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Sucralose use while Breastfeeding

Medically reviewed on April 2, 2018.

Sucralose Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding

Summary of Use during Lactation

No well-controlled data are available on the extent of passage of sucralose into breastmilk. However, sucralose has been found in the breastmilk of some nursing mothers who report consuming artificially sweetened beverages and sweetener packets in the past 24 hours. However, because sucralose is poorly absorbed after oral ingestion, it is not likely to reach the bloodstream of the infant or cause adverse effects in breastfed infants. However, some authors note that the levels of sucralose in milk can exceed the sweetness threshold in milk and affect intestinal enzymes and microbiome. They suggest that women may wish to limit the consumption of nonnutritive sweeteners while breastfeeding because their effect on the nursing infants are unknown.[1][2]

Drug Levels

Maternal Levels. Twenty lactating women completed background questionnaires about breastfeeding and the intake of nonnutritive sweeteners in the prior 24 hours. Each then donated a milk sample that was analyzed for the presence of nonnutritive sweeteners. Sweetener intake was primarily from diet sodas and sweetener packets. Of the 14 women who reported intake of a nonnutritive sweetener, 3 had sucralose detectable in their breastmilk in concentrations ranging from 0.01 to 0.04 mg/L.[1]

Thirty-four women, 14 with normal weight and 20 with obesity, ingested 12 fluidounces of a caffeine-free diet cola containing 68 mg of sucralose and 41 mg acesulfame potassium after an overnight fast prior to breakfast. Breastmilk samples were taken from the same breast every hour for 6 hours. The sweeteners were detectable in breastmilk at baseline before the soda in 21% of women. The highest measured sucralose concentrations in breastmilk ranged from 4 to 7388 mcg/L, with one woman having the very high concentration; the median peak was 8.1 mcg/L. Sucralose first appeared in breastmilk 2 hours after ingestion and the peak concentration milk in outlier occurred at 1 hour after ingestion. For the other women, sucralose concentrations were still rising at 6 hours after ingestion, so the true peak might be higher.[3]

Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects in Breastfed Infants

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Alternate Drugs to Consider

Aspartame, Saccharin

References

1. Sylvetsky AC, Gardner AL, Bauman V et al. Nonnutritive sweeteners in breast milk. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2015;78:1029-32. PMID: 26267522

2. Rother KI, Sylvetsky AC, Schiffman SS. Non-nutritive sweeteners in breast milk: Perspective on potential implications of recent findings. Arch Toxicol. 2015;89:2169-71. PMID: 26462668

3. Rother KI, Sylvetsky AC, Walter PJ et al. Pharmacokinetics of sucralose and acesulfame-potassium in breast milk following ingestion of diet soda. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2018;66:466-70. PMID: 29077645

Sucralose Identification

Substance Name

Sucralose

CAS Registry Number

56038-13-2

Drug Class

Artificial Sweeteners

Sweetening Agents

Administrative Information

LactMed Record Number

629

Disclaimer

Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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