Splenda – Important to Avoid for Children with Autism and GI Disorders


In a study conducted by Dr. Mohamed B. Abou-Donia, et al. and published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, the artificial sweetener Splenda was found to have several health concerns. According to the study on rats, after 12 weeks of Splenda consumption, researchers found “numerous adverse effects, including (1) reduction in beneficial fecal microflora, (2) increased fecal pH, and (3) enhanced expression levels of P-gp, CYP3A4, and CYP2D1, which are known to limit the bioavailability of orally administered drugs.” While I always recommend avoiding artificial sweeteners, there are a number of supplement products containing Splenda.  This rat study solidifies the argument to avoid Splenda completely (actually makes a case for avoiding all artificial ingredients all the time). For children that have taken many courses of antibiotics, this additional assault on the good bacteria, could create digestive challenges (diarrhea, inflammation, constipation) for them. For children with autism that often have compromised digestion, microbial imbalance, and gut inflammation, these effects from Splenda can add to an overburdened GI system and create further problems. Additionally, Splenda appears to be problematic for many individuals in the family given its ability to reduce the effectiveness of medications. Children with autism have more sensitivity systems and need to avoid artificial substances.  It’s easy to do and well worth the effort!

Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant who received her master’s degree in medical nutrition with distinction from Arizona State University. She is also a published nutrition researcher and has specialized in complex neurological conditions, particularly autism spectrum disorders and ADHD for over 20 years. Julie is the award winning author of Nourishing Hope for Autism, co-author of a study proving the efficacy of nutrition and dietary intervention for autism published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nutrients, and also the founder of BioIndividualNutrition.com. Download her free guide, 12 Nutrition Steps to Better Health, Learning, and Behavior.


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