Common Questions About Xylitol
- What is xylitol?
- How does xylitol differ from other sweeteners?
- Where does xylitol occur in nature?
- Is xylitol safe for sugar-controlled diets?
- Where was xylitol discovered?
- Is xylitol safe?
- How much xylitol should one eat per day?
- How does Spry Gum differ from other xylitol chewing gums?
- Can I give my dog xylitol?
- What do I do if I think my pet has eaten some of my xylitol products?
- What is xylitol’s tooth-friendly effect based on?
- Why is xylitol an important aid in caries prevention?
- Is it possible to replace daily teeth cleaning with xylitol?
- Is it dangerous to swallow the chewing gum?
What is xylitol?
Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from natural sources. It is also produced in the human body as a by-product of a normal metabolism. Our xylitol is of the highest quality possible. It is a pharmaceutical grade, meaning it must be more than 99.95% pure, and is made from non-GMO (non-genetically modified organism) corn fibers. It does not contain any of the corn grain and it is tested to ensure that no corn allergens, mycotoxins, or corn proteins of any type are in the product.
How does xylitol differ from other sweeteners?
Chemically speaking, xylitol is not actually a sugar, but a sugar alcohol. It differs from other sweeteners such as sorbitol, fructose and glucose because its molecule has five, instead of six, carbon atoms. It is much sweeter than sorbitol, for instance. Assessed in terms of calories, xylitol’s sweetening power is the same as that of sucrose (table sugar), but with 40% fewer calories. Most bacteria and yeast in the mouth are unable to make use of xylitol. Xylitol is important because it may help to reduce the risk of tooth decay, and everyone interested in healthy teeth should be familiar with its properties and effects.
Where does xylitol occur in nature?
Xylitol occurs in small amounts in nature, especially in fruit, berries, vegetables and mushrooms. For example, raspberries, strawberries, yellow plums and endives contain xylitol. Xylitol is also found in human tissues.
Is xylitol safe for sugar-controlled diets?
Yes. Classified on labels as a carbohydrate, it has been used in foods since the 1960’s and is approved in the U.S. as a food additive in unlimited quantity for foods with special dietary purposes. It is safe for use in any sugar-controlled diet.
Where was xylitol discovered?
Xylitol was discovered almost simultaneously by German and French chemists in the late 19th century. In Russia, it has been used for decades as a sweetener for diabetics, and in Germany, in solutions for intravenous feeding. Its dental significance was researched in Finland in the early 1970’s, when scientists at Turku University showed it had significant dental benefits.
Is xylitol safe?
Yes it is. In 1983, JECFA, a joint expert committee of WHO and FAO, confirmed the fact, already known by scientists, that it is a safe sweetener for foods. The FDA also confirmed this fact in 1986.
How much xylitol should one eat per day?
Xylitol is a natural and convenient way of keeping your mouth healthy. Research shows that a mere 4 to 5 exposures per day is enough. Xylitol should be chewed immediately after a meal or a snack. If you eat more snacks, you of course need more frequent help from xylitol.
How does Spry Gum differ from other xylitol chewing gums?
Spry Gum is sweetened with xylitol only. Frequently eating foods high in sugars and starches can promote tooth decay. Xylitol, unlike other sugars, may reduce the risk of tooth decay.
Can I give my dog xylitol?
No.- We do not recommend that xylitol products be fed to pets. Our products are intended for human consumption only. Since the release of a report on xylitol and dogs published in the October 1, 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Xlear has regularly been asked about the company’s position on the sweetener as it relates to man’s best friend. We’ve written an FAQ to address these questions specifically. Xlear does not make products for dogs, nor do we recommend dog owners give their dogs xylitol or any other food designated for human consumption.
Xylitol brings extraordinary health benefits to people but it is not intended for dogs. Our products are for human consumption only. Xylitol may be harmful for certain breeds of dogs.
What do I do if I think my pet has eaten some of my xylitol products?
If you are concerned for the health of your pet, we recommend you contact your veterinarian. Be prepared to provide your veterinarian with a description of the products your pet consumed and any symptoms your pet has experienced.
What is xylitol’s tooth-friendly effect?
When properly used, Xylitol may help reduce the incidence of tooth decay. 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 dental 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. Research has shown that the use of xylitol gum or mints also helps correct incipient damage to the enamel. Saliva in itself protects the mouth and teeth. Saliva containing xylitol is more alkaline than saliva that contains other sugar products. After taking xylitol products, the concentration of basic amino acids in saliva may rise. When pH is above 7, calcium and phosphate salts in saliva start to precipitate into those parts of enamel where they are lacking.
Why is xylitol an important aid in caries prevention?
Xylitol is one of the most important alternatives to sugar. But, it is more than a mere substitute; it is a health-promoting sweetener. That is why xylitol chewing gum and mints play an important role as instruments of dental care.
Is it possible to replace daily teeth cleaning with xylitol usage?
A healthy mouth and teeth are an important part of vigorous everyday life. That is why it is important to take good care of them. To keep a beautiful and healthy smile, brush you teeth daily and visit your dentist regularly.
Is it dangerous to swallow the chewing gum?
No, it is not–but xylitol chewing gum, like other chewing gum, is not meant to be swallowed. If it does get swallowed, it will be transported naturally among other food through intestines. The best way to dispose of your chewing gum is to wrap in a piece of paper and throw it in a waste basket.