Is xylitol safe to be used as a sugar substitute?

These days xylitol is used in many products as sugar substitute. Xylitol itself is a sugar alcohol. It can naturally be found in many fruits and vegetables. It can also be extracted from corn or birch wood. However, if the extraction source is the corn, it is often genetically modified. Even though it tastes similar to sugar, it has 40% fewer calories. So it has less impact in blood sugar level. Two rat studies have demonstrated that rats fed with xylitol gained less weight and fat mass, and improved glucose tolerance. Xylitol’s benefit for gum is most studies. Studies have shown that they reduce plaque growth and dental caries. When xylitol is consumed, it doesn’t ferment in the mouth and thus would not feed acid-forming bacteria that can cause teeth demineralization and decay. Moreover, xylitol can cause cavity-forming bacteria, especially S. mutans to starve and die off by up to 73%. It can also whiten teeth. So it has many benefits. Consumers can carefully choose the xylitol with identified sources for their own intended use.



Wells (2019)

Tags: Wellness