I came down with chronic constipation after I started low-carbing. I recently came across an article from Dr. Mercola's website claiming that Splenda might destroy certain good gut bacteria.
Is it possible that you can come down with a case of dysbiosis (disbacteriosis) by using Splenda? I've been supplementing with some digestive enzymes and Probiotics but no real effect so far. I did not realize the possible link between Splenda and dysbiosis.
Has anyone made this link while low-carbing or Paleoing? I tend to be a heavy Splenda user ... in coffee, tea, etc. I've been thinking about making a complete switch to Stevia for good but Splenda simply tastes too good!
TIAS - Try It And See.
You've formed a hypothesis, now it's time to test it.
In the mean time, you might want to up your intake of fermented foods (sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, etc) and even off-the-shelf probiotics to restore some of your gut flora.
I'd strongly advise giving up the fake sugar altogether. I thought I could never enjoy coffee black. I do now, but I also don't mind it with a splash (or three) of heavy cream ;-)
My whole family seems to have the opposite reaction to splenda- stomach irritation and diarrhea. We have switched to stevia with no ill effects. The taste is a little different, but we have adjusted to it over time.
I can't answer your question, but i'm sure that Splenda is not food. Eat food.
And, though in this case Mercola might be correct (?), he's like the Fox News of Alt-Health. Ok, not that bad.. some of the things he says are true...
There is pretty much no way that Splenda can kill your gut bacteria. I think that is based on Young's 1990 paper, but it was never widely cited (like 10 times in 20 years). LaBare has a couple of papers from the early 1990s demonstrating partial metabolism of sucralose by bacteria (e.g. different results from Young). I know there was a rat study or two supposedly showing changes in microbial community composition, but they were published by toxicologists, not microbial ecologists, so I'm kind of suspect of their results. Genomics of gut metabolomes have shown the presence of dechlorinase--e.g. the sort of enzyme you need to cleave the chlorines from sucralose and made it edible if you're a bacteria, but, as far as I'm aware, no one has followed up on this observation. Splenda has been around for a long time, so the genes necessary for turning it into food have already spread amongst human commensal bacteria in all likelihood. Which is to say, while obviously modifying dietary sugars will have an effect on microbial ecology, it is unlikely that Splenda is specifically killing "good" vs "bad" bacteria. So far as I'm aware, other than those kind of bad rat studies, no one has looked at the issue (and by no one, I mean no reputable microbiologist).
Beyond that, even if Splenda did select for different groups of commensals, I'm not sure why that would lead to constipation. Yes, there is cross-talk between microbial biofilms and the gut mucosa, but it isn't exactly clear that the Splenda selected bacteria would also decrease gut motility (thus leading to constipation).