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1. How does Xylitol differ from other sweeteners?

Xylitol is not an artificial sweetener like aspartame and sucralose. Chemically speaking, Xylitol differs from other sweeteners such as sorbitol, fructose and glucose because its molecule has five, instead of six, carbon atoms. Most bacteria and yeast in the mouth are unable to make use of Xylitol.

It is much sweeter than sorbitol, for instance. While it contains about 40% fewer calories than sugar, Xylitol's sweetening power is the same as that of sucrose (table sugar). Xylitol is an important supplement because it may help to reduce the risk of tooth decay.

2. Can diabetics use Xylitol?

The body does not require insulin to metabolize Xylitol. For this reason, polyols like Xylitol produce a lower glycemic response than sucrose or glucose. This has made Xylitol a widely used sweetener for the diabetic diet in some countries. If you do have diabetes, however, it is important to consult your doctor or diet professional before incorporating Xylitol into your daily diet.

3. How does Xylitol help protect teeth from cavities?

Sugar feeds bacteria in your mouth, causing them to multiply rapidly. This metabolic process produces acids that cause cavities to begin to form. When you use Xylitol gum or mints, the acid attack that would otherwise last for over half an hour is stopped. Because the bacteria in the mouth causing caries are unable to ferment Xylitol in their metabolism, their growth is reduced. The number of acid-producing bacteria may fall as much as 90%. Since no acid is formed, the pH of saliva does not fall.

4. What are the other health benefits of Xylitol?

Dental benefits of Xylitol
Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants. It does not break down like sugar and can help keep a neutral pH level in the mouth. Xylitol also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth. This is how it protects the teeth from decay.

After taking Xylitol, the bacteria do not stick well on the surface of the teeth and as a result, the amount of plaque decreases.
Research has shown that the use of Xylitol also helps repair damage to the enamel.

Medical benefits

  • Xylitol builds immunity, protects against chronic disease and has anti-aging benefits.
  • It has been found to increase the activity of neutrophils, the white blood cells involved in fighting many bacteria.
  • Since Xylitol reduces the germs, pollutants and irritants from sticking to the tissue, regular use of Xylitol nasal spray results in fewer respiratory infections and easier breathing.

5. Xylitol: What is it and where does it come from?

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol sweetener used as a naturally occurring sugar substitute. It is found in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables, and can be extracted from various berries, oats, and mushrooms, as well as fibrous material such as corn husks and sugar cane bagasse,and birch.

Xylitol is produced by hydrogenation of xylose, which converts the sugar (an aldehyde) into a primary alcohol.

6. What makes Xylitol so special?

Xylitol is best known for its cavity-fighting capabilities, although studies have also shown it can reduce ear infections. Xylitol has a unique molecular structure that keeps certain types of bacteria, especially cavity-causing bacteria, from breaking it down for food. Without food, the bacteria don’t have energy. Without energy, they can’t grow or create the acid that causes cavities. Studies have also shown that xylitol can strongly impact the Strep pneumo bacteria, a major cause of ear infections. In one study, children who regularly chewed Xylitol gum had an almost 50% reduction in ear infections. These children used at least 8 grams of Xylitol daily. Using at least 6-8 grams of Xylitol each day is an important way to improve your health.

7. Is Xylitol safe?

It is a 100% natural product. Xylitol is considered a “sugar-free” sweetener for foods. In 1983, a joint expert committee of the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations confirmed the same. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also confirmed this fact in 1986.

8. How long has Xylitol been used for humans?

Xylitol was originally discovered in the 1890’s and has been used extensively in Europe since World War II. Although originally approved by the FDA in 1963, as a special food additive, xylitol is relatively new to the US market. Because of recent studies demonstrating its dental benefits, the market for xylitol in the US is rapidly expanding.

In many countries, including Finland, Sweden, Japan and South Korea, Xylitol is commonly used in all types of dental care and confectionery products. In fact, in these countries it’s hard to even find chewing gum without Xylitol.

9. Is Xylitol safe for children?

Xylitol has been approved for use by people of all ages. Studies suggest that children especially can benefit from using Xylitol. Ideal exposure time is best determined by the family’s dentist or pediatrician. Dosage amounts will vary as children age, but in most cases as few as 5-8 grams a day will provide tremendous benefits.

Some dentists also recommend that the parents of young children regularly use xylitol gum or mints to reduce the spread of cavity-causing bacteria. Studies have shown as much as an 80% reduction in cavities for children whose mothers used xylitol gum during the first few years of her child’s life.

10. Why is Xylitol used by the US Military to prevent cavities?

When the military noticed that deployed soldiers got substantially more cavities than those that stayed at home, they knew they had to take steps to stops the problem. They turned to Xylitol. Because studies show that the regular use of xylitol gum can help prevent cavities even when brushing is not convenient, it is an ideal solution for soldiers. In fact, the military has approved xylitol to replace the gum currently offered in MREs. The military recommends soldiers use xylitol gum or mints after meals and snacks at least 3-5 times daily.

11. Can I get Xylitol at my local grocery store?

In many cases, you may be able to find some products that use small amounts of Xylitol. Unfortunately, most brands that use xylitol contain only a tiny amount of it

12. How much Xylitol is necessary to be effective?

Research shows that we need 6-8 grams of xylitol daily to fight cavities. Smaller amounts of Xylitol simply don’t work. Most dentists recommend that we use Xylitol at least 3 times each day. The most ideal times to use Xylitol is when we are at greatest risk – after meals, snacks and sodas. Because Xylitol comes in gums and mints, it can be used conveniently at these critical times. Xylitol should also be integrated into your regular oral hygiene habits including brushing and rinsing.