Xylitol is a naturally cropping up carbohydrate that appears and tastes just like ordinary sugar. It is equal in sweetness to sucrose, with 1 g yielding 4.06 k cal. A crystalline alcohol C5H12O5 that is a derivative of xylose, is obtained especially from birch bark, and is used as a sweetener. It is called “birch sugar“, as it can be produced from xylan derived from birch wood chips. It crop up naturally and can be found in foods such as berries, fruit, vegetables and mushrooms. Commercially it is extracted from renewable resources such as corncobs, and from less environmentally sustainable sources such as hardwood. Xylitol is not an artificial substance, but a normal part of everyday metabolism. The World Health Organization has given Xylitol its safest rating for food additives.
- Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants. It does not break down like sugar and can help keep a neutral pH level in the mouth. Xylitol also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth. The Dental Caries-causing bacteria are not able to effectively use xylitol for growth. This is how it protects the teeth from tooth decay. Xylitol enhances the remineralizing process by increasing the calcium content of the plaque, which may cause a reversal of caries.
- Xylitol also helps repair damage to the Tooth Enamel. Saliva that has Xylitol is more alkaline than saliva stimulated by other sugar products. When pH Value is above seven, calcium and phosphate salts in saliva start to move into those parts of enamel that are weak. Therefore, soft, calcium-deficient enamel sites begin to harden again.
- After taking, the bacteria do not stick well on the surface of the teeth and as a result, the amount of plaque decreases.
Health Benefits of Xylitol
- Xylitol also builds immunity, protects against chronic disease and has Anti-Aging Benefits.
- Xylitol decreases the germs, pollutants and irritants from sticking to the tissue, regular use of xylitol nasal spray results in fewer respiratory infections and easier breathing.
- Solution containing Xylitol result in lower intraocular pressure, a condition that can develop into glaucoma, a serious disease that causes damage to the optic nerve.
Nutritional Benefits of Xylitol
- Xylitol has about 40% fewer calories and 75% fewer carbohydrates, that in itself can help in Weight Reduction and Control Obesity.
- Xylitol is a safe, natural sweetener that tastes great and does not lead to health problems.
- Xylitol is a preferred sweetener for diabetic diets. Absorbed more slowly than sugar, it does not contribute to high blood sugar levels or the resulting hyperglycemia caused by insufficient insulin response. Consult doctor to include it in diet.
- Xylitol prevents weakening of bones and actually improves bone density, trials are in progress.
Side Effects of Xylitol
- Slow intestinal absorption of Xylitol may result in osmotic diarrhea when the daily dose exceeds 20–40 g in adults, although even daily doses of over 400 g have been tolerated without side-effects.
- Xylitol has a laxative effect because sugar alcohols are not fully broken down during digestion.
- Excess of Xylitol can result in Low Blood Sugar Levels, Low blood sugar can be life threatening.
Methods of Taking Xylitol
Chewing gum, tablets, or candy can conveniently deliver Xylitol to your teeth. Xylitol tastes good, therefore, convenient for both grown-ups and kids to administer.
- Use Xylitol toothpaste, mouthwash, and nasal spray early in the morning
- Use Xylitol gum, mints or candy after breakfast
- Use Xylitol gum, mints or candy after lunch
- Use Xylitol gum, mints or candy after dinner
- Use Xylitol toothpaste, mouthwash, and nasal spray upon going to bed
The amount is not vital, but the number of exposures all through the day is important. At least 4-5 exposures of 100% Xylitol spread throughout the day are helpful.
- Xylitol – an antidiabetic sweetener (foodconsumer.org)