Image Credit: Evan Amos / Wikimedia. This image has been modified.

Splenda Side-Effects

On April Fool’s Day, 1998, the Food and Drug Administration approved the artificial sweetener sucralose, aka 1,6-dichloro-1,6-dideoxy-beta-D-fructofuranosyl-4- chloro-4-deoxy-alpha-D-galactopyranoside. But, despite its scary name, the worst it seemed to do was just be a rare migraine trigger in susceptible individuals, to which the manufacturer of sucralose replied that you have to weigh whatever risk there may be against its broader health benefits, “helping to mitigate the health risks associated with the national epidemic of obesity.”

As I discuss in my video Effect of Sucralose (Splenda) on the Microbiome, the hope was to offer a harmless sugar substitute to provide a sweet taste without the calories or spikes in blood sugar. However, that’s not how it appears to have turned out: Population studies have tied consumption of artificial sweeteners, mainly in diet sodas, with increased risk of developing obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. But, an association is not causation. You’ve got to put it to the test.

Indeed, if you give obese individuals the amount of sucralose found in a can of diet soda, for example, they get a significantly higher blood sugar spike in response to a sugar challenge, requiring significantly more insulin—20 percent higher insulin levels in the blood—suggesting sucralose causes insulin resistance. This may help explain the links between artificial sweetener consumption and the development of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. So, sucralose is not some inert substance. It affects the blood sugar response. But how?

The Splenda company emphasizes that sucralose is hardly even absorbed into the body and, as such, stays in the digestive tract to be quickly eliminated from the body. But the fact that it’s not absorbed in the small intestine means it makes it down to the large intestine and may affect our gut flora. Studies have been done on artificial sweeteners and the gut bacteria of rats going back years, but there hadn’t been any human studies until fairly recently. Researchers tested saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame, the artificial sweeteners in Sweet & Low, Splenda, and NutraSweet, respectively, and found that non-caloric artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the microbes in our gut. The human studies were limited, but, after a few days on saccharin, for example, some people got exaggerated blood sugar responses tied to changes over just one week to the type of bacteria they had in their gut.

Acesulfame K, another common artificial sweetener, also was found subsequently to be associated with changes in gut bacteria. So, all this time, artificial sweeteners were meant to stave off chronic diseases but may actually be contributing to the problem due to microbial alterations. Some in the scientific community were surprised that “even minor concentrations of a sweetener [in this case, aspartame] are sufficient to cause substantial changes in gut inhabitants…” Others were less surprised. Each molecule of aspartame is, after all, metabolized into formaldehyde. That may explain why some people who are allergic to formaldehyde have such bad reactions to the stuff. “Therefore, it is not unexpected that very small amounts of the sweetener can modify bacterial communities…” However, the reports about the safety of aspartame are mixed. “All of the studies funded by the industry vouch for its safety, whereas 92% of independently funded studies report that aspartame can cause adverse health effects.”

That should tell you something.

“Undoubtedly, consumers of these food additives, which are otherwise perceived as safe, are unaware that these substances may influence their gut bacteria. This may be of particular importance to patients with diseases correlated with modifications of the gut [bacteria], such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases” (IBDs) like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. People may not realize artificial sweeteners may be affecting their gut.

Might the effect be large enough to be actually see changes in the incidence of inflammatory bowel disease? Let’s look at Canada, the first country to approve the use of sucralose. Their rates of IBD did seem to double after the approval of sucralose. What about in the United States? After decades of relatively stable rates of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, rates did appear to start going up. In China, after the approval of sucralose, IBD rates rose 12-fold. Again, these could just be total flukes, but such correlations were also found on two other continents as well. Indeed, the more graphs you see showing this rise in rates of IBD after sucralose’s approval in different countries, the harder it is to dismiss a possible connection.

The good news, though, is that after stopping artificial sweeteners, the original balance of gut bacteria may be restored within weeks. Now, of course, the negative consequences of artificial sweeteners should not be interpreted to suggest that we should all go back to sugar and high fructose corn syrup. For optimal health, it is recommended that we all try to cut down on both.


