angry in social situations. What changed in my life that could be causing this? I couldn't think of anything.

I assumed that I had finally come down with the "clinical depression" that is common in my family and am now seeing a therapist. This morning I was reading the label of my sugar-free syrup, which contains Splenda, and it got me curious so I did a search. Coincidentally, all of these symptoms began about the same time I started buying this syrup. I put it on my pancakes and in my oatmeal--not everyday but occasionally.

This might explain why the symptoms are not present everyday. I've also had inexplicable diarrhea lately. I will cut this product completely from my diet and report back if it makes a difference. I'm not positive that this is the cause but the symptoms seem like too big of a coincidence to rule it out.

I had no idea that sweeteners could cause mental side effects. My therapist has put me on Prozac for the past week but I wonder if I need it? There are so many variables to consider here . I hope further research will be done on this topic.

--Corinne, Austin


Thank you for posting all the information re: Splenda/sucralose. For the past several months I have been using this product in hope to stay away from sugar while my fiancé and I both changed our eating habits, moving totally away from any refined foods, white flour, etc.

He is not a coffee or tea drinker, but I am and so I have been ingesting this nightmare sweetener for months now and for the life of me could NOT figure out why I was GAINING WEIGHT hand over fist while he--who was eating more then I was--was losing weight.

Then a few days ago he took a sip of my iced tea, which of course had Splenda in it, and he really enjoyed the taste, after which he would occasionally sip from my drinks. He just got over what we thought was the worst case of food poisoning ever seen or heard of, violent PROJECTILE VOMITTING was the least of it, body pains that were excruciating and debilitating, cold sweats with the sweat running down his body--literally ice cold water. He still has the body stiffness, which we are hoping will go away soon as we are now both so NOT using Splenda anymore--EVER AGAIN! And I now know why all these months I had suffered increased pain in my knees and hips for no apparent reason, it just didn't make sense, but now it all makes sense. How dare they allow this on the market--this is a travesty of immense proportions.

--RK and Joule Fountain


A few months back my sister and I bought a liquid mix for making iced coffee--Just an impulse of something kind of fun to do. And yes I know . not healthy food. It was supposed to be a treat, but we both got diarrhea. The first time we drank it we did not recognize it was from the drink, but after a couple of times it became obvious.

So I started reading the label and I found this weird thing called sucralose. This was not supposed to be a "sugar-free" product. I do not buy "sugar-free" products because I don't like the way I feel after eating or drinking foods with nutrasweet in them.

I did a Web search and found information on negative health effects from sucralose/Splenda. And I am very glad that all my sister and I got were a couple of bouts of diarrhea. Sounds like many people have far more dangerous reactions.

I am also very angry that they would put a low-calorie sugar substitute in a non-calorie-restricted food. Thank you for putting the info out there.

--Jatina Challender


Dear Dr. Mercola:

Thank you so much for your webpage. I recently drank my first bottle of Virgin Diet Cola, and experienced a mind-numbing headache. I was literally seeing spots. I read the label, thinking there must be something crazy in the cola. The one ingredient I didn't recognize was "Sucralose." My husband, a doctor, said he'd never heard of the ingredient either.

After having read your site, I've cleaned my cupboards of Pure Protein bars, which I had no idea contained this deadly chemical, and, needless to say, will NOT be purchasing any of the other products you've listed. Thank you for your thorough research and intelligent, accessible data.

Best -- Megyn Cotner


Dr. Mercola,

I was horrified to read some of the letters on your website. I was excited at first to find an artificial sweetener that did not give me Migraines like Aspartame (which also caused some depression). Although I did not use it a lot, after about 6 months of OCCASIONAL use, I detected a pattern in my Splenda use and severe altered emotional state. I became irate, impatient, hyper-sensitive to noise, clutter and children. I really thought this was a mental breakdown, or spiritual attack of some sort. These episodes only came periodically, but they really scared me. Then I noticed a pattern - use of sucralose, followed in hours (or the next morning) by one of these events (lasting 3 to 5 hours). What a relief! I'm not really going nuts - and I can fix this, by never using the product again. What really upsets me is that how many people are suffering and will NEVER make any connection.

