Xylitol, less calories with more flavor and protection for our oral health

Xylitol, less calories with more flavor and protection for our oral health

Take care of your teeth with this sweetener. Xylitol is not only a product that can improve your oral health. In fact, it can also control the calorie intake, since it has almost half less the calories per gram than sugar. Keep reading to find out more about the leading product in the so called light drinks.

What is Xylitol?

It is a polyalcohol from sugar alcohol. In other words, it has less calories than its sugary “sibling”. That is why most light drinks include it in its ingredients. Moreover, it is alcohol-free and it does not have the negative properties of refined sugar.

Nevertheless, it is still a substance with calories, since it is a carbohydrate (polyol) with a chemical structure that is quite similar to that of sugar.

It is less sweet than refined sugar and you can use it on a daily basis in the morning (with coffee) or with a dessert. In fact, we want to emphasize that its flavor is far from being unpleasant.

Above all, different studies and experts claim that xylitol is the most similar sweetener to tabletop sugar. But it is also much healthier too.

Naturally, xylitol is a substance that is available in fruit fiber (strawberries or cranberries) and some vegetables like cauliflower. Moreover, birch is also a source of xylitol, which has caused some debate about the origin of some products.

A man making breakfast and putting some xylitol on a coffee

What are the properties of xylitol?

Xylitol has become so popular that it is currently available as sweetener in many low sugar products: chewing gums, sweets, gummies, drinks, as well as toothpaste or even medicines.

But, why does it have so many different uses? Listen up, these are the properties of xylitol:

  • Calories: According to the studies, it is a product with a 40% less calories than sugar but with almost the same flavor. More specifically, it has 2.4kcal per gram, while sugar can reach 4kcal per gram. That is why it is becoming more and more used in weight loss diets, since it also has fat-burning properties.
  • Teeth and gums: It prevents cavities, improves the saliva flow, inhibits the growth of bacteria in the mouth, specially Streptococcus mutans. The microorganisms that live in that area take xylitol, which inhibits their growth, preventing cavities and oral problems.
  • It does not increase the sugar levels: It has a low glycemic index, which is why the studies refer to it as a glycemic regulator. Therefore, it is a positive ingredient for people who suffer diabetes. Actually, there is a big difference between the glycemic index of xylitol and sugar. While the former has a 7 charge, the latter reaches between 60 and 70 peaks of glucose.
  • It prevents osteoporosis: Since it stimulates the absorption of calcium in the bones.

A wooden spoon of sweetener

What are its benefits?

We have already seen the main properties of xylitol. Therefore, we could say that its benefits are quite clear and that they affect several aspects: from oral health to weight loss, slowing the aging process or improving the digestive health among others.

Ally of your teeth

Due to its benefits, the researchers have found out that using chewing gums with xylitol can lower the onset of caries between a 30 and 80%. Moreover, this also happens with the onset of malign bacteria for our oral health.

That is why many toothpastes have started to include this ingredient in their formulas.

As we know, the aim of cavities is to destroy the teeth. These problems may start in a specific area, but they can spread until we completely lose the tooth.

In addition, xylitol also inhibits the inflammation of the gums, apart from protecting the dental enamel by reducing the acid production in the mouth.

Woman putting some toothpaste on a brush

Xylitol and diabetes

It is a completely safe product for those who suffer diabetes.

Where does that safety come from? First of all, unlike sugar, it is fructose-free. Moreover, it does not trigger glucose peaks and it does not increase the insulin resistance or the risk of metabolic diseases.

That is why it is the most recommended sweetener for those who suffer diabetes, even more than stevia. In addition, it is much more versatile like the rest of polyols such as mannitol or erythritol.

Man measuring the blood glucose levels

Anti-aging properties

Xylitol is also in charge of stimulating the collagen production in our body.

Our skin, hair and nails need collagen protein for their growth. More specifically, the skin uses it to regenerate all the tissues and gain elasticity. Consequently, it produces anti-aging effects that you can consult in some of our posts from the HSN Blog.

Some studies have concluded that xylitol increases the amount of collagen in the body. Therefore, it would help to delay the aging processes.

For the digestive system

Xylitol supports the positive bacteria from the intestinal flora, improving the digestive system considerably.

Xylitol reaches the stomach almost intact and performs a similar effect to the one from the mouth. That is, it deals with the possible malign bacteria that grow in that area: inhibiting their growth and eliminating them, shielding the stomach.

Contraindications

Despite all the benefits of xylitol over other foods that have been mentioned in this article, there are also some warnings about its daily use and possible side effects that should be considered.

Xylitol is a substance that is permitted for use as sweetener (sugar sweetness substitution) and is considered safe for use in Europe and America.

In neither of these 2 regions is a maximum dose established for this sweetener.

In America, it is considered a safe sweetener if it is used in amounts appropriate to achieve the intended purpose (to increase the sweetness of a food) (FDA, n.d.).

In Europe, intakes of 20g/day are not considered likely to cause laxative effects, while 50g/day and above may cause diarrhoea like other polyalcohols (SCF, 1985). However, its use as a sweetener has no established maximum intake “safety limit”, as in America, the use of xylitol as a sweetener, for this purpose, is safe.

But do keep it away from your pets! Xylitol may not be safe for pets like dogs.

Where can we buy xylitol?

You can buy xylitol in the HSN specialized store by clicking on the link.

Xylitol Foodseries

Xylitol Powder de FoodSeries.

It is a product with 100% xylitol made under GMP guarantees, in powder format to be added to a multitude of recipes and easy to dissolve.

Include this sweetener in your diet and take advantage from all its benefits!

Bibliography

Related Entries:

  • Advantame, a very intense sweetener
  • How can we improve the intestinal flora? Here's the key
  • Physical exercise to prevent Type II Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis due to a calcium deficiency
Xylitol Review

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About José Miguel Olivencia
José Miguel Olivencia
José Miguel Olivencia is a professional in communication and sport who relates his training and experience in every post he writes.
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