Can’t get enough of artificial sweeteners? Check out:

Erythritol May Be a Sweet Antioxidant, but there are some caveats for it and other nontoxic, low-calorie sweeteners. See:

Does it really matter if our gut flora get disrupted? You’re in for a surprise. See:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


102 responses to “Splenda Side-Effects

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    1. Timely, I agree!
      This article (link below), is a comprehensive overview of artificial sweeteners in general.
      Some studies in UK found increased risk of heart and kidney disease.
      Neurologists say use caution in those with low seizure threshold.
      Most of them actually raise blood sugar in diabetics.
      Bottom line, there are lots of reasons to avoid artificial sweeteners,

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4899993/

  1. Pretty scary stuff considering I know so many people who are convinced some of these fake sweeteners are the antidote to diabetes and their love affair with sugar.

    1. Well said, Vegetater. Love affair with sugar, indeed! And salt & fats!

      The 5 major “food” groups of the SAD are salt, fat, sugar, artificial additives, & chocolate.

      1. Lida, sugar is not considered a whole food. But I believe date sugar is. It’s safer to use than sugar and artificial sweeteners.

        1. WFPB is great Nancy, but date sugar is not, not a whole food. All sugars are essences that are extracted from plants ground down to powder — not dissimilar to the production of cocaine and heroin from coca and poppy.
          Sugars are not grown in nature.

            1. Thank you Sylvia. Date sugar is made from dehydrated dates ground into fine particles. Sugar is sugar. And like all sugars it spikes insulin levels which over time causes leptin resistance and the system still gets flooded with pleasure hormones with resultant down regulation, the two mechanisms of food addiction. They occur with artificial sweeteners too, because the tongue is fooled into thinking it tastes sugar and sends the message to the brain.

              1. Dr Greger describes date sugar as a whole plant food – because it is a powdered whole plant and has therefore undergone only minimal processing. It is not an isolated extract from a whole plant like eg table sugar.

                He also describes it as the most healthful sweetener and uses it himself in baking.
                https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-healthiest-sweetener/

                On the other hand, any (fine) powder will be more easily and quickly digested than a hole plant or plant part like an actual date so I agree that eating actual dates (or other fruits) rather than a powder is preferable. Even so, i don’t turn my nose up at amla (a powdered fruit) so I’m reluctant to condemn the occasional use of small amounts of date sugar. I don’t have a sweet tooth so it’s academic in my case but nevertheless placing date sugar completely beyond the pale seems a little inconsistent.

                1. It’s all fine unless it’s causing problems or may cause problems down the pike. How susceptible one is to sugar addiction is an important yardstick on this question. But whether Greger wants to call it plant based or not, date sugar spikes insulin. And if date sugar is consumed frequently leptin resistance becomes an issue, as well as down regulation of pleasure hormones. And the two lead to major health problems.

                  1. Joseph

                    Do you have any evidence for your statement that “But whether Greger wants to call it plant based or not, date sugar spikes insulin”?

                    Dates, despite their high sugar content, apparently do not spike glucose or, from what I understand, insulin. Nor does date syrup for that matter..
                    http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=US8115433

                    Since date sugar is simply powdered whole dates, the onus is on you to demonstrate that date sugar, unlike whole dates, spikes insulin. Can you oblige?

                    Can you substantiate your other statements also? Thanks.

                    1. You’re right. Despite their ext high sugar content, dates don’t have a high GI. And the study you sent accords with others. And GI is correlated with insulin. So I misspoke.
                      Date sugar isn’t simply powdered whole dates. It’s dehydrated first, so the sugars per gram are concentrated. I don’t know of any studies on the effects of date sugar on insulin, even though I thought I did, and a cursory online research didn’t reveal anything. Again, your point is well taken. Thanks.

      2. At the end of the post, Dr. Greger says, “Now, of course, the negative consequences of artificial sweeteners should not be interpreted to suggest that we should all go back to sugar and high fructose corn syrup. For optimal health, it is recommended that we all try to cut down on both.”

  2. Hi I am a follower of yours and I am already a Type 2 Diabetic. I had gestational diabetes during my pregnancies and was diagnosed Type 2 20 years later.
    I live in Canada and use Sugar Twin as my sweetener you do not mention it in the article I assume because it is outlawed in the USA. The ingredient in Sugar Twin is Sodium Cyclamate this is not mentioned in the article. Could you please give me an opinion on Sugar Twin. Thank you
    Audrey Goodwin

    1. Audrey, what I heard in the video is that ALL artificial sweeteners cause problems, including those that weren’t necessarily mentioned. If I were you, I’d try going off of it for a good long while & see how it affects your T2 diabetes. It’s not something your body needs; it’s not a vitamin / mineral / enzyme, etc., so it’s not like you’d be taking a big health risk by cutting it out.

