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!

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Hi, I’m Julie Matthews, a Certified Nutrition Consultant, Author, and Published Researcher. I teach parents and practitioners that children with autism, ADHD, and related disorders can improve and heal, and that there’s hope for their children. Then I educate and empower them to make strategic dietary changes that positively affect children’s health, which in turn helps their learning and behavior. With 17 years of experience and my unique range of knowledge, from nutrition research and clinical experience to cooking in the kitchen for my own family, I’ve created a much-needed community for parents and practitioners looking to help children with autism live happy, healthy lives. Join us.

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