How many doctors are treating these people with anti-depressants? How many body-conscious teenagers are committing suicide because of this severe alteration of emotional function? I realize that not all people have the same symptoms, but I would really like to join a support group, or get involved in a chat room or join a campaign and GET THE INFORMATION OUT!!!

I also would be interested in knowing if there is any information on exactly what component of Sucralose affects the brain/nervous system and causes altered emotional states.

Thank you,
Lugene Azar


I was looking up the sweetener Sucralose which is in ACTII kettle corn. I was trying to find out if it was the same as nutra sweet or aspertine. Whenever I eat anything that has that in it, I get pains in my leg and knee. I can not sleep because of the pain, it hurts to walk up the stairs and so on. The pain will go away when I stop eating anything with that in it, within one to two weeks. I had a friend who got pain all over her body after drinking diet soda.

Elizabeth Romel


I wish to share with the medical field the terrible reations I experienced after eating the product "splenda" .

I do not know who to tell, but I do feel it is important.

I am not diabetic; however, I had two good friends come to dinner, and they brought this big "yellow box of Splenda" life, my health was so messed up for the next week I didn't know what was wrong.

I am healthy. I am 44, in great health, 125 pounds, no medicine presc. at all...and yet the morning after I ate this product "Splenda" I was in terrible, terrible pain.

I only ate it, because I cooked two pies for my diabetic friends.

The next 6 days were full of such excruciating pain, I hated to have to go to a doctor but I had to. I cried, the pain in my chest hurt so much.

I want someone that is doing research on this product to understand it really can hurt healthy people, without their knowing it.

I thought I had a heart problem. Forturnately it was a reaction to this product; yet the doctor I saw that ran all kinds of tests, never asked me if I had "ate" anything new!!!!

If I can provide you with anything else I would be pleased to; I don't want anyone else to have to experience the terrible pain in the chest that I did. It was "EXCRUCIATING" doubt about it.

Cynthia Nelson


You can add me to the list of people who have had a bad experience with sucralose. I purchased and ate a bag of jelly beans yesterday afternoon.

No carbs sounded wonderful, and they really did taste great, so I grabbed another bag on my way home

Unfortunately, a couple of hours later, I started experiencing food poisoning-like symptoms. It was clear to me that my system is trying to rid itself of something, so I looked at the packaging of the only thing I ate last night and found your web page. I was up all night and my normally flat and trim tummy is distended to the point that, when I lay on my back, I look seven months' pregnant!

I am grateful I now know what is causing my discomfort -- I will definitely avoid this product at all costs when shopping for my family!! Thank you for an informative article!!

Fort Lauderdale


Dear Doctor Mercola,

I'm not expecting an answer to my email, however I do want to say thank you. After reading your site I am certain now that I was poisoned by Splenda. I knew I was poisoned and I knew it wasn't "food poisoning" from a bacteria. The pain in my body was definitely neurological. I am still experiencing some of the pain and am flushing my Splenda down the drain today. The pain was excruciating, in every part of my body. I am a nurse and I knew instantly that I was experiencing neurological symptoms. I had diarrhea for 3 days also. I came very close to calling 911. I am a 53 year old female in excellent health. These symptoms hit me like a brick very quickly. My blood pressure sky rocketed and I almost fell on my face in a parking lot. I'm on my way now to whole foods to purchase some granular vitamin c to detoxify my body. You saved my life. Thank you again for your information.

Gypsie Mahrou, RN
Houston, Texas



I've just been reading up on sucralose because I realized just this past week that I've been having a bad reaction to a product I've been using since December - Splenda. I started using Splenda in my coffed and tea since late December and shortly after I began itching in various place on my body and bright red rashed and welts appeared as well. It seemed to be the worst in the evening and only a little in the day. I didn't relate it to the Splenda at all, but I had my coffed in the morning, two cups, the second I rarely finished, and I would have two to three cups of hot tea in the evenings. I finally saw my doctor in March and after seeing my rash and how badly I itched and hearing what I discribed, he told me that I was allergic to something I was ingesting. I still didn't put it together, at least I didn't want to.