      If you’re looking for a substitute, try erithritol in moderation. There are videos about it on this website. Or date sugar in small amounts.

    2. Audrey, all artificial sweeteners have been found to raise insulin and glucose (blood sugar) in diabetics. Only sweetener I know of that is ok is stevia in moderation.

    3. Hello Audrey,

      While Sugar Twin isn’t directly mentioned in this article, however, like you mentioned it has been outlawed in the United States. This was due to a study where cyclamate caused bladder cancer in rats. There has been a fair amount of research on animal models demonstrating ill effects of cyclamate, but there are no human trials I am aware of. The study linked below demonstrated testicular abnormalities that developed in primates, which is probably the closest model we will get to humans.
      As for an opinion, there is evidence showing harmful effects of cyclamate in animals, which will likely translate in some form to humans and I would rather not take that chance. If you want to use an artificial sweetener, you should go for erythritol as per Dr. Greger’s suggestion.

      Matt

      Primate Study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10653518

  3. Dr. Greger says that as regards sugar and high fructose corn syrup: “For optimal health, it is recommended that we all try to cut down on both.”

    We know from neuroscience that all sweeteners are highly addictive. And it’s common knowledge that addictive substances are best dealt with by abstinence, and that it’s counter productive to simply “try to cut down”. Yet great doctors, like Dr. Greger and Dr. Lustig, tell us to try to cut down on sugars instead of cutting them out. If you’re addicted to nicotine you can’t simply cut down on cigarettes and if you’re a lush one drink simply leads to another. It’s the same with sugars, which is why fewer than 1% of obese dieters keep their weight off long term. When our physicians wake up to the fact that sugars must be eliminated from our diets, we’ll be on our way to resolving the obese problem. In the meantime, check out Dr. Susan P. Thompson. She has the skinny on that.
    Joseph in Missoula

    1. I think Dr. Greger is being realistic in advising us to “cutdown” vs. cut out. We are not all ascetic and sometimes the best we can do is cut down.

      1. For over ten years doctors have been telling the obese to cut down on sugars. Still, fewer than 1% of the obese keep their weight off long term.
        So how realistic is that advice? The only effective response to addiction is abstinence.

        1. Agree, it’s unfortunate Dr G – inadvertently I believe – appears to recommend moderation instead of abstinence when it comes to refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. Normally, he is crystal clear about providing just the evidence-based recommendation and risks. Then we can esch decide what is realistic to implement. I don’t consume much refined sugar, but do enjoy a ginger ale occasionally. However, I do it with the knowledge that I’m not doing my health any favors (and I would likely drink a lot more of it if I believed moderation was ok).

          1. Occasionally is OK. Returning neurological pathways in the brain requires frequent repetition. Compare it to the pathways of a river. When it gets completely dry, like the Colorado in Mexico, occasional drizzles won’t bring back it back. That’s a rough sketch. Of course, our neurological pathways are much more sensitive, and once addicted one must be diligent about repeating the behavior. It’s a major reason why less than 1% of the obese keep it off long term.

            1. Sugar is problematic, but I think animal products are a much bigger problem when it comes to losing weight. When I went plant-based, I lost 30 lbs. Meanwhile I was still eating (dark) chocolate bars on occasion. I only wish that people who are overweight knew about this. Going plant-based, I ate as much as I wanted, whenever I wanted and still lost weight. I hardly ever ate sugar when I ate animal products. That’s why I don’t believe sugar causes overweight, but then again, that’s just my experience–and my sister’s.

              1. Lisa, It’s not that one gains weight when they consume sugar. It’s that some people get addicted to it. Not all do. Just like some can drink booze now and then, no problem, while others can drink themselves to death. People who are obese tend to have a “sweet tooth”, a polite term for sugar addiction. Flour is also addictive — it’s why pizza is the number one food mentioned as difficult to stop, followed by ice cream, and third is chips.
                Sugar and flour.

                I’m also WFPB, but I also avoid all sweeteners and flours, even flour from whole grain. I eat Ezekial bread and love it.

        2. This is the same old siren song that that merchants of high fat diets and high fat foods have been singing for many, many decades.

          Yes, don’t use added sugars but the claim that dietary sugar is the primary cause of obesity is, shall we say, highly debatable’ Let’s think who makes these claims – Atkins, Taubes, Lustig and an army of other authors of wildly sensational books and low carb diet plans.

