Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute that is gaining popularity due to its numerous health benefits. It is a sugar alcohol that is commonly found in various fruits and vegetables. Xylitol has a sweet taste similar to sugar but with fewer calories and a lower glycemic index. In recent years, it has become a popular ingredient in chewing gum, oral care products, and even baked goods. In this article, we will explore the top 10 health benefits of xylitol and how you can incorporate it into your daily life.
Sections in This Article
|Other names:||Wood sugar|
|Supplements that contain this nutrient:||PowerBite supplement for whiting teeth, ending teeth decay, and strengthening gums naturally and easily.|
|Main benefits:||Oral Health Benefits of Xylitol,|
Blood Sugar Control,
Low-Calorie Sugar Substitute,
Provides Antioxidant Properties,
|Top tasty recipes with this nutrient:||Xylitol Simple Syrup,|
Powdered Xylitol Icing Sugar,
Sugar-Free French Vanilla Ice Cream (With Xylitol).
What Is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is commonly used as a sugar substitute. It is naturally found in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables, such as berries, corn cobs, and mushrooms. Xylitol has a sweet taste and similar texture to sugar, making it an excellent alternative for those looking to reduce their sugar intake. It is commonly used in sugar-free chewing gum, toothpaste, and other oral care products.
While it is a common ingredient in various oral care products, the use of xylitol is not limited to that. It is a versatile sweetener that can be used in a variety of food products, including baked goods, sauces, and desserts. When used in cooking or baking, it can replace sugar in a 1:1 ratio, making it an easy swap in recipes. Aside from its sweetening properties, xilytol also offers a host of health benefits. Being a sugar alcohol, it can be a good alternative for those managing diabetes as it does not cause the same spike in blood sugar levels as regular sugar. It also has fewer calories than sugar, contributing to its appeal for weight management.
Other Names for Xylitol
Xylitol is also known by other names, including:
- Wood sugar
- Birch sugar,
- Sweet birch.
The History of Xylitol and its Origins
Xylitol was first discovered and used in Finland during World War II when sugar supplies were scarce. Finnish scientists developed a method to extract xylitol from birch trees, and it quickly gained popularity as a sugar substitute. According to studies, in 1891, a German chemist named Emil Fischer successfully synthesized xylitol chemically from wood (D-xylose)^4,6. However, the purity of the resulting xylitol was questionable due to the presence of small amounts of other sugar alcohols.
Since then, xylitol has been widely studied for its potential health benefits and has gained recognition around the world as a natural sweetener. Today, it is used in a variety of products, from chewing gum to toothpaste.
Xylitol Nutritional Profile
Xylitol is a low-calorie sugar substitute that contains about 2.4 calories per gram, compared to table sugar which has 4 calories per gram. It also has a low glycemic index, which means it does not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. Xylitol is not metabolized by the body in the same way as table sugar, making it a suitable option for individuals with diabetes or those following a low-carb diet. Per 100g, Xylitol contains:
Energy (250 kcal)
Protein (0 g)
Total lipid (fat) (0 g)
Carbohydrate, by difference (100 g)
Fiber, total dietary (0 g)
Sugars, total including NLEA (0 g)
Xylitol (100 g)
Source: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
The Top 10 Health Benefits of Xylitol For Your Health
Oral Health Benefits of Xylitol
Xylitol has been extensively studied for its oral health benefits. Studies show that it inhibits the growth of Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria responsible for dental caries and tooth decay. Regular consumption of xylitol-containing products, such as chewing gum or toothpaste, can help reduce the risk of cavities and promote better oral hygiene. People suffering from dry mouth or bad breath can also benefit from regular use of xylitol products.
In fact, one supplement that helps restore optimal oral health is PowerBite. It helps whiten teeth, eliminate bad breath, and strengthen gums naturally and easily.
Xylitol and Blood Sugar Control
One of the key benefits of xylitol is its ability to help control blood sugar levels. Unlike table sugar, xylitol does not raise blood sugar levels quickly, making it a suitable sugar substitute for individuals with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood sugar levels. In studies involving humans, researchers have observed that those who have eaten xylitol experienced a slight increase in blood glucose levels. This was recorded in both healthy individuals and those with diabetes.
Xylitol as a Low-Calorie Sugar Substitute
Xylitol is a low-calorie alternative to table sugar. Research shows that it provides a sweet taste without the high-calorie content, making it a popular choice for individuals looking to manage their weight or reduce their overall calorie intake. If, therefore, you are looking to reduce your sugar intake, xylitol is a great alternative.