I knew that Splenda was the only thing I had changed and had still been using since the itching started, but I didn't want to go back to sugar and the other substitutes weren't options for me because of the aspertame. Splenda "had" to be alright since it was made from sugar, I thought. The doctor put me on some medication to stop the itching and clear up the rash. While I took it for a week and½, the itching stopped. The rash would still be visible, but now it just looked sort of like it was underlying the skin, as if it were just dormat. Two weeks after my first doctor visit, I had a follow-up and the doctor said I looked fine and to see him again in three months just to make sure, unless, of course, it started again.

Well, it did start again, that very night, in fact. I itched and itched. I waited a few days, but the itching got so bad, I took some of the medication that I still had, since I hadn't used it up. I would just take it at night so I could sleep and then only every two or three days so the pills would last until I could get to the doctor again. The rash would still appear and it would be that very bright red color, different size spots and some odd shapes as well. Sometimes I would get streaks. One day last week I had two streaks going up my neck side by side, each almost as wide as my finger and at the base of my neck a large red splotch.

Wednesday night the itching was terrible again and I finally gave in to the inescapable fact that Splenda had to be the root of this problem, so I stopped using it in my tea that night, and have not used it in anything since. I have still had the rash appear periodically as before, but not as often and not so bright red, no welts appear, and I have not been itching nearly as much or as badly. I'm guessing that it may take time for the stuff to get out of my system completely. I guess I am writing this to you to have my experience with Sucralose documented in some way, even if it's just an email. I would love to know, though, if you know of anyone else who has had a similar experience. Thank you for taking the time to read this.



I just want to thank you guys, as without your Web site I'd be in the mental ward right now! I'm a big coffee drinker, but my family has a history of diabetes so I decided I should cut out the sugar I add to my coffee.

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Well, I switched to using Splenda in my coffee about two months ago. Now I'm no wimp, and I'm not a health nut or anything like that! I'm a former football player, a vice president with a major banking institution and kind of a tough guy. Let me put it this way--the last time I cried was when the Green Bay Packers won the Superbowl!

So, anyway, I was using Splenda and I started getting withdrawn, had trouble focusing, and started to have problems with frustration. Gradually, I became more and more depressed. I thought it was stress or my job, something like that.

Well, last Thursday I completely fell apart! My girlfriend came over and found me crying uncontrollably for no reason, and all I could say was, "I'll be OK." She couldn't get me to move, she couldn't talk me down and I could not tell her what was wrong!

She was shocked as I had never done anything even remotely like this before and so she made me go to the hospital. The doctors there we so concerned about my condition they wanted to check me into the mental-health ward.

Being the way I am I refused but agreed to come back the next day and see a psychiatrist, which I did and he put me on a huge dose of Effexor. That night I was on the Web and for some unknown reason I did a search for Splenda and found the Web site.

When I read your information on Splenda I was shocked--I simply had no clue! I am now 99.9 percent convinced that my mental health issues were a direct result of using Splenda. I even had the stomach cramps and chest pains that other people have mentioned after using Splenda, but I dismissed them as panic attacks and stress.

So the next morning I got up and had some more Splenda and, low and behold, I started feeling the symptoms of a deepening depression again! It was clearly due to the Splenda, so I tossed it out.

I just want to say thank you. I would love to help get this product off the market! By the way, I missed work because of my ordeal, so I had to tell my boss about my problems and now I have to explain to him that I'm not nuts or having a break down--how embarrassing!

Thanks again!
Steve G.


I am so grateful that I am not alone in my experience with Splenda. I started the Atkins approach back in December 2003 with seemingly decent success, at least in terms of weight loss. But I also noticed that I wasn't "me." I even had other family members take notice of the "new" me. I never made a connection with the evil sweetener. My sister e-mailed me with your site and an article about the perils of sucralose. I was amazed that Dr. Atkins would embrace such an awful product (God rest his soul). So I switched to a different sweetener until I discovered I was pregnant in January.

Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with a molar pregnancy and am now undergoing weekly blood draws to rule out cancer. Any correlation to these terrible artificial products? I don't know. But I do know that I am sad for a whole host of reasons. I am taking comfort in new knowledge and for the brave souls who dare to share their stories.

Thanks Dr. Mercola and everyone!

Brenda Ulmer


I am subscribed to your twice weekly newsletter and the other day up comes Splenda and its many complications. I was surprised about the information, as I am in my fourth week of intermittent diarrhea for no apparent reason. So you can see that I was surprised, and pleased in a way, to find what I believe is the cause of my diarrhea, and it is Splenda.

I have never had a problem of this nature for such an extended length of time, and now I know the reason. I just hope that my stopping the use of Splenda will do the trick for me, and it will probably take some time. I dumped the remaining packets that I had on hand.

I have read the other possible side effects of using Splenda and hope that I do not have any of them, however I have noticed lately that I have had an excessive amount of depression. I am hoping that there is a way to put out some sort of bulletin to the outlets that sell Splenda, like Costco where I bought it. I may go to their Web site and tell my story.

Thanks for the information and love your bi-weekly newsletters.
Douglas Gaines


My 5-year-old son drank a flavored water at his Grandmom's yesterday that was sweetened with Splenda. It was the only thing available for him to drink. I have avoided it since I have had previous bad reactions to aspartame and therefore do not use any artificial sweeteners of any kind.

When we got home Sam was behaving very erratically. He was whining, thrashing--he literally did not want to be in his clothes! He talked about wanting to kill himself and told me he hated his hamster, Bertie, and was going to kill him too. He was throwing his toys and saying "I hate . " (everything). It was clear that he was miserable and out of control. He calmed considerably after dinner, but into the evening was still not acting like his cheerful, cuddly self.

He was having trouble listening, spilling drinks, and refusing hugs or holding. Both of my children were difficult to get to sleep last night (my 7-year-old daughter had about half a bottle of the juice and weighs about twice what my son does) and spent a restless night (we practice family bed, so I know their overnight habits).

I went onto the Mercola Web site because I really did not have any information up to this point about Splenda/sucralose. I am generally very careful as to the amount of additives, preservatives, processed foods, etc. that my children and I ingest. My children do not consume "diet" products and were breastfed. I am thankful that this site exists as a forum for people to share their experiences with the chemically altered, over-processed items that are touted as "healthy food" in this country. I definitely consider a lot of children's behavior issues to actually be adverse reactions to something they have ingested.

--Leslie Cree
Mechanicsburg, PA


I am so grateful for all the information you provide regarding Sucralose (Splenda).

I myself have had a bad experience recently. I have bad teeth, so I have to stay away from sugar. So I decided to start using "sugar-free" products to sweeten foods like syrup for pancakes and so on. I started buying "Log Cabin Sugar-Free Syrup" (which has a 'sweetened with Splenda' logo on the label). Lately, whenever I consume this syrup within two hours I come down with terrible diarrhea. The accompanying side effects are identical to food poisoning and the stomach flu. I even had body aches, a headache and nausea. Each AND every time!

No more chemically engineered foods for me. Thank you for the great health forum.

--R.H. from Troupsburg, NY


I just read the testimonials on Dr. Mercola's Web site regarding sucralose and a light went off inside me. I have been taking an anti-aging product with a small amount of sucralose in it--a small enough amount that if I take one scoop at night, I don't notice any adverse effect. However, when I increased the dose to two scoops, which is the recommended amount, I woke up feeling like I had a hangover and allergic reaction together--headache, stiff achy body all over, tired, and fuzzy-brained for much of the day.

That occurred a few weeks ago also when I tried to take two scoops, so I cut back to one scoop, thinking my body would be getting used to the main ingredient in the product. A few weeks ago, I took one scoop of this product with the sucralose in it just before going to bed at night. I felt normal upon awakening.

