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Truvia Sugar Substitute Kills?

A new study published on PLOS One reveals that the well-known artificial sweetener, Truvia, is toxic to fruit flies. Biologist Daniel Marenda, part of a research team at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa., noted: “Indeed what we found is that the main component of Truvia, the sugar erythritol, appears to have pretty potent insecticidal activity in our flies.”

Surprisingly, erythritol, the main ingredient of Truvia, as well as a naturally occurring sugar alcohol found in small amounts in numerous fruits, was tested on human beings in high dosages and was considered “safe to consume” years ago. Since 2001 the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has deemed it to be “a safe food additive.” Additionally, several other countries have also approved its use as a food additive.


Truvia kills pests/Image: Truvia

The investigative scientists made this discovery while studying the effects of erythritol on the longevity of Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies). They learned that it was deadly when consumed by the fruit flies in comparison to like mixtures ofnutritive sugar controls” such as sucrose, syrup and other types of artificial sweeteners. Fruit flies that ingested erythritol had a life span of approximately six days as opposed to the usual 45 to 60 day life expectancy. Oddly, when given a choice, the insects were reported to prefer erythritol to sugar.

The DU group also learned that the “toxic effect did not stem from stevia plant extract, which is an ingredient in Truvia as well as the “non-nutritive sweetener” PureVia. Their study revealed that PureVia had “no toxic effect” on the fruit flies.

Senior author Sean O’Donnell stated: “We are not going to see the planet sprayed with erythritol and the chances for widespread crop application are slim. But on a small scale, in places where insects will come to a bait, consume it and die, this could be huge.”

The research team has applied for a patent on “erythritol as an insecticide” and is conducting further experiments on its effectiveness. “Our results demonstrate, for the first time, that erythritol may be used as a novel, environmentally sustainable and human safe approach for insect pest control,” they concluded.

About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.
  • HeyZues

    Your click bait title is gross.

    • Will Phoenix

      Hey Hey!
      Thanks for your comment. While I believe I understand what you are implying with the phrase “click bait” I can only say you need to address the Google Gods and all those enslaved to them. I am not sure how a question like that can be gross though but thanks for reading my stuff!

  • Shawn Riddick

    When I was a child God spoke to me and said He wanted the people of Earth to know He was deeply sorry there was so much evil here, He said He introduced Evil from a Sister Universe and it spread like cancer. In order to survive He created Holiness and Heaven and separated Himself from His own creation. He said insecticides tortured His smallest creatures and Farmers would not enter Heaven because of it. God said some of His insects have higher consciousness and can feel joy and agony. God loves insects too. Our atmosphere can also be destroyed to the point of no return causing catastrophic failure ending most life on Earth. God said He was considering giving His Earth to His Insects. Please read warningfromgod and treat insects with respect. We can only protect our homes, bodies, livestock, and play area, yards etc.

    • Will Phoenix

      Hi Shawn,
      Thanks for the comment! I must say this would certainly explain the belief that cockroaches will survive the end of the world. Thanks for reading my stuff.