What is Xylitol?
A healthy, natural sweetener with surprising benefits.
What is Xylitol
Pure xylitol is a white crystalline substance that looks and tastes like sugar. It is a naturally occurring 5-carbon sugar alcohol found in many fruits and vegetables and produced in small amounts by the human body. Xylitol is only slowly absorbed and partially utilized; therefore allowing a reduced calorie claim, 2.4 calories per gram or 40% less than other carbohydrates and none of the negative tooth decay or insulin release effects of sugar. It also has a low glycemic index (7) and has little effect on blood sugar levels. In addition, the body does not require insulin to metabolize xylitol, which has made it a widely used sweetener for the diabetic diet in some countries. In the U.S., xylitol is approved as a food additive in unlimited quantity for foods with special dietary purposes.
Xylitol has been researched for over 40 years, resulting in thousands of studies confirming its effectiveness and safety. Xylitol is one of the newest, easiest and tastiest ways that people can fight cavities. Research done in widely different conditions confirms that xylitol use may significantly reduce tooth decay rates both in high-risk groups (high caries prevalence, poor nutrition, and poor oral hygiene) and in low-risk groups (low caries incidence using all current prevention recommendations). Sugar free chewing gums and candies manufactured with xylitol as the primary sweetener have already received official endorsements from six national dental associations.
The addition of xylitol to saline nasal sprays, neti pots, and positive pressure bottles has been shown to make them more effective at helping to prevent ear infections (otitus media) in children, sinus infections in adults, and asthma and allergies in people of all ages. Xylitol helps prevent the harmful bacteria that cause upper respiratory infections from sticking to the tissue, by creating a moist uninhabitable environment. If they can’t stick to the tissue, they can’t cause infection. Xylitol helps the body’s natural cleansing process to clear away allergens, asthmatic triggers and other harmful bacteria.
Xylitol is found widely in nature, most of the fruits and vegetables that we eat on a daily basis have small amounts of xylitol. For commercial purposes xylitol comes from two sources: corncobs or trees. Even though the end resulting product is the same, the process to extract it from these two sources is not.
Corncobs are our preferred source for xylitol, it is much more sustainable and environmentally friendly. They are a renewable resource and are normally wasted at the end of a harvest season. Using corncobs that take 5 months to grow as a source for xylitol is much more sustainable and replenishable than using trees that take 20 years to grow or more.
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.Courtesy of Xlear, Inc. For more information on Xlear’s Xylitol products visit www.xlear.com