          I would say that this claim is misleading. More to the point, it is largely a marketing pitch. Just as your Dr Susan P. Thompson is makretling her diet plans. Distract attention away from the real causes – excess calories and the Westernised high fat diet – by focussing on sugars, and thereby give people an excuse to continue eating high fat foods. It’s a proven formula for sales success . As theWorld Health Organization notes:

          “The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Globally, there has been:
          . an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat; and
          . an increase in physical inactivity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of …work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization.”
          http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight

          In fact, animal studies suggest that fat consumption, not sugar or protein consumption, is the main driver of obesity
          https://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(18)30392-9?
          https://www.asianscientist.com/2018/07/in-the-lab/fat-carbohydrate-protein-obesity/

          1. And how is the WHO doing in advising people to consume less calories and get more active? Everyone knows that fewer calories works yet less than 1% of the obese keep their weight off long term. Meanwhile, half the world will be obese in 10 years, while people are get sicker.

            It’s not just sugar and flour, it’s also high fat processed frankenfoods.
            Our brains have been hijacked by these foods, and that’s why people can’t stop even though they have diabetes and know they’ll go blind or loose a leg.

          2. This is so true, Mr Fumblefingers. I saw this play out with my octogenarian mother. She’s always been very thin but as soon as her diet consisted of nothing but chicken, fish, and cheese, she became pre-diabetic.

      2. Lida, if you decrease sugar consumption, your tastebuds change. It takes about a month to grow new ones. Your body adjusts. There is no biological need for sugar. Substitute a piece of fruit or dark chocolate for dessert.
        I used to use sugar in tea and coffee for example, liked milk chocolate. Now I couldn’t even swallow those. They taste sickening. Just takes time and determination. You can do it! :-)

        1. Exactly! The Chinese don’t crave sauerkraut. We are creatures of habit, so taste buds change with new eating behaviors.

  4. I don’t consider erythritol safe for me, since it activates my Crohn’s disease. That leads me to believe that it is disturbing my gut biome. Stevia, whether whole leaf or in packets, gives me a stomach ache and an aftertaste. Even though I expect a new natural sweetener to be announced every year, I will be skipping them all.

    I have too many diabetic friends who have lengthy debates over safe sweeteners to dump in their coffee. They spend a lot of mental and emotional energy on this one dietary issue. It doesn’t seem worth it to me. I just stopped drinking the coffee and saved myself the stress.

  5. “Might the effect be large enough to be actually see changes in the incidence of inflammatory bowel disease?”

    Hmmm, is there something wrong? Or do I simply have this impression because English is not my native language?

    Anyways, very informative article. Last week I was trying to find chewing gums without aspartame… next time I will doublecheck if any of the other above mentioned sweeteners are listed among the ingredients in order to avoid them.

  6. When I was a child in the 1970s we had a sugar shortage in the UK, so we used saccharin. I discovered then that it has an unfortunate effect on my bowels!

    I did read somewhere that aspartame poisoning can mimic the symptoms of MS – is that true, and are you likely to do a video on that in the future?

    I always avoided artificial sweeteners as much as possible for my children when they were younger – they’ve always preferred water, and never drink fizzy drinks as they never acquired the taste for them. I’ve never understood why they’re called ‘sweeteners’ as they have a horrible bitter taste.

    Keep up the good work Dr Gregor with your informative videos and blogs.

  7. The article title is very misleading. It states “Splenda”, but the article covers multiple artificial sweeteners and their negative impacts. As a man of science I would hope we can stay on subject and not confuse readers by mudding the waters. Some readers had to ask directly if Erythritol was also part of this broad negative conclusion because so many other sweeteners were mentioned. Please consider rewriting this article to ONLY discuss Splenda and not others. We need clarity and less confusion in this space. Thanks.

    1. Erythritol is not an artificial sweetener. It’s a sugar alcohol and can even occur naturally (in small amounts) in certain fruits (e.g. pears, grapes); though the stuff you can buy is not made by extracting it from these fruits, but by fermenting glucose.

      Maybe a short explanation on the differences between artificial sweetener and sugar substitutes after the article could help. (I thought there was a difference, however, after checking I also found also some pages where artificial sweeteners were labelled as sugar substitutes)

      I think the general conclusion from the article is to be careful with artificial sweeteners. However, for many people it is not clear what belongs to the group of artificial sweeteners, e.g. aspartame, vs. other (naturally occurring) sweeteners like erythritol.

