NewsNational NewsScripps News


Chemical in common sweetener found to possibly damage DNA

Researchers say they found that the widely used sweeteners containing sucralose are 'genotoxic' and could break up a person's DNA.
Chemical in common sweetener found to possibly damage DNA
Posted at 7:56 PM, Jun 02, 2023

New research has found that sucralose, found in many widely used sugar substitute brands, is "genotoxic" and can break up DNA and also cause other issues in the human body. 

The paper, published in the Journal of Toxicology, found that one of the fat-soluble compounds (sucralose-6-acetate) that is found in the gut after ingestion of sucralose is genotoxic. 

Susan Schiffman of North Carolina State University, a co-author on the study, said the researchers found trace amounts of sucralose-6-acetate even in sucralose before it is ingested in the body. 

To get some context Schiffman compared the U.S. standard to that of Europe. 

She said, "Our work suggests that the trace amounts of sucralose-6-acetate in a single, daily sucralose-sweetened drink [in the U.S.] exceed" the threshold of toxicology that is part of the restrictions imposed by the European Food Safety Authority. 

SEE MORE: WHO urges avoiding non-sugar sweeteners for weight loss

Sucralose is a chlorinated artificial sweetener used around the globe as a sugar substitute in foods and even in pharmaceutical products. It was discovered at Queen Elizabeth College in London as researchers attempted to chemically modify sucrose, which is common table sugar. 

Its sweetness potency is about 385 to 650 times greater than table sugar by weight. 

Researchers also highlighted other studies which found that sucralose can affect gut health and cause leaky gut, a condition in which material that would normally be flushed out of the body leaks from the gut and is absorbed into the bloodstream. 

Trending stories at