Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetness that is used to substitute sugar. Xylitol has fewer calories, tastes like real sugar and is commonly used as a healthy ingredient in the modern diet.
Xylitol is often categorized as sugar alcohol because it consists of sugar molecules and alcohol molecules making it taste sweet. It is found in smaller amounts in fruits and vegetables making it a natural product.
1. Antioxidant properties: The sugar alcohol product contains antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and counteract oxidative stress which leads to cell damage and causes other developmental conditions. It helps reduce conditions like cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
2. Food additive: FDA-approved xylitol is a food additive and it is generally safe. It is added to products like toothpaste, yogurt, and chewing guns among other products.
3. Weight loss: It contributes to the weight loss journey and contains fewer calories of about 40% than sugar. It can also reduce belly fat.
4. Boost dental health: Xylitol helps boost dental health and prevent tooth decay. Sweetened sugar products like chewing sugar-free gum are recommended by dentists in order to prevent the growth of oral bacteria which feed on sugar food and cause tooth decay.
5. Reduce yeast and ear infections: Xylitol prevents the growth of bacteria that cause ear infections in children. It also fights yeast Candida albicans which cause yeast infections.
6. Reduce blood sugar levels: Xylitol has a low glycemic index and it doesn’t increase blood sugar levels. It contains zero fructose and does not spike insulin or blood sugar.
7. Improve diabetes symptoms: It can be used to improve symptoms of diabetes. People who suffer from diabetes, obesity, or any other metabolic problem can use xylitol as an alternative to sugar.
8. Skin health: It leads to increased production of collagen which is used to counteract the effects of aging in your skin. Collagen promotes healthy skin.
9. Digestive health: The sugar alcohol product feeds healthy bacteria in your gut and it acts as a soluble fiber that helps improve digestive health.
10. Protect against osteoporosis: It helps in strengthening bones, increasing bone volume, and mineral content.
1. Side effects: Although sugar alcohol is a safe product, excessive use can
contribute to bloating and diarrhea.
2. Nutrient deficiency: Due to its poor absorption, it can cause nutrient deficiency, constipation, and electrolyte imbalance.
3. Digestive issues: Sugar alcohol can pull water into your intestine or your gut bacteria can ferment it leading to digestive issues.
4. Environmental impact: Sugar alcohol products made from GMO corn has some environmental effects.
5. Expensive: The sources for sugar alcohol are not readily available and this makes the xylitol product to be expensive. GMO corn is one of the cheapest sources of sugar alcohol.
6. Inadequate sources: Xylitol made from the birch tree is not environmentally friendly. Stripping the bark kills the birch tree which may take almost 15 years to grow and gain harvest size.
7. Sugar rush: It contains a glycemic component that leads to the small blood sugar rush and this can be used as a way to completely break the sugar habit.
8. Availability: It is only available in two forms; pharmaceutical grade and food grade.
9. Highly toxic to dogs: Xylitol is slowly absorbed in the human body and has no measurable effect on insulin. When taken by dogs, it produces large amounts of insulin and also causes liver failure in dogs.
10. Headaches and migraines: Sugar substitutes can cause headaches and migraines to some people immediately after consuming the product.