      1. (just a side note: I did not mean that erythritol is a natural sweetener, just a naturally occurring one. Labelling these things have so much potential for causing confusion. I thought I new at least some differences, but I am not that sure anymore, and this is NOT due to the article.)

          1. I should have reserved my comment as only applying to those addicted to sugar. If you aren’t pulled into it, you won’t consume too much of it.
            You’ll be able to do it in moderation, as Dr. Greger and Dr. Lustig recommend. But those who are addicted to sugar can’t do moderation as recommended. Just as an alcoholic can’t drink moderately.

  8. I looked up Stevia and read this:

    “A 2014 study found that stevia may have a negative effect on probiotic bacteria. Researchers tested six different strains of Lactobacillus reuteri, a probiotic bacteria naturally found in human gut flora and 90-95% of every probiotic dietary supplement on the shelves. Both stevioside and rebaudioside were found to inhibit the growth of all 6 strains tested. (Deinina et al, 2014).”

  9. But they said, “April Fools.”

    Ages ago, there was a Simpson episode, which the males around me particularly laughed at. The bully laughed at Bart and was told to stop laughing because Bart was genuinely injured and the bully protested the correction and said, “But I said, ‘Ha Ha.'”

    I have known people with that sense of humor.

    It turns out there are whole industries with it.

  10. What do people even do with this yucky stuff? Dump it in their coffee or tea? I as a black coffee/tea aficionado can only shake my head.

    As I’ve posted before, the only sweetening I use is either 1/2 teaspoon raw unprocessed honey — right now am using the brand Honey in the Rough — OR (Sorrell Ridge) blackstrap molasses on my morning hot cereal. Any other sweetening throughout the day would be from a banana, blueberries and/or homemade applesauce.

    Oh right…plus the requisite evening dessert consisting of 2 or 3 squares of 78% dark chocolate.

      1. YR, I’m with you. I don’t use honey, too sweet for me, sometimes add some blackstrap molasses for the iron.
        But generally, I just put some Ceylon cinnamon, cardamom and cacoa in my coffee. Nothing in tea. Away from home, just plain coffee.
        On oatmeal I like berries and cashews.

        1. Marilyn, not just iron….plenty of calcium too. Here’s a partial nutrition facts list on the back of my molasses bottle. They’re talking a whole tablespoon, though, whereas I take just a half teaspoon. Anyway:

          Sodium 0 mg
          Total Carbohydrate 13g
          Dietary Fiber 0 g
          Total Sugars 11g

          Calcium 191 mg
          Iron 1 mg
          Potassium 440 mg

        2. Marilyn & YR, I like black strap molasses on my morning hot cereal (these days it’s amaranth) with a few finely chopped, dried figs. I also add mashed beans (pinto, navy or northern) & a tbsp of ground flax seeds. Spices include cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric & a few grinds of black pepper.

          1. Nancy, I add cinnamon and ginger & just a few tiny bits of one dried fig — less than 1/4 teaspoon. Yikes, you add “a few” figs to yours? Now that would be waaaaay too sweet for me!

            I like your amaranth idea….gotta remember to buy some next time I shop. I know it’s VERY good for us. Haven’t had it in a long time — can find it only at our local Mother Earth health food store though. Stop&Shop doesn’t even sell millet…bummer. I’ve asked them why, get no decent answer.

            You say you add mashed beans, am wondering how much. A tablespoon…..1/4 cup, 1/2 cup? Nine or ten little beanies, total? I take it you don’t add any water or plant-based milk to this concoction. Or do you? (I’m always interested in what people eat!)

      2. I like a tsp of organic cane sugar on my oatmeal, and in theory I like honey but havent got a use for it really. If I was going to bake I might use apple sauce or molasses. I don’t care for chocolate, but fruit is ok. Wouldn’t give ya two cents for alcohol, pot, cigs etc, but the tsp of sugar on the oatmeal is a potential deal breaker. I like to enjoy my food and why not?

        1. Of course, everyone should enjoy their food, unless it’s a problem. I’d rather not wait for problems to show up, so I eat healthily every day. I don’t want heart disease or cancer.

