NO – it is a 100% natural product, a sweetener that occurs naturally. It can be found in berries, fruit, vegetables and mushrooms. It also occurs naturally in our bodies – in fact, an average size adult manufactures up to 15 grams of xylitol daily during normal metabolism.
Pure xylitol is a white crystalline substance that looks and tastes like sugar. On food labels, xylitol is classified broadly as a carbohydrate and more narrowly as a polyol or sugar alcohol; however, xylitol is considered a “sugar-free” sweetener.
In addition, some xylitol products contain ingredients, fillers or other sweeteners that are not natural. These are not recommended for those seeking the benefits of an all-natural product like xylitol.
First, xylitol is all natural, not an artificial chemical like aspartame, sucralose and Splenda®. Chemically speaking, xylitol differs from other sweeteners such as sorbitol, fructose and glucose because its molecule has five, instead of six, carbon atoms. Most bacteria and yeast in the mouth are unable to make use of xylitol.
It is much sweeter than sorbitol, for instance. While it contains about 40% fewer calories than sugar, xylitol’s sweetening power is the same as that of sucrose (table sugar). Xylitol is an important supplement because it may help to reduce the risk of tooth decay, and everyone interested in healthy teeth should be familiar with its properties and effects.
Absolutely! In 1983, a joint expert committee of the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations confirmed that xylitol is a safe sweetener for foods. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also confirmed this fact in 1986.
The body does not require insulin to metabolize xylitol. For this reason polyols like xylitol produce a lower glycemic response than sucrose or glucose. This has made xylitol a widely used sweetener for the diabetic diet in some countries. If you do have diabetes, however, it’s important to consult your doctor or diet professional before incorporating xylitol into your daily diet.
Sugar feeds bacteria in your mouth, causing them to multiply rapidly. This metabolic process produces acids that cause cavities to begin to form. When you use xylitol gum or mints, the acid attack that would otherwise last for over half an hour is stopped. Because the bacteria in the mouth causing caries are unable to ferment xylitol in their metabolism, their growth is reduced. The number of acid-producing bacteria may fall as much as 90%. Since no acid is formed, the pH of saliva does not fall.
Studies show the xylitol effect on teeth is long-lasting and possibly permanent. Low decay rates persist even years after the trials have been completed. In addition to starving harmful bacteria of their food source, use of xylitol raises the pH of saliva in the mouth. When pH is above 7, calcium and phosphate salts in saliva start to precipitate into those parts of enamel where they are lacking. For this reason, use of xylitol has demonstrated not only a dramatic reduction in new tooth decay, it also has shown the arrest and even some reversal of existing dental caries.
Xylitol is a natural and convenient way of supplementing daily dental care. Research shows that a mere 6g to 10g day is enough. Xylitol s
hould be chewed immediately after a meal or a snack. If you eat more snacks, you of course need more frequent help from xylitol.
A healthy mouth and teeth are a important part of vigorous everyday life. That is why it is important to take good care of them. To keep a beautiful and healthy smile brush you teeth daily and visit your dentists regularly.
Just visit our Products section! As an educational website, Xylitol.org provides information about a wide range of products that contain xylitol, Our rating system shows which products contain sufficient amounts of xylitol to be effective and all-natural ingredients.
Xylitol was discovered almost simultaneously by German and French chemists in the late 19th century and has been used extensively in Europe since World War II. Its dental significance was researched in Finland in the early 1970’s, when scientists showed it had significant dental benefits. In Finland, Sweden, Japan and many other countries, xylitol is widely used in candy, gum and oral care products. While xylitol is fairly new in the U.S. market, its use is rapidly increasing as more people become aware of its unique health benefits.
First, you are doing your body a big favor by substituting more xylitol for sugar in your diet. While xylitol is just as sweet as table sugar (sucrose), it has about 40% fewer calories and 75% fewer carbohydrates. Xylitol also won’t raise your blood sugar like regular sugar does, putting tremendous strain on your system, causing negative health effects.
Xylitol has also been proven to inhibit the growth of bacteria. Research shows that this effect enables xylitol to help prevent bacteria and irritants from adhering to upper respiratory passages when used as a nasal wash. Studies have also shown that 8 grams of xylitol, taken orally every day, prevented about 40% of ear infections. For more information on these and other benefits, visit our Medical section.
No, it is not – but xylitol chewing gum, like other chewing gum, is not meant to be swallowed. If it does get swallowed, it will be transported naturally among other food through intestines. The best way to dispose of your chewing gum is to wrap in a piece of paper and throw it in a waste basket.
It is not necessary to replace all sweeteners to get the dental benefits of xylitol. Look for xylitol sweetened products that encourage chewing or sucking to keep the xylitol in contact with your teeth. The best items use xylitol as the principal sweetener.
?Studies show that 4 to 12 grams of xylitol per day are very effective. It’s easy to keep track of your xylitol intake. The “all xylitol” mints and gums contain about one gram of xylitol in each piece. You could begin with as little as one piece four times a day for a total of four grams. It is not necessary to use more than 15 grams per day as higher intakes yield diminishing dental benefits.?
If used only occasionally or even as often as once a day, xylitol may NOT be effective, regardless of the amount. Use xylitol at least three, and preferably 5 times every day.??
?Use immediately after eating and clearing the mouth by swishing water, if possible. Between meals, replace ordinary chewing gum, breath mints, or breath spray with comparable xylitol products.