The next day, I got a fish meal for lunch at a place where I rarely get cooked food. About 15 minutes after eating the meal, I felt so tired I stopped at a beach (I live in Hawai`i), and lay down on the sand--for five minutes I thought, but I had conked out and woke up about 30 minutes later. It was as thought somebody had "pulled out the plug," and all my energy drained out of me. I woke up with bright red hives all over the front of me. It was not from the sun, I had been lying face down. I felt hot and itchy, like a niacin flush.

I was concerned because I have never had this type of allergic reaction before. When I read some of the testimonials on your Web site just now, I started to believe it was probably the combination of something in the sauce they put on the fish, and the sucralose I had been taking in small amounts every night for a month or so.

So this is both a question to Dr. Mercola, and others, and a sharing. I'm interested to know about how we react to combinations of toxins. Of course that is a difficult question to answer. Hopefully my sharing this will help others figure out what is going on.

The person who formulated the product I took must have known the kind of information about sucralose that Dr. Mercola and others are sharing. I am dismayed that I didn't do adequate homework before. I was using a protien powder previously with sucralose in it and never noticed side effects. Now I'm thinking that reactions will be not only dosage dependent, but depend on the other kinds of toxins we may also inadvertently ingest while the sucralose is in our bloodstream.

Anybody know how long it stays in the bloodstream? Liver?

Thanks & aloha. May the blessings of vibrant health be yours.

Karuna Thal
HolisticAudios | Contact Site | Hands | Health | Letters Library | Missions | News | Sermons Short Stories | Sunset Calendar | Toolbox | Vatican Watch | VideosCoach
Kaua`i, Hawai`I


I am writing this testimonial hoping this will help those people who are suspecting that perhaps they are having a bad reaction due to the consumption of Splenda.

I am a 71-year-old man who is in very near perfect health. Due to a vegetarian diet and a good exercise regime, I have managed to avoid all medications and enjoy life to the fullest. I had completely eliminated processed sugar from my diet but did miss it so I was delighted when Splenda came out and advertised that it was actually made from real sugar but contained little or no calories.

I began using two packets twice a day in my coffee, and used two teaspoons a day on my morning oatmeal or cereal. I began having symptoms of extreme fatigue, particularly tiredness of the eyes, and noticed myself dragging my feet during my five-mile walks. I also noticed that my mood was depressed and I felt very lethargic. I just didn't feel like doing anything.

I thought at those times that maybe I was developing a blood sugar medical problem and made plans to have tests done by my doctor. I did not relate it to the consumption of the sweetener, but noticed that the low energy episodes seemed to occur at almost the same times each day. At these times, I was literally washed out, and often slept it off with a two-hour nap.

I ran into this Web site quite by accident and immediately pondered what if . I stopped using the sweetener immediately. The fatigue episodes continued that day, dropped off significantly the next, and by the third day they had stopped. Now my mood has greatly improved and I have my usual high energy back. It has been over a week now with no return of those bad symptoms. I realize that we all have different body chemistries and can be allergic to different chemicals, so perhaps this was just unique in my case. Also since my diet is so pure, I do overreact to foreign man-made substances such as medications.

Hopefully this discourse will reach others who are having similar unexplainable reactions.

Charles E L


I recently bought a 30-pack box of EAS Advant Edge Carb-Control Shake from Costco and started drinking a shake for dinner. I've taken about five or six of them and in the last three to five days have noticed some rashes in my body. The rashes were really red, but not itchy. I couldn't fathom where they might have come from. I had to go back and think about what I have taken or done differently in the last three to five days to get these rashes. I couldn't think of anything other than the EAS Shake.

Last night, I took a few sips from the 11-ounce pack--I didn't finish the shake--and this morning I had a terrible sore throat and a migraine. I finally connected the dots! I looked at the ingredients on the EAS packaging and found that it has Splenda. I looked up Splenda and found your Web site. I read the testimonies of others who've had reactions and I am now convinced that it was the EAS shake that's been causing my rashes and feverish symptoms.

As I write this I feel some congestion in my lungs & intermittent throbbing pain in my chest.

I am trashing this bad EAS stuff. I am so glad I found your Web site before I consumed all the 30 packs of shake.

