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What are the Potential Benefits of Xylitol Sweetener?

By T. M. Robertson
Updated May 17, 2024
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Xylitol is a natural sweetener used in much the same way as sugar in food products. It's similar to sugar in taste and consistency, but unlike sugar, it doesn't promote tooth decay and has fewer calories. Xylitol sweetener is also known for having a low glycemic index and has little to no effect on blood sugar levels, making it an ideal sugar substitute for diabetics. Studies have even shown that xylitol is effective in promoting upper respiratory health, and it is used in nasal sprays. The sweetener can also be found in numerous food products and anything else that needs a sweetener.

While many other sugar substitutes come from artificial sweeteners, xylitol is an all-natural substance. Xylitol occurs throughout nature in different fruits and plants, and the human body produces it in small amounts every day and stores it in tissues. It's convenient to use and can be easily substituted for sugar in various types of foods because its consistency and taste are very similar to that of sugar. Numerous studies have shown that the calories in xylitol sweetener are 40 percent lower than the calories in sugar.

Clinical tests on the relationship between xylitol sweetener and tooth decay have concluded that xylitol sweetener is the healthiest sweetener on the market when it comes to its effects on teeth. Dental associations in numerous countries have endorsed the product. The benefit to teeth isn't only in the fact that xylitol sweetener doesn't contribute to tooth decay, like other sweeteners; it actually helps prevent it with regular daily use. It's effective because the bacteria that form in the mouth are unable to metabolize xylitol, making them unable to grow.

Physicians are also recommending the use of xylitol sweeteners to diabetic patients. Xylitol sweeteners have a low glycemic index at around 7, and have proven to have little to no effect on blood sugar levels. This is because xylitol doesn't act like a sugar. In fact, it acts more like a carbohydrate and has been labeled as such since the 1960s. Xylitol sweetener is often recommended to patients on sugar-controlled diets, and can be found in many different products ranging from chewing gum to nasal sprays. In crystalline form, it can be used in everyday cooking.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon253204 — On Mar 08, 2012

You can find Xylitol in mints, gum, toothpaste, Dr. John's Candies with Xylitol including lollipops and hard candies, SimplyXylitol Chocolate Covered DecaDENTS, drink mixes and more.

By anon160028 — On Mar 14, 2011

what products is xylitol found in?

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