Xylitol, what You really need to know :
Simple sugar is simply the single most endemic disease-causing component of the modern diet globally, across all age groups.
For this reason, I introduced Xylitol to my family, trusting patients and community back in 2001, before most dentists, nutritionists or the public in NZ knew what it was or where to get it.
Xylitol is a natural plant extract that looks and tastes like sugar, with fewer calories that doesn't raise blood sugar levels, is insulin independent, and above all it acts as a Prebiotic.
It helps balance the oral and gut microbiome by suppressing bad bacteria and fungus/yeast like Candida, while nurturing good bacteria in our mouth and guts to help us develop a healthy flora and Biofilm.
Many studies since the 1970’s show that it can improve dental health and have various other important health benefits. Most of these were done in Finland, using the purest and most organic form of Xylitol - from Finnish Birch trees
Birch Xylitol from renewable sources like clean forests in Finland is not the same as the cheaper and more prevalent Xylitol from GMO corn marketed everywhere and used in many inferior dental products & chewing gums.
Let’s look at Xylitol in a bit more detail, shall we …
What is Xylitol ?
Xylitol is a substance that is categorized I chemistry as a sugar alcohol or polyalcohol. Don’t worry, it is not a bad alcohol toxin as you’d imagine from the word.
Xylitol is found in small amounts in many fruits and vegetables and is therefore very natural. Humans even produce small amounts of it via normal metabolism.
It is categorised as safe for human consumption as a food item all across the world.
Xylitol has a similar sweetness as regular sugar, but contains 40% fewer calories, at 2.4 calories per gram vs. 4 calories per gram for Sucrose (table Sugar.
Xylitol is basically a white, crystalline powder that can be processed from Birch trees at 10% of the carbon footprint of the highly ineffective Biomass Hydrolysis process used to extract it from Corncobs (plus most of that corn is GMO anyway).
Even though sugar alcohols are technically carbohydrates, most of them do not raise blood sugar levels and therefore don't count as "net" carbs, making them very healthy and safe for humans, including diabetics, people struggling with obesity and everyone looking to stay healthy for life.
Btw... don't be intimidated by the sugar alcohol part... this really has nothing to do with the alcohol people get drunk from. Sugar alcohols are safe even for alcoholics.
Xylitol Has a Very Low Glycaemic Index and Doesn't Spike Blood Sugar or Insulin
One of the many negative effects of processed sugars (including table sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, coconut or agave sugar, honey and more), is that they spike blood sugar and insulin levels.
Due to the high amount of fructose, they can lead to insulin resistance and all sorts of metabolic problems when consumed in excess, as many children and adults across the globe do today.
Well... xylitol contains zero fructose and has negligible effects on blood sugar and insulin. Therefore, none of the harmful effects of sugar apply to Xylitol.
The glycaemic index (a measure of how quickly foods raise blood sugar) is only 7, compared to regular sugar, which has a glycaemic index of 60-70.
It can also be considered a weight loss friendly sweetener, since it contains 40% fewer calories than sugar.
For people with diabetes, pre-diabetes, obesity or other metabolic problems, xylitol is an excellent alternative to sugar.
Studies have shown that xylitol can improve symptoms of diabetes, reduce belly fat and even prevent weight gain and reduce inflammation.
While many studies keep showing how bad, metabolic disrupting and weight gain inducing effects artificial sweeteners like Aspartame, Saccharin and Sucralose have on us.
Avoid the toxic Artificial sweeteners please!
Xylitol Starves The Bad Bacteria in your Oral Microbiome +
It has major health benefits for your teeth, gums, bones, guts and more ...
This is why I started using Finnish Xylitol and giving it to my daughter since she was born until today, plus making all my integrative Natural Oral Care Products with the highest concentration of this magical Xylitol, compared to any other dental/oral products in the world today.
This is because numerous studies show that xylitol has powerful benefits for dental health and prevention of tooth decay.
The actual cause of tooth decay is acidogenic bacteria (acid producing & acid loving bacteria). The most famous of which is Streptococcus Mutans (it’s not the only one, however it gives the ‘bad’ group a face so we can deal with them).
