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Is Sucralose OK on a Low-FODMAP Diet?

Q. I’ve read that People on low-FODMAP diets should not use sucralose. But in your book, sucralose is listed as a low FODMAP ingredient. Can you clarify?

A. The short answer: Sucralose is not a FODMAP.

Interesting question. I’m not aware of any evidence that sucralose is a FODMAP, acts as a FODMAP or is a source of FODMAPs. To my knowledge there is no FODMAP-specific reason to avoid it. (When sucralose is combined with other ingredients, they should be considered separately as a source of FODMAPs.)

That being said, there are other interesting non-FODMAP concerns that have been raised about sucralose in the past few years. In animal studies, there is evidence that sucralose affects gut hormones and the gut microbiome. In mice that are genetically pre-disposed to ileitis, an increase in inflammatory activity has been demonstrated. Nothing in humans so far, but some writers have run with the early animal studies and published opinions that sucralose should be avoided. I’m looking forward to some human studies; meanwhile, it’s easy enough to avoid sucralose if you prefer to be on the safe side.

Further reading:

Ruiz-Ojeda FJ, Plaza-Díaz J, Sáez-Lara MJ, Gil A. Effects of Sweeteners on the Gut Microbiota: A Review of Experimental Studies and Clinical Trials. Adv Nutr. 2019;10:S31-S48. doi:10.1093/advances/nmy037.

Rodriguez-Palacios A, Harding A, Menghini P, et al. The Artificial Sweetener Splenda Promotes Gut Proteobacteria, Dysbiosis, and Myeloperoxidase Reactivity in Crohn’s Disease-Like Ileitis. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2018;24(5):1005-1020. doi:10.1093/ibd/izy060.