We should all just stick to natural, organic food. Hope this testimonial helps others as the other testimonials have helped me.



I have been using Splenda for about two years, I guess. I was researching the dangers of aspartame and thought I'd research Splenda. I thought it was a God-send--but apparently not! I have noticed after drinking Diet-Rites that my memory was really bad, so I stopped drinking them, never associating it with Splenda.

I have also had welts appear on my body at times. Something could just bump my body slightly and it would welt really badly. Since I had problems with hives as a teenager, I thought that was what it was. I am 41 now--I should have realized. I have noticed my eyes feeling blurry or feeling like I was in a tunnel. I had my eyes checked and they were fine. I believe Splenda is the culprit. I threw it all away. We need to get the word out.

Sherry from Indiana


The first time I had Splenda I had gas and stomach cramps. I actually figured out that it was the Splenda, but do you think I stopped there? No, I told myself that I needed to test it again just to make sure. I had it another two times and I had the same symptoms. I went online and read about the dangers of it and I haven't had it since. This is a really dangerous product. I'm so glad that my body sent me a message telling me something was wrong. So many people can ingest this product and nothing happens. It's important to know what you're putting in your body.

Thank you for getting this information out to the public.


I am a type 2 diabetic. I have used numerous sweeteners, both natural (stevia) and artificial (Equal, Splenda). I do not like using anything but natural ingredients. I have controlled my glucose levels (70-100) very successfully using glipizide (one-quarter of a 5mg) once a day for seven years.

Recently I bought Breyers low-carb ice cream and Edys No Sugar Added. My blood sugar levels started staying elevated about two days after I started having one small bowl a day of either product. Elevated by staying over 150!! The whole day, I increased the glipizide to one-half and then a whole pill with NO DIFFERENCE.

I stopped eating anything with SPLENDA five days ago and nothing else has changed. Within three days my BGL dropped down to 105 and I reduced my meds back to one-quarter of a 5mg pill. Today, five days later, it is completely back to normal. No other artificial sweetener affects me like this, also the bloated, distended stomach I had is gone!



I am a retired professor of mathematics from the University of California, Irvine in my late 70s. I have been a myasthenic since 1945 and type 2 diabetic since 1991. I was taking metformin 2000 mg daily in addition to mestinon 120mg every three hours or as needed. I developed a huge dark red rash gradually on the insides of my thighs, which on grand dermatology rounds was finally suggested to be a drug eruption, although MF and a glucogonoma were also candidates. I discontinued metformin and, except for scarring, the rash disappeared.

About 2 years ago my BGs started to climb and I was placed back on metformin 500mg daily and slowly the rash returned while my BGs dropped to desirable levels. About six months ago as a result of reading your newsletter I discontinued use of Extra and especially Splenda. Today the rash is hardly discernable. The photo of the lady with the drug eruption helped me make this possible connection that I am relating.

--Frank Cannonito


Wow! I still cannot believe what horrible effects Splenda had on me. I started a low-carb way of eating last summer and checked out some low-carb recipe books from the library. ALL of the recipe books hailed Spenda as the greatest thing since sliced bread. One author even lamented that the liquid form was available in Europe, but not here in the United States. Having seen the commercials where children are shown eating cookies made from Splenda, I immediately went out and purchased the large baking bag of Splenda as well as packets for coffee and tea.

Well, within a few days after starting to consume Splenda, my entire personality changed radically. I became very irritated almost constantly at everyone and everything. The normal and occasional whining of my 18-month-old drove me nuts, I felt sad and overwhelmed, and started getting migraines again. (I had previously discovered that NutraSweet was the main cause of my migraines and they had disappeared after I stopped using it).

Luckily, I receive Dr. Mercola's e-mails, and when I read about Splenda and the horrible reactions others have had, I knew immediately that this was the cause of my uncharacteristic personality change. I immediately threw out all the Splenda I had purchased, and within a couple of days was 100 percent fine.

I was recently horrified to read the label on the OTC medicine called Simply Stuffy, which is made by the makers of Tylenol for children's colds. I had purchased it for my daughter who had a slight cold. The ingredient list shows sucralose!! What on earth is this doing in a children's medicine?? I wrote an angry letter to the manufacturer, but I'm sure it won't have any effect.