Xylitol and Bone Health
Research suggests that xylitol may have beneficial effects on bone health. Studies have shown that regular consumption of xylitol can help increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, especially in postmenopausal women. As a woman ages, her bone density decreases due to hormonal changes. Regular consumption of xylitol-containing products may help counteract this effect and help keep bones strong and healthy.
Xylitol for Skin Health
Xylitol has moisturizing properties that can benefit the skin. It helps to retain moisture, keeping the skin hydrated and preventing dryness, according to studies. Xylitol is often used in skincare products, such as moisturizers and lotions, to promote healthy and nourished skin. Applying topical products containing xylitol also helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Xylitol can even be used as a natural sunscreen, offering sun protection without harsh chemicals.
Xylitol and Ear Health
Research has shown that xylitol can help prevent ear infections, especially in children. Regular use of xylitol-containing nasal sprays or chewing gum can help reduce the risk of middle ear infections caused by bacteria. For children prone to ear infections, using xylitol products regularly can help reduce the incidence and severity of these infections.
Xylitol and Gut Health
Xylitol acts as a prebiotic, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. It can help improve digestion and overall gut health, according to research. However, it is important to note that excessive consumption of xylitol can cause digestive issues, such as bloating or diarrhea, in some individuals. Are you one of them? Check with your doctor before increasing your xylitol intake.
Xylitol and its Antioxidant Properties
Research also shows that Xylitol has antioxidant properties that can help protect the body against oxidative stress. Antioxidants help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, reducing the risk of chronic diseases and promoting overall health. Those who are looking for a way to increase their antioxidant intake can benefit from products containing xylitol.
Xylitol and Weight Management
Due to its low-calorie content, xylitol can be a useful tool for weight management. Studies show that it provides a sweet taste without the added calories, making it a suitable sugar substitute for those looking to lose or maintain weight. You can even use xylitol in place of sugar when baking or cooking to make your favorite recipes healthier.
Xylitol and Yeast Infections
Some research suggests that xylitol may help prevent and treat yeast infections, such as Candida overgrowth. Xylitol inhibits the growth of yeast and can be used as an alternative to sugar in recipes or as a supplement. Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider before taking xylitol for this purpose, as it may cause digestive issues in some individuals.
How To Take Xylitol?
Xylitol in Food
Natural sweeteners xylitol can be used as a sugar substitute in various recipes. It can be used in baking, cooking, and even as a sweetener in beverages. However, it is important to note that xylitol is not as sweet as table sugar, so you may need to adjust the quantity when using it in recipes.
Xylitol in Chewing Gum
Xylitol is commonly found in sugar-free chewing gum. Chewing gum sweetened with xylitol can help promote oral health by reducing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. It also provides a refreshing and sweet taste without the added sugar.
Xylitol in Oral Care Products
Xylitol is a common ingredient in toothpaste, mouthwash, and other oral care products. Using xylitol-containing oral care products can help reduce the risk of dental caries and promote better oral hygiene.
Xylitol in Baking
You can use xylitol as a sugar substitute in baking. It can be used in cakes, cookies, and other baked goods. However, it is important to note that xylitol may have a slightly different texture and taste compared to table sugar, so experimentation may be needed to achieve the desired results.
Top 3 Tasty Xylitol Recipes
Xylitol Simple Syrup
1.5 cups granulated xylitol
1 cup water
Take the appropriate amount of xylitol and carefully place it into a small pot.
Carefully measure and pour water into the pot, ensuring not to splash any water or xylitol grains onto the sides. It is crucial that all xylitol crystals dissolve completely; any remaining crystals may cause the rest of the liquid xylitol to recrystallize. This process is akin to making caramel.
Allow the mixture to simmer over medium heat until all the xylitol has completely dissolved, which should take around 4-5 minutes. It’s important not to stir, as doing so may cause grains or crystals to cling to the pot’s sides and potentially recrystallize later on. I highly recommend refraining from stirring this simple syrup to achieve the best results.
Once all the xylitol has melted and turned into a liquid, reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 1 minute. This will help reduce and thicken the syrup. It’s important to keep an eye on the pot while making the xylitol syrup, as the heat should be reduced to prevent overflow, just like with regular simple syrup.
Transfer the mixture into a pristine container free from any traces of granulated xylitol.
Store covered in the refrigerator for a maximum of 10 days.
Source: Willamette Transplant
Powdered Xylitol Icing Sugar
4 cups / 860g xylitol
Place the xylitol into a high-powered blender and blend on the highest setting for a few minutes until the granulated xylitol transforms into a fine powder.
