The American population, myself included, has definitely developed a bit of a sweet tooth. But what if there was a sugar that could have some health benefits, while also sweetening your foods? Xylitol, or birch sugar, is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol. Most of the xylitol used these days comes from birch wood or corncobs. Xylitol from corn should be avoided as it may be from a GMO source. Xylitol is available in many forms: as a chewing gum, syrup, or lozenges. Scientists believe that this sugar alcohol may actually contain many health benefits.
One major benefit of using xylitol is that it does not spike blood sugar as much as other sweeteners do. Xylitol has a glycemic index of 7, which when compared to table sugar, sucrose (a glycemic index of 58), it is extremely lower.
Xylitol has antibacterial and antiviral properties that helps protect against and fight infections. Research done in 2011 showed that Xylitol was useful in preventing recurrent otitis media in children. More specifically, there was a 25% reduction in the risk of occurrence in children that were given Xylitol versus the control group. Chewing gum and lozenges containing xylitol were found more effective than the syrup. Scientists also discovered that xylitol must be given 3 to 5 times per day for it to be effective. It is important to note that the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend chewing gums, mints, or hard candy in children less than four years of age due to risk of choking.
Research has also shown that xylitol can help to prevent against tooth decay. Over 25 years of clinical testing confirms that xylitol is the best sweetener for teeth. This is because xylitol inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause cavities. Bacteria can’t utilize the xylitol and over time it changes the bacteria of the mouth. It also prevents bacteria from sticking to teeth. A study on xylitol containing gum versus gum sweetened with sucrose versus a control group showed that gum containing 100% xylitol was able to reduce the incidences of cavities compared to the control group. Talk with your dentist to find out if xylitol is safe and beneficial for you.
These are just some of the common benefits of xylitol. Research and other studies are starting to look at xylitol for its benefits in weight loss as it helps appetite and sugar cravings, as well as respiratory/sinus health, bone health, anti-candida properties and much more. Make sure to shop Luckyvitamin.com for all your xylitol needs.