Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol that helps prevents cavities. You may recognize other sugar alcohols used in sugarless products, such as mannitol and sorbitol. Xylitol is the sugar alcohol that shows the greatest promise for cavity prevention. It is equal in sweetness and volume to sugar and the granular form can be used in many of the ways that sugar is used, including to sweeten cereals and hot beverages and for baking (except when sugar is needed for yeast to rise).
Xylitol a sweetener that occurs naturally. It can be found in berries, fruit, vegetables and mushrooms. It also occurs naturally in our bodies – in fact, an average size adult manufactures up to 15 grams of xylitol daily during normal metabolism.
Pure xylitol is a white crystalline substance that looks and tastes like sugar. On food labels, xylitol is classified broadly as a carbohydrate and more narrowly as a polyol or sugar alcohol; however, xylitol is considered a “sugar-free” sweetener.
Control of blood glucose, lipids and weight are the three major goals of diabetes management today. Xylitol is slowly absorbed. Therefore, when xylitol is used, the rise in blood glucose and insulin response associated with the ingestion of glucose is significantly reduced. The reduced caloric value (2.4 calories per gram versus 4.0 for sugar) of xylitol is consistent with the objective of weight control. American Diabetes Association guidelines state sugar alcohols are OK in moderate amounts, but that they should not be consumed in excess. Some folks who have diabetes, especially those with type 1, see their blood sugar levels rise when sugar alcohols are eaten in uncontrolled amounts, according to Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Xylitol is recommended by dentist, medical doctors, periodontists, pediatricians, and many health organizations and health professionals worldwide as a sweetener for anyone concerned with dental health, upper respiratory health, and sugar consumption, in general.
Xylitol is known as a natural sugar that is just as sweet as that dreaded table sugar. Yet the sweetener has 75% fewer carbohydrates and 40% fewer calories. Using Xylitol regularly in place of sugar will help shrink your tummy! Xylitol is absorbed slowly and metabolized, keeping blood sugar levels stable, possibly controlling hunger.
Xylitol is not converted to fat very easily, unlike sugar. This means that insulin levels are barely affected and diabetics can still have their sweets. Pregnant and nursing moms, women on diets, body builders and children also benefit.
Xylitol cannot be changed into acid by bacteria of the mouth, unlike regular sugar. Because of this, the acid balance of the mouth stays healthy and assists in preventing cavities.
This means that your risk of stomach cancer is reduced, your breath will smell better and stomach ulcers will not develop. Xylitol even kills off or slows the growth of H. Pylori.
A study out of Finland showed that the natural sweetener improved boned density in rats, indicating that Xylitol could be a potential way to treat osteoporosis. Another finland study shows reduced inner ear infections.
Discovered in 1891 by German chemist Emil Fischer, xylitol has been used as a sweetening agent in human food since the 1960s. Xylitol is a white crystalline powder that is odorless, with a pleasant, sweet taste. It is gaining increasing acceptance as an alternative sweetener due to its role in reducing the development of dental caries (cavities).