Store in a sealed container at room temperature to maintain freshness.
Source: Wallflower Kitchen
Sugar-Free French Vanilla Ice Cream (With Xylitol)
2 large eggs
3⁄4 cup xylitol sugar substitute
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs for 1-2 minutes until they become light and fluffy.
Gradually whisk in Xylitol, ensuring a slow and steady incorporation for approximately 1 minute, until fully blended. Proceed by pouring in the milk, cream, and vanilla, and continue whisking until a seamless blend is achieved.
Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and follow the freezing process as instructed by the manufacturer.
This recipe yields 1 Quart. For an extra touch, consider adding 1 cup of chopped fruit approximately 2 minutes before the ice cream reaches its desired consistency.
Top 3 Xylitol Supplements for Improved Health
Xylitol is a food additive and natural sugar substitute that can be used for baking, cooking, and as a supplement. As research has shown, xylitol possesses multiple health benefits such as antioxidant properties and the ability to promote weight management. Here are 3 of the top xylitol supplements to help improve your overall health and well-being.
NOW Foods, Xylitol
NOW Foods Xylitol is naturally derived from non-GMO corn and has a low glycemic impact on blood sugar levels. The sweet taste of NOW Foods Xylitol makes it ideal for those looking to reduce their sugar intake, while still being able to enjoy sweets.
NOW Foods, Xylitol Main Benefits:
Zero Net Carbs: Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that has zero net carbs, making it a great choice for those who are trying to maintain or lose weight.
Dental Health: Xylitol can help protect teeth from cavities and other forms of decay.
Low Glycemic Impact: Xylitol has a low glycemic impact which makes it suitable for people with diabetes, low blood sugar, or other blood sugar-related conditions.
NOW Foods, Xylitol Price:
At $11.98, NOW Foods Xylitol is an affordable option for those looking to maintain their health and reduce sugar intake.
PUR Gum | Aspartame Free Chewing Gum
PUR Gum | Aspartame Free Chewing Gum is an aspartame-free xylitol-sweetened gum made with all-natural ingredients. It contains 100% xylitol and provides a refreshing spearmint flavor while being sugar-free, vegan, gluten-free, and keto friendly. PUR Gum can help reduce the risk of tooth decay and freshen breath due to its xylitol content.
PUR Gum | Aspartame Free Chewing Gum Main Benefits:
Sugar-Free: This product is made with all-natural ingredients and is completely sugar-free, making it a great alternative to regular gum.
Freshens Breath: PUR Gum’s xylitol content helps freshen breath and reduce the risk of cavities and other forms of decay.
Vegan: This product is vegan, gluten-free, and keto friendly.
PUR Gum | Aspartame Free Chewing Gum Price:
PUR Gum | Aspartame Free Chewing Gum is $4.99 for a pack of three containing 55 pieces each, making it an affordable option for those looking to reduce their sugar consumption.
Xlear XyloSweet Non-GMO Xylitol Sweetener
Xlear XyloSweet Non-GMO Xylitol Sweetener is a 5-pound bag of xylitol-based sweetener made from non-GMO corn. It has a low glycemic index, making it suitable for diabetics and those with blood sugar issues. Xlear XyloSweet Non-GMO Xylitol Sweetener can also help reduce the risk of cavities due to its natural antiseptic qualities.
Xlear XyloSweet Non-GMO Xylitol Sweetener Main Benefits:
Low Glycemic Index: This product has a low glycemic index, making it ideal for those with diabetes or other blood sugar issues.
Cavity Protection: Xlear XyloSweet Non-GMO Xylitol Sweetener can help reduce the risk of cavities due to its natural antiseptic qualities.
Natural Sweetener: This product is made from non-GMO corn and contains no artificial sweeteners, making it an ideal sugar substitute.
Xlear XyloSweet Non-GMO Xylitol Sweetener Price:
Xlear XyloSweet Non-GMO Xylitol Sweetener is $39.49, making it an affordable option for those looking to reduce their sugar intake and improve their overall health.
Risks of Consuming Xylitol (Side Effects)
Xylitol is generally considered safe for most individuals when consumed in moderate amounts. However, excessive consumption of xylitol can cause digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea. It is important to start with small amounts and gradually increase the intake to avoid any discomfort. Additionally, xylitol is toxic to dogs, so it should be kept out of their reach.
Xylitol vs. Other Sugar Alcohols
Xylitol vs. Erythritol
Xylitol and erythritol are both sugar alcohols that can be used as sugar substitutes. However, there are some differences between the two. Xylitol has a slightly higher calorie content and glycemic index compared to erythritol. Erythritol is also better tolerated by individuals with digestive issues, as it is less likely to cause digestive discomfort.
