Xylitol Danger and Effects

Xylitol is a natural substance found in fibrous fruit, and vegetables as well as in corn cobs and various hardwood trees like birch; and is additionally produced naturally in the human body. The body, produces up to 15 g of xylitol each day through normal food digestion processes. This substance was first found in 1891 by a German chemist, Emil Fischer. Xylitol is found in the fibers of many vegetables and fruits, and can be extracted from various berries, oats, and as well as fibrous material such as corn husks and and birch. (Usually is produced in the Finland, United States, and China).  In Finland, Japan and many other countries, xylitol is widely used in candy, gum and oral care products.


XylitolXylitol is considered a “sugar-free” sweetener. It includes 40% less calories and 75% fewer carbohydrates than refined sugar. Xylitol has been shown in several studies to be very slowly metabolized.  Sugar has a 100 Glycaemic Index and xylitol has just 7. In 1983, a joint expert committee of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization the approved that xylitol is a safe sweetener for foods. Also, Food and Drug Administration approved this substance in 1986.

According to Xylitol.org;  sugar feeds bacteria in your mouth, causing them to multiply rapidly. This metabolic process produces acids that cause cavities to begin to form. When you use xylitol gum, the acid attack that would otherwise last for over half an hour is stopped. Because the bacteria in the mouth causing caries are unable to ferment xylitol in their metabolism, their growth is reduced. The number of acid-producing bacteria may fall as much as 90 percent. Bacteria are unable to produce acid in the presence of xylitol and as a sequel the plaque pH does not decrease. In a 1980’s double blind trial 1,277 children chewed gum several times a day. Some were given normal gum sweetened with sucrose; others were given gum with xylitol or sorbitol. After 40 months of gum chewing the xylitol group experience 73 percent less caries, sorbitol group a decrease of 26 percent, and an enhance of 120 percent of caries in the sucrose group.

Researches have shown xylitol chewing gum can help avoid acute otitis media the act of chewing and swallowing assists with the disposal of earwax and clearing the middle ear, while the presence of xylitol avoids the growth of bacteria in the eustachian tubes which connect the nose and ear. According to the findings of 2 double-blind trials, the occurrence of acute otitis media was decreased by 40 percent in children given xylitol chewing gum. A 5 percent concentration of xylitol inhibited the growth of Streptococcus pneumoniae. In an in vitro experiment using a 5% solution of xylitol, scientists showed that the mucosal attachment of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae was decreased by factors of 68% and 50%. Xylitol gum was shown to decrease the incidence of ear infections in children, in a study reported in a 1996 edition of the “British Medical Journal“.

Xylitol Danger

Typical recommended dose of xylitol varies between 6 g and 20 g daily. When consumed in highly dose, cause general discomfort in the abdomen. The significant side effects reported from oral xylitol use at a dosage exceeding 40 to 50 g/day included nausea, bloating, colic, and diarrhea. It should be noted also; some xylitol products include substances, fillers or various sweeteners that are not natural. These are not recommended for those seeking the effects of an all-natural product like xylitol. Xylitol is occasionally applied in intravenous infusions for patients in the in surgical patients. But, xylitol intravenous infusions have led to noteworthy increases in uric acid, bilirubin, lactic acid, and alkaline phosphatase levels. According to a report published in 2001 in the Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift, use of xylitol in IV administered drip may have caused renal oxalosis.

There is serious xylitol risk for pets. Particularly, xylitol toxicity in dogs can be acute. In dogs, xylitol is a powerful promoter of insulin release, and can cause serious hypoglycemia, with ataxia, and seizures.  Within 30 minutes of consuming a little amount of a product sweetened with xylitol, dogs experience rapidly plummeting blood sugar, vomiting, and can experience difficulty in standing. A dog suffered hypoglycemia, vomiting and fulminant liver failure after ingesting half of bread containing xylitol. In another incident, 8 dog were examined for treatment of vomiting, hyperglycemia, lethargy, ecchymotic, thrombocytopenia and hyperbirubinemia.

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