          1. I agree Joseph … I have really enjoyed my wfpb journey. The food is delicious, never boring, and people are always asking what I am doing to stay in good shape. It’s a very rewarding lifestyle.

    1. 78%

      Did you try all the percentages and find the perfect percentage or just taste that one and stop?’

      I didn’t dare do dark chocolate when I switched off the sweet tooth, but I think I would find it useful.

      I did try a few dark chocolates, but never found the right percentage.

      That is important to me, because if I go too low in percentage, I may end up back in the throes of a chocolate addiction.

      1. Yup, 78% seems to be the right percentage of dark chocolate as we speak. I try to buy it only when it’s on sale. I used to do 72%, but that’s too sweet for me now.

        Am slowly climbing up to 85-86%. Don’t think I’d ever go any higher than that. One of the female posters suggested 90%, but uh-uh….not ready for that. I’d have to drizzle it with honey (kidding, kidding!).

        1. I bought Ghirardelli 86% tonight and, honestly, I think they are cheating. Or my taste buds have changed so much that it felt like I was eating 60%.

          I am sure that my taste buds have changed.

          I used to hate dark chocolate, but this tasted like chocolate.

          I am confused about whether it is going to cause problems for me or not, but, here goes.

  11. Today was another good dog day.

    I have taken him off everything.

    He isn’t even wanting the CBD oil and now that I have taken him off, he seems more alert and is moving around better again.

    I still haven’t solved what to feed him. You think I would have by now, but nope.

    1. Deb, just take it day by day. Methinks he’s hanging on solely for YOUR benefit. :-)

      You and he have a pact going here; he’ll let you know if/when he wants to leave the planet. He’s not ready yet.

      1. He was being trained as a seeing-eye dog when he was a puppy and he is on duty protecting me. He is a little miffed that I don’t take him to work anymore. He is a kind-hearted, protective, sweet, empathic service dog. I would say that he is the most protective dog that I have ever met, though when I was a young person, I had a dog who was more protective over me still. He was a dog at my great-grandmother’s house. He was my uncle’s dog and lived before leash laws and he would come to my bus stop to meet me in the morning and would be there at school at recess and I would get off the bus at my friend’s house in a different part of the town after school and he would meet me there, too. He was a hunting dog and I think my relatives would send him out to protect me. I needed protection and he was so precious.

        1. A young man who has been studying me told me that he thinks that his cat is trying to comfort his mother, who he believes has depression.

          Could it be that my dog is trying to protect his brain-injured owner?

          All I know is that he is the one communicating now and I am just listening to him. That was what he was good at. Listening to each person he interacted with. He decides whether it is up the steps or up the ramp and he decides what he feels like eating and he decided not to be on all of the supplements and steroids.

          In the beginning, he asked to be on CBD oil and now he is turning his head away when I try to give it.

          I know that other owners would force the dogs to have it, but it feels like he looks happier when I don’t do that and it is his end of life.

          1. And by “studying” I am not sure what that means. A young man came up to me and told me that he has been studying me. I don’t know if that is young-man-speak for “I am wondering if you are a cougar.” or “You remind me of my mother” or “I have a Brooklyn bridge to sell you.” He asked me if I wanted to work with him and also offered to cook for my family on my birthday. Laughing, because small business owners would like to go work someplace else now and then. I wanted to ask how much money, but I would definitely lose my workers if I bail on them.

            I am not a cougar that I know of, but me being fascinated by what he is up to has probably already made things worse. I did accidentally go on a date with a man who graduated at my high school 10 years after I did, but I didn’t know that it was a date until the very end. I already am having enough brain problems figuring out nutrition.

  12. YR,

    You talked to me about someone you knew who finds things funny when they aren’t and I am going to say that I came away from tonight knowing that I genuinely might have a neurological problem, where I find things funnier than everybody else finds things. I ended up looking PBA and took the quiz and it isn’t a good quiz. It looks like it would be hard to not get sent to your doctor to find out if you have it. The questions are “occasionally” and “frequently” and I feel like there is an answer in the middle of those. I don’t know how to answer some of it because I am a person who can cry at almost every PBS documentary and when other people go through things and not at all when I go through things for years. I do feel like I am broken-minded and like I can suddenly find everything amusing and it is amusing, but the same situations can also be handled “authentically” not just dealt within the framework of a sense of humor and it seems like I am someone who should be showing up even to this site and just being authentic, but it is like the jokes come into my mind as if I have a record needle, which is stuck and I know that nobody else is joking around and that confuses me. It genuinely disturbs me when people put down Dr. Greger and I think that always would have disturbed me and I mean that would have disturbed me when I was 3 and 33, but my brain is broken and I can’t explain how it is different to people who don’t know what it was like before. I always would have stuck up for people who are trying to save the world, but I genuinely get devastated by how people interact on-line and it is like I sometimes become a 2-D person and this young man is flirting with a much older woman and is worried about his mother and suddenly it is like, “Duh? Are you laughing at him and not trying to find out what is really going on in his life?” I want to be 3-D again. It is so hard to get there.