Also, while having some plaque on the teeth and gingiva is normal, when it gets out of hand the immune system starts attacking the bacteria in it and our own tissue as well. This can lead to inflammatory gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis.
Here's the Secret:
Most bad oral bacteria feed on glucose from food, but they CAN’T use Xylitol. Replacing sugar with xylitol therefore reduces the available fuel for the harmful bacteria.
When the bacteria ingest Xylitol, they are unable to take up glucose, so essentially their energy producing pathway is suffocated till they die.
In other words, when you regularly consume Xylitol the sugar metabolism in the bacteria is blocked and they literally starve to death.
Xylitol also has other dental benefits like:
- Increasing absorption of calcium in the digestive system, which is good for your teeth and may also protect against osteoporosis- unlike toxic Fluoride!
- Increases production of saliva. Saliva contains calcium and phosphate, which get picked up by the teeth and aid in remineralisation.
- Raise the pH (alkalinity) of saliva, which helps to fight acid-driven erosion of tooth enamel & dentine.
Numerous studies show that Xylitol replacing sugar, can reduce cavities and tooth decay by as much as 30-85% .
Because inflammation is at the root of many chronic diseases, it makes sense that reducing plaque and gum inflammation could have benefits for the rest of your body as well.
Xylitol Reduces Middle Ear Infections in Children & Fights Yeast - Candida Albicans
The mouth, nose and ears are all directly interconnected - the mouth being the master portal here.
For this reason, bad bacteria that live in the mouth end up causing middle ear infections (Otitis Media) through the Eustachian tube. This is plus tooth decay are the 2 most common epidemic infections in children in the developed countries.
I REPEAT – THEY ARE BOTH ORAL BIOFILM (microbiome) IMBALANCE DIESEASES!
Well ... Xylitol can starve these bacteria, in the same way as it starves the plaque producing bacteria. In one study in children with recurring middle ear infections, daily ingestion of Xylitol reduced the rate of infection by 40% .
Xylitol also helps fight the yeast Candida Albicans, reducing its ability to stick to a surface and cause infection.
Xylitol Has Several Other Health Benefits
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and found in large amounts in skin and connective tissues.
There are some studies in rats showing that xylitol can increase the production of collagen, which may help to counteract the effects of ageing on the skin and mucosal membranes (inner skin starting with mouth all the way down the guts to the other end).
Xylitol may also be protective against osteoporosis, leading to increased bone volume and bone mineral content.
Although xylitol can kill the "bad" bacteria in the mouth and guts, it can also feed the friendly bacteria in the mouth and gut, which is EXCELLENT.
It is a soluble plant fibre that acts as a Prebiotic, as I mentioned above.
May have a laxative effect …
Xylitol is generally well tolerated, but some people do get transient bloating or runny stools when they consume too much.
The sugar alcohols can pull water into the intestine or get fermented by gut bacteria, which can lead to gas, bloating and diarrhoea.
However, the body seems to adjust very well to Xylitol.
If you ramp up your intake slowly and give your body and microbiome (bacterial flora) time to adjust, then chances are that you won't experience any negative effects.
That being said, long-term consumption of xylitol does appear to be completely safe.
In one study, subjects consumed an average of 1.5 kg of xylitol per month, with a maximum daily intake of over 400 grams without any negative effects.
You can use Xylitol to sweeten all sorts of things from coffee, teas and various recipes. You can replace sugar with xylitol in a 1:1 ratio.
The only thing you cannot do with Xylitol is raise yeast (it kills it, remember J ) so baking that rquires yeast will not work with Xylitol.
Also be careful not to give it to carnivore pets like cats and dogs. Just like Chocolate, Coffee, Garlic, Avocado and other human healthy foods are not safe at all for dogs, Xylitol is one of those food items that should never be given to a dog or a cat in any amounts.
Don’t think that sugar is better for your pets either! Pets should never be given ANY refined/processed sugar.
Look after yourself and your family and allow us to help you become healthier and more empowered with the right awareness and products.
Yours in health