Xylitol vs. Sorbitol
Xylitol and sorbitol are both sugar alcohols commonly used as sugar substitutes. However, xylitol has a lower calorie content and glycemic index compared to sorbitol. Sorbitol may also have a laxative effect when consumed in large amounts, while xylitol is generally better tolerated by most individuals.
Xylitol vs. Maltitol
Xylitol and maltitol are both sugar alcohols that can be used as sugar substitutes. However, maltitol has a higher calorie content and glycemic index compared to xylitol. Maltitol may also have a laxative effect when consumed in large amounts, while xylitol is generally better tolerated by most individuals.
Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute that offers numerous health benefits. From promoting oral health to helping control blood sugar levels and supporting bone health, xylitol can be a valuable addition to a healthy diet. However, it is important to consume xylitol in moderation and be aware of any potential digestive discomfort. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet.
Ready to improve your overall health with xylitol? Check out our top xylitol supplements and get started on the path to better well-being today!
FAQs About Xylitol
What does xylitol do to your body?
Xylitol can have various positive effects on the body, including promoting oral health, helping control blood sugar levels, and supporting bone health. Additionally, its low calorie and net carb content makes it a great option for those looking to maintain or lose weight.
What is the downside of xylitol?
Excessive consumption of xylitol can cause digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea. It is important to consume xylitol in moderation. Additionally, xylitol is toxic to dogs, so it should be kept out of their reach. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet.
Is xylitol anti-inflammatory?
Xylitol does not have significant anti-inflammatory properties. However, its use may indirectly contribute to a healthier inflammatory response due to its positive effects on oral health and overall well-being. Additionally, it may help to reduce chronic inflammation due to its ability to help control blood sugar levels.
Is xylitol better for you than honey?
Xylitol and honey have different properties and uses. Xylitol is a sugar substitute with fewer calories and a lower glycemic index, making it a suitable option for those looking to control blood sugar levels or manage their body weight. Honey, on the other hand, is a natural sweetener with potential antimicrobial properties and other health benefits.
Is xylitol safe in gum?
Xylitol is commonly used in sugar-free chewing gum and is considered safe for most individuals. However, excessive consumption of xylitol-containing gum may cause digestive discomfort. Additionally, xylitol is toxic to dogs, so gum containing this ingredient should be kept out of their reach. Check the ingredients label of any gum you are considering buying to make sure it does not contain xylitol.
Which gum has the most xylitol?
There are various brands of chewing gum that contain xylitol. Some popular options include Spry, Epic, and Trident gum, which are known for their high xylitol content. Additionally, there are many sugar-free gum brands that contain xylitol, such as Orbit and 5 Gum. Check the ingredients label of any gum you are considering buying to make sure it contains xylitol.
How common is xylitol in gum?
Xylitol is a common ingredient in sugar-free chewing gum. Many gum brands now use xylitol as a sugar substitute to provide a sweet taste without the negative effects of sugar. Popular brands such as Spry, Epic, Trident, Orbit, and 5 Gum all contain xylitol. Additionally, sugar-free candy and other products may also contain xylitol. Check the ingredients label of any product you are considering buying to make sure it contains xylitol.
Who should avoid xylitol?
Individuals who have digestive issues or are prone to digestive discomfort should consume xylitol in moderation or avoid it altogether. Additionally, xylitol is toxic to dogs, so pet owners should ensure that their pets do not consume any products containing xylitol.
Is xylitol hard on the liver?
Xylitol is generally well tolerated by the liver when consumed in moderate amounts. However, excessive consumption of xylitol may put a strain on the liver, so it is important to consume it in moderation. Additionally, individuals with pre-existing liver issues should consult a healthcare professional before making any major changes to their diet.
When should you not use xylitol?
Individuals with digestive issues or those who experience digestive discomfort after consuming xylitol should avoid its use. Additionally, xylitol should not be given to pets, as it is toxic to dogs. Furthermore, individuals with pre-existing liver issues should consult a healthcare professional before making any major changes to their diet. As with all foods and supplements, it is important to consume xylitol in moderation.
Is xylitol safe for daily use?
Xylitol is considered safe for daily use when consumed in moderate amounts. It is important to be aware of any potential digestive discomfort and adjust the intake accordingly. Additionally, individuals with pre-existing liver issues should consult a healthcare professional before making any major changes to their diet. Finally, xylitol is toxic to dogs and should be kept out of their reach to avoid xylitol poisoning.