      1. It’s a win-win really. If the worst comes to the worst, you can always tell the judge that the voices in your head told you to do it. :)

          1. LOL! Nope.

            My dog is a sweetheart.

            He tells me that he wants to lay outside on the patio at midnight and that is as crazy as it gets.

            YR,

            It isn’t that I am thinking all night. I genuinely can’t explain it.

            I know that I have something like early onset Alzheimers.

            I genuinely can’t tell it to you and have you understand it.

            1. Years ago, I was interacting with a woman online and she put up this blog and everybody blackballed her, except for me. I was worried about her. I ended up printing it out and using a highlighter and there was a Winter storm and it was near Thanksgiving and it seemed like she was missing her dog and there were graves. It seemed like she was worried that her dog might have been shot by hunters and that she was praying.

              I went back to look at it tonight because someday, I might show up here and put this type of thing and people might get seriously angry. Everybody yelled at her and said that they weren’t going to interact with her again if she was going to do things like this and she never did post another blog entry. I just checked and this was the last one. If you look at the last sentence, you will see that she ended with God bless. I am not that bad, but I already know that I am not that good either. I am happy and am still functioning and have noticed that my brain got worse when I started eating worse again. I am trying to get it back. Mostly, I am praying that I won’t do what this woman did, but that if I do, I end my paragraphs with God bless, like she did.

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              1. I am not there yet, but I am aware that I could get there.

                It took my cousin about 10 years to get from having Alzheimer’s symptoms to the end of her life.

                1. I have been supplementing Methyl because that is what they had at the store.

                  I need to go back and get some cyano and I need to increase my folate.

                  I was doing so well for so many months, but something is off again and I know it will be a nutritional deficiency of something.

          2. YR

            I was challenging the belief/advice that all answers can be found within.

            Sometimes we just have to rely on outside experts, textbooks and dedicated research to find good answers.

            Deb apparently will not seek an appointment with a medical doctor to discuss her symptoms. That’s her choice of course but it seems risky to me. However, she could try an online symptom checker and/or online (medical) doctor. These can effectively be done anonymously and IMO would be better than just hoping that the (correct) answer will somehow spontaneously well-up from within.

            A good ‘vegan’ multi might also be a good idea.

            1. Tom,

              Yes, I will try the symptom checker and I will figure out what I was doing which was working so well.

              I stopped flaxseed and oatmeal and have been inconsistent with vegetables and B12 and omega 3 and sleep.

              I haven’t had flaxseed or taken omega 3 probably since my dog got sick. I have been taking the Methyl B-12 but not every week and I have been eating beans with TVP chili but I have started back on vegetables.

              I also started craving sweets and that might be magnesium again, because that was when I stopped craving it.

              I had been doing more smoothies and way more fruit than I am now.

              I was also doing a supplement like Coenzyme q10 and a supplement I cantremrmber the name for helping mitochondria. I remember that it helped me a lot. Healthy Agong was the name of something which had it in. I remember that it was something tested for giving old people young mitochondria.

              Not sleeping for months genuinely might be the whole problem. People get problems from it.

                1. I am not sure.

                  I am concerned that my brain is getting worse agsin and I know that TVP in the chili is probably the least of my problems right now except that it replaced foods with more nutrition.

                  I have also been eating pumpkin loaf instead of oatmeal for breakfast and that got rid of the flax and chia.

                  I think my sleep ended up an extra 2 hours off when I tried to fix it is a big problem. I close my eyes and don’t feel like my brain is processing but I feel wide awake all night long.

            2. Nevertheless, listening to “the Within” can indeed steer us to the right solution. Get what I’m saying? First, we think (are guided) and then we ACT. Can’t do one without the other.

              No physical act can be accomplished without first having the thought to do it. By listening quietly, we’ll be given our solution to a problem.

