Patients tell me they are afraid to use sucralose (Splenda) because all artificial sweeteners are processed using a nitrous agent that is carcinogenic. Can you shed any light on this?—Israel R. Brignoni, MD, San Sebastian, P.R.
Sucralose has been studied in rats and mice, with no carcinogenicity seen at high doses of 10-16 g/kg (the equivalent of 1,000 lb for a 175-lb adult) (Food Chem Toxicol. 2000;38 Suppl 2:S53-69). Although only long-term epidemiologic studies can fully confirm any product's safety, the current literature does not show any carcinogenic concerns with sucralose.—Susan Kashaf, MD, MPH (139-3)