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Ponchatoula , Louisiana
October 6, 2016     The Ponchatoula Times
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October 6, 2016

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THE TIMES, OCTOBER 6, 2016 PAGE 6 Y _ Splenda: !s it better than an' other artificial $ By PROF. RANDOLPH HOWES M.D., PhD (EDITOR'S NOTE: Longtime medical columnist for The Times, the author is an accomplished surgeon, medical inventor, and Country music recording artist. Dr. I-Iowes grew up on his parents' Ponchatoula strawberry farm. He is a graduate of St. Joseph, Ponchatoula High School, Southeastern, Tulane - two doctorates, followed by a residency at the Johns Hopkins HHospi- tal in plastic surgery. He says he is "retired" now in Kentwood. The doctor's column appears on facebook.com]theponchatou- latimes and on facebook.colrdtheindependencetimes. It is also available online at ponchatoula.com/ptimes) The best-selling artificial sweetener around the world is Sucralose, marketed as Splenda, and found in tens of thousands of processed food products sold in 90 countries. It is several hundred times sweeter than or- dinary table sugar (su- crose). Splenda is spe- cifically marketed for weight loss or to man- age diabetes but studies some show that it tends to worsenboth of those problems. Sucralose was ap- proved for use as a sweetener in 1998. Be- fore approving sucral- ose, the FDA claimed to have reviewed 110 hu- man and animal stud- ies, when in fact, only 2 of the studies were on humans. Most of the controversy surround- ing Splenda is the way it is advertised, "Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar." This makes it similar to aspartame and saccharin and with similar adverse health effects. Actually, it starts with cane sugar but has three chlorine molecules added to it, which makes it "unnat- ural" and not metabo- lized by the body. The fact that it is not me- tabolized is what makes Dr. Howes sucralose non-caloric. Reported symptoms in- clude, seizures, dizzi- ness, migraines, allergic reactions, weight gain and increases in blood sugar, blurred vision and gastrointestinal is- sues. After gaining approv- al by regulatory agencies in the U.S. and Canada (and other countries) in the 1990s, sucralose- based Splenda over- took aspartame-based Equal and NutraSweet and saccharin-based Sweet'N Low as the leading brand artificial sweetener in the U.S. market. The advan- tages of sucralose over regular sugar are many: it is so sweet that it can be used in much smaller quantities than sugar, it contains no calories, it has no harmful effect on teeth, it can be safely consumed by diabetics. However, study results and opinions on safety are varied. A human tolerance study published in the journal Food and Chem- ical Toxicology in 2000, found "no indication that adverse effects on human health would occur from frequent or long-term exposure to sucralose at the maxi- mum anticipated levels of intake". To the con- trary, an in-depth 2013 scientific review of su- cralose, published in the Journal of Toxicol- ogy and Environmen- tal Health, reveals an extensive list of safety concerns, including tox- icity, DNA damage, and heightened carcinogenic potential when used in cooking. New research shows that sucralose starts breaking down at 119 degrees Celsius; 180 degrees Celsius causes it to degrade completely. At these cooking tem- peratures it releases chloropropanols, which belong to a class of tox- ins known as dioxins. One of the selling points of Splenda is that it remains stable when heated, making it well- suited for cooking and baking, but these find- ings appear to refute such claims. In the America I love, so-called expert opin- ions are frequently at odds with each other and it is increasing dif- ficult for consumers to make rational choices. Science can be ever so frustrating North Oaks receives recognition Louisiana Department of Health and North Oaks Medical Center officials joined together on Oct. 3 to celebrate the hospital's achieve- ment of the state's highest breastfeeding quality designation, The GIFT. Out of 51 birthing facilities in the state, North Oaks Medical Center is the 27th out of 29 hospitals to achieve the designation. This achievement demonstrates the hospital's commitment to offering quality, patient-centered care and highlights how the North Oaks Women & Children's Services team goes the extra mile to help give mothers and babies a healthy start, as well as assures that mothers who choose to breastfeed are supported. Participating in the presen- tation are, from left: Breastfeeding Program Coordinator Betsy Dan- cisak and The Gift Nurse Consultant for Southeast Louisiana Susie Amick, both with the Louisiana Department of Health--Office of Pub- lic Health--Bureau of Family Health. 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