Effects and Uses of Xylitol

Xylitol is a popular natural alternative to sugar, it occurs naturally in some fruits, trees, and vegetables.

It is very popular in Finland, where it is most abundant, but it is also used worldwide. It’s used in toothpastes because of it’s sweetness and it’s harmlessness to teeth. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is extracted from Xylose, and it’s flavor is much like sucrose. Xylitol is a white crystalline carbohydrate that is considered to be non-carcinogenic. Xylitol is classified as a wood sugar, and is most commonly taken from raspberry, birch and plum trees. Generally speaking there are not many side effects to xylitol, if any, and it is recommended by dietitians as a healthy sugar alternative.

While it is considered safe, it should be noted that similar to many other things, overusing it will cause undesirable effects. If one were to take more than 6 to 8 grams of pure xylitol it would cause stomach discomfort, at 40 grams it may cause diarrhea. While these side effects may seem mild, it is best to use any type of food or drug in moderation, especially when it is unknown whether or not you could be allergic to it. Xylitol is recommended to diabetic patients as a safe sugar alternative, and it is also used in many dental products. If you had to choose a safe and natural sugar alternative, then it would have to be a toss up between xylitol and stevia.

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