Thank you for getting the word out about Splenda. I pass along this information to everyone I can.

--Marilyn Dombey


I'm not sure if it's Splenda or not but as of six weeks ago I started having severe anxiety attacks. My husband and I had a year ago went on a low-glycemic diet (no grains) and took all the sugar out of the house and substituted Splenda in everything. After seeing Splenda on your Web site I'm suspecting I have been poisoned by it, too. I'm allergic to chlorine.

I suspect this because during a well time in this six weeks I used Splenda again and that night I started having anxiety that lasted for four days. It's truly unbearable. My question now is how do you get it out of your system? I have other symptoms that are on your list too. How is everyone else getting it out of their systems? I haven't seen this issue addressed. If this turns out to be Splenda related, I would stand up anywhere and refute this product!! Agonizing in Washington .



I almost don't want to share this because I will have to admit I cheated . but here goes . My family stopped by Penquin's Ice Cream Shop. I do not eat ice cream normally, but today I wanted some. Maybe because of the Neurosarcoidosis and all that it entails, I was just tired of eating healthy all the time. It's been such a balancing act every minute of the day for over seven years now.

I'm not sure now what I ordered, but it used to be one of my favorites . probably strawberry with strawberries. By the time we got home I had a severe headache. I haven't had a real headache now for seven years and I was having one again. I didn't attribute it to my cheat escapade.

Several weeks passed by and we went back to the same place. I hadn't had any further headaches since. I ordered the same thing and behold! I had a terrible headache again. At first I thought I was starting to have symptoms of Neurosarcoidosis again (I have pituitary gland involvement.) Nope that wasn't it because after a third trip to Penguin's it happened again.

The first time at our visit I had asked about aspartame in their products and they said no--never did I think to ask about sucralose. Before I had brain surgery in '97 I use to drink and eat about everything that had aspartame. I would drink two 2-liters of diet soda a day, and if not that, then Crystal Light with aspartame. I totally stopped using any products with aspartame after the surgery.

Back to what happened. I finally put it all together with the ice cream. I felt guilty for eating it for one and thought . serves me right for cheating. However, I decided to call Penguin's and ask what they were using as a sweetener. Sure enough . sucralose! I have never been back, nor have I ever eaten ice cream again.

Gloria Smith
Tucson, AZ


Hi, my name is Hugh Ramsdell. I used 30 packets a day of Splenda in my gallon of iced tea that I took to work. After two days of doing this my kidneys shut down. I had the most horrible pain I've ever experienced, right in the body location of the kidneys. I had to stay off of work for two days because I couldn't stand up from the pain. My extremities began filling up with water. I switched to stevia and haven't had any more trouble.

Hugh Ramsdell


Without getting into great detail, I bought a jar of pickles and had a few before dinner. I noticed the pickles had an intense, somewhat artificial, sweetness. While fixing dinner I started to get an intense headache. The headache became so intense I had to leave dinner and go lay down for the rest of the evening. The next morning I read the ingredients on the pickle jar and Splenda was listed. Needless to say the pickles went in the trash and I now read labels more closely.



For several months I had been having 'episodes' of flushing face accompanied by headache and a general feeling of being ill. The episodes ranged in length from one-in-a-half hours to four or five hours. They also varied in severity. I was puzzled and tried to associate them with anything. My blood pressure did not seem to be affected and I never had a food allergy, but could not associate the episodes with any food or medicine change. While trying to lose weight I began using Splenda. Once I stopped using Splenda I noticed the symptoms I had been having stopped altogether:

"About the first of the year I had begun using Splenda instead of sugar in drinks and on cereal. But, I didn't think of the connection. Last week I ran out of Splenda - a couple of weeks before payday. I have not replenished. I have not had one episode now in five days. This morning, as I sugared my coffee, it suddenly occurred to me, "Could Splenda be the cause?" After reading the information on your site, I am certain that I have found the cause. Thank you so much for providing the information."

Name Withheld