Some folks have inquired about which sweetener used in Visalus Body by Vi Shakes and express concern when they hear it’s sucralose… see the details of just HOW MUCH sucralose we are talking about here and based on that information, YOU be your own judge and decide what impact it would have on you:
“Our shake is 99.999% natural by weight. A shake serving is 26g, or 26,000 mg.
We use .03mg of sucralose, so if you divide .03mg by 26,000mg you can see it is a miniscule amount.
People that are allergic to artificial sweeteners tend to be allergic to aspartame, which has phenylalanine compounds. We don’t use aspartame for this, and other reasons.
We use sucralose for taste, and also to keep our products diabetic friendly. It is unfortunate that there is so much confusion and misinformation about sweeteners. Sweeteners have received bad press, primarily because of aspartame, which degrades when heated (it is safe when cold) and tastes bad. Sucralose has been found safe both in hot and cold applications, and has had over 110 peer reviewed studies completed. This is why Sucralose has been approved by over 80 countries globally. I like to say that many people feel the FDA approved drugs too easily (i.e. Vioxx, Phen Phen), so that if you trust other countries more (several globally are more stringent), then looking abroad is a good benchmark as well. We use a very small 0.03 mg per serving, which is about 1/3 of the amount in a diet cola.
We know that several people would prefer we use Stevia or Xylitol because they are natural. Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol. Unfortunately it causes diarrhea in approximately 20% of the population! To get the same amount of sweetness in Neuro, we would need about 1 tablespoon, which can be toxic or fatal to a 40 pound dog. It also has not been approved globally.
Stevia is a sweetner derived from a plant. It has only recently been approved in the U.S., and is still in process of being reviewed globally. There have been some concerns on liver toxicity, and so there may be more studies needed. The manufacturers of Stevia have recently published some safety data, and many countries are now re-looking it as a sweetener. It does impart a licorice type flavor, that some people do not like. We have been trying to work with stevia in some new formulations, but are struggling to make them taste good.
I’ve been asked a lot about agave recently. Agave is nothing more than high fructose syrup…about 90% fructose. Fructose has many properties but one bad one is that it increases appetite and this is exactly opposite of what we want in a weight management product.
We do strive to make our formulas as natural as possible, while balancing taste, texture, safety, efficacy and stability. We are looking at some promising natural sweetners coming on the market (there is one from Japan that is very promising). Our hope is that we will be able to replace sucralose to alleviate those concerns, but for now have not found a suitable substitute that tastes as good, has as much research, and has global approval.
In terms of things being ‘safer’ because they are natural, is not always true. Consider mushrooms. Many are medicinal and healing, but some are plain toxic. So natural is great, but we really need to ask about safety and dosage too. I would love to see studies done with stevia, or xylitol, or agave that doses them consistently, in the same levels that sucralose had to go through to be approved. I’ve not seen any studies on what the affect would be if we mimicked the same clinials. Stevia has recently been approved in the U.S. for use in foods (Coca -Cola is using it). Some physicians are concerned about it being consumed in massive quantities, since it did not need to go through as rigorous a testing plan as sucralose. So in the scientific world the concern is that the risks of high amounts of consumption of stevia is not known. We are working with it though, and if we can get the shake to taste as good, we will consider moving to using it.
VP Marketing and Branding Visalus Sciences
PS: Get fit, get slim, get moving. Get yourVisalus shakes at http://bbvshakes.myvi.net/challenge