              I think Deb would be helped with her insomnia, etc. by tweaking her diet in some way. She might need more….or less…of something. Even….god forbid!…if this might include occasional animal foods.

              1. YR,

                There are at least two internal events that precede action. One is not rational but either instinctual, intuitive, or automatic, and the other is the rational or methodically thinking it through.

                Also, our thoughts are often not reliable. In much of human behavior, reason, the faculty located in the prefrontal cortex justifies decisions or actions previously made or executed. Despite what we’ve been taught, our decisions and behavior are often not rationally motivated.

                1. Joseph,

                  Touche’, oh Wise Man! :-) Yes, our egos can lead us astray, thoughts-wise. Gotta learn to know their source; it ain’t easy, but it can be done.

                  Do you have any thoughts….from wherever they originate in your head….as to how Deb might remedy her health situation?

                  1. Ego is part of it. And part of it is not about ego but about our being social animals, which has helped us to survive. Both reason and language are processed in the prefrontal cortex. One might say that the same agent pulls the levers that govern both faculties, reason and language, and for a purpose: to explain our actions to others. Explaining ourselves helps us stay in the group, i.e. socialize, for survival’s sake.

                    I don’t have enough information about Deb, and even if I did I’m not confident that I’d have the right answers. She writes about mitochondria being a factor. The guru on mitochondria is Ari Whitten. Maybe she should follow him.

                    1. I don’t remember her saying anything about mitochondria disease. I think she stated that she did some research on mitochondria. It’s where we get energy, and it’s located in our cells.
                      Deb, if you’re reading this, you may consider rejuvenating cells by fasting 14 hours between dinner and breakfast, and five hour fasts between other meals of the day. When you do that emerging cells consume older dying ones more frequently and put the mitochondria to better use, thus boosting energy.

                    2. “You may consider rejuvenating cells by fasting 14 hours between dinner and breakfast, and five hour fasts between other meals of the day.”
                      – – – –

                      It’s what I’ve been doing….unintentionally….for lo! these many years! If you eat enuf at breakfast, lunch and dinner there shouldn’t be a desire to snack between meals.

                      It’s not that difficult. Plus, you don’t have to worry about cleaning or rinsing your teeth so often. :-)

            3. Mr. FF said,

              “However, she could try an online symptom checker and/or online (medical) doctor. These can effectively be done anonymously and IMO would be better than just hoping that the (correct) answer will somehow spontaneously well-up from within.”

              Okay, now where did THAT brilliant thought come from? What prodded you to type that? Your Inner Self! Just as, “something” would have to lead her to “try an oline symptom checker.” Thoughts don’t just fall out of the air; they first come from the guidance of our minds. Dig?

              1. Deb, it’s said there is nothing more fervent than a recent convert. I think you said you recently converted to Christianity from whatever beliefs you had before. Maybe you could do a little more praying, for starters. “Ask and you shall receive.”

                Also…even though I wouldn’t ordinarily suggest a medical approach…maybe you should think about having a CT (CAT) scan or an MRI so they can check out your brain. (You keeping talking about your brain, so…..)

                Just a thought that originated from my Inner Mind. :-)

  13. Can anyone suggest something to add to my tea instead of Splenda? I have maybe less than half a teaspoon of Splenda but I can’t do without. A black tea addict, I don’t have a sweet tooth no cakes, sweets etc but can’t drink tea without at least a bit of sugar….I like many others no doubt thought Splenda was ok.

  14. I gave up Splenda (sucralose) when I figured out that it made my breast’s hurt! And it’s everywhere. The gum my Mom offered to me. The melatonin that my husband gave me when I couldn’t sleep….I could go on. After a while, I decided to stop all fake sugars and just use white sugar if I felt inclined. After about a week, I lost no weight but my body looked and felt different, less puffy. It was so odd. Anyway, I share this because my coworker decided to stop her Splenda sweetened diet soda and years of migraines have stopped. Now she drinks iced tea with a bit of sugar and hasn’t had a migraine in 8 months. These fake sugars are affecting us in all kinds of ways we may not even realize. Take care.

  15. You may have already addressed my following question, but how does sugar, honey, and/or, agave affect the gut microbiome? If these sweeteners have a greater impact on your gut, maybe the artificial sweeteners (for those who choose to sweeten coffee or tea, etc…) are a better option. It’s all relative right? I look forward to your responses.

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