Q: What is in Splenda that makes it harmful? Is Stevia or Erythritol all right?
— Barbara L., Cherry Valley, Ill.
A: Splenda (sucralose) belongs to a class of compounds called chlorocarbons. This class of highly reactive chemicals includes carbontetra-chloride and several pesticides. Like those other compounds, sucralose was shown to cause liver and kidney damage in animal testing. Chlorine is highly reactive in tissues when combined with carbon atoms.
To make sucralose, manufacturers combine three atoms of chlorine to the sugar molecule. A number of people reported problems when using this product and what limited research that has been done on the product before approval found, in addition to liver and kidney damage, intense skin reactions, damage to the thymus gland and immune impairment. It is always better to err on the side of caution and avoid this sweetener.
Defenders of Splenda safety respond by pointing out that salt also contains chlorine. First of all, salt in excess is highly toxic to many tissues. Second, it is not a chlorocarbon — it is composed of sodium and chlorine.
Q: What do you recommend for controlling the advance of degenerative nerve disease?
— David K., Corvallis, Ore.
A: In many cases of undiagnosed neuropathy, the cause is gluten sensitivity. The best test to diagnose this is the tissue transglutaminase (tTG) and the anti-gliadin antibody test. Other food allergies can either cause the problem or worsen it, so get a full-spectrum food allergy testing.
A number of supplements have shown benefit. High-dose B1, pyridoxal-5-phosphate, riboflavin-5-phosphate, moderate dose niacinamide, natural (mixed) tocotrienols and tocopherols, acetyl-L-carnitine, zinc, magnesium, selenium, DHA, and especially important is avoiding excitotoxin food additives (which plays a major role in neuropathy pain), inflammatory oils (corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower, peanut and canola oils), and extreme heat.
Hot baths will make the condition significantly worse; cool baths will improve the symptoms. Eat mainly vegetables and few meats, avoid gluten-containing breads, and drink white tea several times a day. Avoid indoor use of insecticides.
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