1,974 Cans or a 180-gallon Kiddie Pool full of Diet Soda with Splenda/Sucralose — That’s What It Would Take Based on Schiffman et al. Before You See Any Hazard

I posted an article here at the Toxic Truth Blog about Schiffman et al.’s study claiming that splenda/sucralose contains a contaminant, which they allege humans can produce, that will cause DNA damage and “leaky gut”. That paper is rubbish. You can read more here.

But what if Schiffman et al. were right (and it’s not possible, but let’s say we live in a fantasy world where [my opinion] bad science rules the day)? What if sucralose-6-acetate actually caused our intestines to leak?

Question of the Day: How much diet soda with Splenda/sucralose would it take to reach the levels that Schiffman et al. say is required to see a leaky gut?

Well, it’s 1,974 cans (12oz) of diet soda with Splenda/sucralose.

How did I get this number? Here ya go:

When Schiffman et al. see problems with sucralose-6-acetate, it’s at millimolar concentrations — these are whoppingly high concentrations. Put this into context — pharmaceuticals are active at picomolar or nanomolar concentrations. Environmental chemicals are typically in the micromolar range. And sucralose-6-acetate is in the millimolar concentration (said another way: picomolar is 1×10-12 moles/liter, nanomolar is 1×10-9 moles/liter, micromolar is 1×10-6 moles/liter, and millimolar is 1×10-3 moles/liter).

Is this really relevant? How many cans of diet soda with splenda would you need to drink to see these intestinal issues they are claiming?

To put this into context, I did some math. Sucralose-6-acetate has a molecular weight of 439.67 g/mol. If we agree that 5mM is the first dose where Schiffman et al. see TEER disturbance, then we’ll use 5mM for the calculations. Converting 5mM sucralose-6-acetate to grams gives us: 


According to the Splenda Brand, sucralose-6-acetate is only found in their products below the limit of detection, which is currently 0.001%.  

Splenda Brand suggests using sucralose as a 1:1 substitute for sugar. Since a 12oz can of soda (I checked coke and pepsi) contains 39 grams of sugar, we’ll assume 39 grams of sucralose. Given a 0.001% sucralose-6-acetate rate, we would have 0.00039 grams of sucralose-6-acetate in 12oz of soda. That is 0.39mg of sucralose-6-acetate, or 390ug. 

12oz is 0.35L. So Schiffman et al.’s 2.20g/L becomes: 

(2.20g/L)(0.35L)=0.77g or 770mg.

So how many 12oz cans of Diet Soda with Splenda (assuming my amount of sucralose is correct) would it take to reach 770mg of sucralose-6-acetate? 

770mg / 0.39mg = 1,974 cans of Diet Soda with Splenda

Yes, 1,974 cans of Diet Soda with Splenda to reach 770mg of sucralose-6-acetate, which is what would be required to ingest 5mM of sucralose-6-acetate. 

1,974- 12oz cans of diet soda is 690.9 L of diet soda. A common dump truck is 10 cubic yards in volume. That is 7,645.55 L in volume. That would be about 9% of the dump truck’s volume. So that’s not the best analogy.  

The best analogy would be a 180 gallon kiddie pool, like this one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07V3P5DJD. You would need to drink a 180 gallon kiddie pool full of Diet Soda with Splenda to even reach the amount of sucralose-6-acetate required to see these types of negative health effects.

Lyle D. Burgoon, Ph.D., ATS
Lyle D. Burgoon, Ph.D., ATShttps://www.raptorpharmtox.com
Dr. Burgoon is a pharmacologist/toxicologist, biostatistician, ethicist and risk assessor. Dr. Burgoon writes on chemical safety, biostatistics, biosecurity, sustainability, and scientific ethics. He is the President and CEO of Raptor Pharm & Tox, Ltd, a consulting firm.

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