What are your thoughts on xylitol? I picked some up in the supermarket because I ran out of Stevia. I don't use sweetener much- just in tea and coffee. As usual the internet is full of conflicting reports as to whether it's good or bad for you. Is it a yay or nay?
I have a bag of it. Used some in my coffee and it ran right through me. I use stevia which gives me no issues except that it doesn't taste that good for coffee. Works good for minty tea though.
I usually use Stevia too but I ran out of it and can only get it by mail order.
Slowly weaning myself off any sweeteners, but haven't quite gotten there yet for espressos and green/white tea. I'm down to about 2 drops of liquid stevia in a cup of tea, but like RezH, it just doesn't work for me in espresso -- for that I use either Z-Sweet or Lakanto (both erythritol based -- one erythritol and stevia extract, the other erythritol and lakanto extract) -- and down to about 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of those in a cup of espresso (they're both 1 to 1 sugar subs). I've not tried xylitol...
i occasionally use and love xylitol. and erythritol. the antibacterial acivity of xylitol is such a nice bennie. can't do sorbitol, maltitol or any other sugar alcohol. Note that xylitol can cause precipitous blood sugar drops in dogs and even with immediate medical treatment, can be deadly. Except apparently for my JRT who can eat a bottle of ibuprofen, a container of xylitol sweetened yogurt and 2 lbs m&ms with no ill effects.
Xylitol is a "tooth-friendly," non-fermentable sugar alcohol. A systematic review study on the efficacy of xylitol has indicated dental health benefits in caries prevention, showing superior performance to other polyols (poly-alcohols). Early studies from Finland in the 1970s found that a group chewing sucrose gum had 2.92 decayed, missing, or filled (dmf) teeth compared to 1.04 in the group chewing xylitol gums. In another study, researchers had mothers chew xylitol gum when their children were 3 months old until they were 2 years old. The researchers found that the mothers in the xylitol group had "a 70% reduction in cavities (dmf)." Recent research confirms a plaque-reducing effect and suggests that the compound, having some chemical properties similar to sucrose, attracts and then "starves" harmful micro-organisms, allowing the mouth to remineralize damaged teeth with less interruption. (However, this same effect also interferes with yeast micro-organisms and others, so xylitol is inappropriate for making yeast-based bread, for instance.)
Xylitol-based products are allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make the medical claim that they do not promote dental cavities.
A recent study demonstrated that, as a water additive for animals, xylitol was effective in reducing plaque and calculus accumulation in cats.
Possessing approximately 40% less food energy, xylitol is a low-calorie alternative to table sugar. Absorbed more slowly than sugar, it does not contribute to high blood sugar levels or the resulting hyperglycemia caused by insufficient insulin response.
Xylitol also has potential as a treatment for osteoporosis. A group of Finnish researchers has found that dietary xylitol prevents weakening of bones in laboratory rats, and actually improves bone density.
 Ear and upper respiratory infections
Studies have shown that xylitol chewing gum can help prevent ear infections (acute otitis media); the act of chewing and swallowing assists with the disposal of earwax and clearing the middle ear, whilst the presence of xylitol prevents the growth of bacteria in the eustachian tubes (auditory tubes or pharyngotympanic tubes) which connect the nose and ear. When bacteria enter the body they hold on to the tissues by hanging on to a variety of sugar complexes. The open nature of xylitol and its ability to form many different sugar-like structures appears to interfere with the ability of many bacteria to adhere. In a double-blind randomized controlled trial, saline solutions of xylitol significantly reduced the number of nasal coagulase-negative Staphylococcus bacteria. The researchers attributed the benefits to the increased effectiveness of endogenous (naturally present in the body) antimicrobial factors.
In rats, xylitol has been found to increase the activity of neutrophils, the white blood cells involved in fighting many bacteria. This effect seems to be quite broad, acting even in cases such as general sepsis.
 Candida yeast
A recent report suggests that consumption of xylitol may help control oral infections of Candida yeast; in contrast, galactose, glucose, and sucrose may increase proliferation.
 Benefits for pregnant or nursing women
Xylitol is not only safe for pregnant and nursing women, but studies show that regular use significantly reduces the probability of transmitting the Streptococcus mutans bacteria, which is responsible for tooth decay, from mother to child during the first two years of life by as much as 80%.
Xylitol has no known toxicity in humans. In one study, the participants consumed a diet containing a monthly average of 1.5 kg of xylitol with a maximum daily intake of 430 g with no apparent ill effects. Like most sugar alcohols, it has a laxative effect because sugar alcohols are not fully broken down during digestion; albeit one-tenth the strength of sorbitol. The effect depends upon the individual. In one study of 13 children, 4 experienced diarrhea when consuming over 65 grams per day. Studies have reported that adaptation occurs after several weeks of consumption.
Dogs that have ingested foods containing high levels of xylitol (greater than 100 milligram of xylitol consumed per kilogram of bodyweight) have presented with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) which can be life-threatening. Low blood sugar can result in a loss of coordination, depression, collapse and seizures in as soon as 30 minutes. Intake of very high doses of xylitol (greater than 500 – 1000 mg/kg bwt) has also been implicated in liver failure in dogs, which can be fatal. These are points of controversy, however, as earlier World Health Organization studies using much higher doses on dogs for long periods showed no ill effect. A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics involved two groups of 8 Pekingese dogs fed either 1 or 4 g/kg of xylitol. In addition to developing hypoglycemia, all of the dogs developed elevation of liver enzymes associated with liver damage. The dogs also developed reduced serum phosphorus and potassium and increased serum calcium.
If its antibacterial, wouldn't that cause disbioisis?
What is it about dogs that make them so susceptible to damage I wonder? I'm also curious about the effect on people with a leaky gut like me. I've tried a xlitol sweetened dark chocolate with no apparent ill effect (actually it got things moving in my digestive system, which was good), but I wonder about its continued use. Hm, but maybe that chocolate would be good to have during that time of the month...
antibacterial ≠ anti-biotic or anti-microbial it all depends on the mechanism of action. It seems to support endogenous immunity - our innate immunity via supporting increased production of anti-microbial peptides.
Though it's a very different mechanism, it's important to note the difference between, say, anti-bacterial soap or hand sanitizer that has benzalkonium chloride as the active v. alcohol hand sanitizing gel that has ≥62% alcohol as the active. One is problematic, the other seems to be highly beneficial in certain applications. Handwashing with regular soap could even be called 'anti-bacterial' as it's getting rid of bacterial and is definitely not problematic like antibacterial soap with....drumroll please.....benzalkonium chloride /triclosan.
Fix the Gut First. Probiotics. Digestive Enzymes. Optimize vitamin D. Magnesium citrate as needed to keep things moving. Top tier priority.
Originally Posted by Beauty
Sweeteners, even xylitol, aren't optimal for daily use. When you're craving chocolate premenstrually, think magnesium, neptune krill oil and protein.
The following is only my opinion: It seems like people try really hard to get "free" sugar. Using agave nectar or malitol or xylitol or whatever is, again, to me, down the road of frankenfood. I do sometimes add honey when I drink my chamomile tea, but it's a conscious decision and a natural-state ingredient.
Also, didn't I read somewhere that even though these sweeteners don't have the calorie content of sucrose that our body perceives them to have the same sugar content and then produces all the hormones we're trying to avoid anyways?