Many people today are turning away from traditional sugar and looking at artificial sweeteners such as xylitol for their eating, drinking and cooking needs. Xylitol is one of the choices that is growing in popularity since it is a naturally based sweetener, rather than a chemically manufactured one like aspartame or saccharine. This sweetener is commonly used by those looking to cut their calorie consumption, as it contains 40 percent fewer calories than regular sugar.
What is Xylitol
Though it has just become popular in the past few years, xylitol has actually been around since its discovery in the 19th century. At that time, many people in Europe began using it as their go-to sweetener since it was known to be entirely diabetic friendly. During research conducted in the 1970s, scientists also found that xylitol had tremendous benefit to a person’s dental health, as well. While it does not replace brushing, the sweetener was found to help protect a user’s teeth against cavities when chewed after a meal. Another benefit of xylitol is the way it reacts in people who have been diagnosed with diabetes. It is not absorbed by the body as quickly as sugar, and has been found to help keep a person’s blood sugar levels in safer, lower ranges.
In nature, xylitol is simply present in many fruits, including different types of berries, as well as in some vegetables. Today many different companies use xylitol in the place of other sugars and sugar substitutes. The sweetener is a common ingredient in many foods, drinks and particularly in several varieties of sugar free gum sold by major retailers all over the United States. Non-food items also feature the presence of xylitol. Among them are toothpastes, mouthwashes and even nasal sprays.
There are a few reasons that people use Xylitol. The first reason that people will use the Xylitol is for a more natural sweetener. This is especially true for people who might be a diabetic. This is because it can help a person to keep their blood glucose levels under control. The second reason that people will use the Xylitol is that it has fewer calories than regular sugar might have in it. The third reason that people will use the Xylitol is that it can help a person to avoid having any cavities when they go to the dentist.
There are also a few benefits to a person taking the Xylitol. The first benefit is that it is safe for a diabetic to take. The second benefit is that it can help to prevent a person from keeping an ear infection. The third benefit is that a person is less likely to have bad breath. The fourth benefit is that it can help to improve a person’s bone density. The fifth benefit is that it can get build up a person’s enamel in their teeth. The sixth benefit is a person is less likely to have allergies or a sinus infection.
Xylitol Side Effects
A person needs to be aware of the side effects of Xylitol. The first side effect is some laxative effects like diarrhea. The second side effect is gastric like problems with a person’s intestines or gas. The third side effect is hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. The fourth side effect is a reduced amount of uric acids in a person’s blood. The fifth side effect is a person could start to have a rash on their skin. The sixth side effect is a constant itching. The seventh side effect is when a person is having some difficulty breathing.
Additionally, Xylitol can cause irreparable harm to dogs. Research has shown that dogs that take in more than 100 milligrams of the sweetener can suffer from a sudden drop in blood sugar. In animals, that condition can become life threatening within 30 minutes, usually well before the cause is discovered. High doses of the sweetener have also been shown to cause liver failure in dogs, in addition to hypoglycemia.
Products that Use Xylitol
Since Xylitol is in the form of a gum, a person is usually going to be chewing it or sucking on it just as long as the gum stays around a person’s teeth. A person will need to take between 4 to 12 grams of the Xylitol on a daily basis, which means that a person will chew up to 12 pieces of the gum a day. But a person does not need to take more than 12 grams a day because it will not work as well. It is very important that a person chews the gum immediately after they have ate a meal.