Xylitol is a carbohydrate that is found in some vegetables, fruits and in our own bodies. Xylitol in it’s pure form looks and tastes a lot like sugar. Xylitol, is a sweetener much like Agave or Stevia. However xylitol has been around a little bit longer, it has been used as a sweetener since the 1960’s. The stevia side effects and the xylitol side effects are different but that could also be because there hasn’t been as much testing done with the Stevia sweetener.
Xylitol comes from fruits and vegetables but it can also be found in birch bark. xylitol is a molecule so it doesn’t make a difference if it comes from a fruit or if it comes from a birch tree, it is exactly the same. xylitol has been approved as a food additive for foods with special dietary purposes. In xylitol there are 40% less calories per gram than other carbohydrates. And your body will not require insulin to metabolize the xylitol you intake.
Xylitol has many good side effects, along with a few bad side effects. The bad side effects usually do not occur unless there is an unusually high amount of xylitol taken into the body. Here are the positive and negative side effects that can come with the consumption of xylitol:
Postive side effects:
- Cavity fighter. Xylitol use has been proven to reduce tooth decay. There are even Sugar-free gum, and candies that have been made using xylitol as the sweetener. Some sugar-free gums that have been made with xylitol as the sweetener have received endorsements from dental associations
- Nasal relief. Xylitol has even been used as a helping combination with nasal sprays and it has been shown to make the sprays more moisturizing and effective. The xylitol also helps to prevent bacteria from getting into the nose.
- Diabetic friendly. Xylitol has been FDA approved. It has fewer calories than other carbohydrates and does not need insulin to metabolize, making it very diabetic friendly.
Negative side effects:
- Bloating. Bloating is one negative gastrointestinal side effect that can come from taking xylitol in larger quantities.
- Diarrhea. This is another negative gastrointestinal side effect that can come from taking large quantities of xylitol.
- Allergies. Xylitol could cause allergic reactions including, itching, hives, sore mouth, rash, difficulty breathing, wheezing, and swelling.
Serious side effects for taking xylitol are very unlikely to occur. However, hgher intakes of xylitol could produce some problems.