Sugar Alcohols: Xylitol

Monday, June 9, 2008

Xylitol, can be considered one of the better Sugar Alcohols on the market. It is one of the most common polyols found in our natural food supplies. This Sugar Alcohol is often made from foods like fruits, berries, mushrooms lettuce, hardwoods, and corn cobs.

Our body actually produces some of this substance naturally in digestion and is considered a regular part of metabolism. The human body can even produce up to 15 grams of Xylitol depending on our diet.

Xylitol is also promoted for tooth care, it is believed that regular use of small amounts can help protect your teeth. It has been identified that using gum or candies made with Xylitol can stimulate saliva, witch in turn, helps keep your teeth in good shape. Some even claim that it can kill bacteria in your mouth it's self.

The daily recommendation for Xylitol is 12 to 15 grams. This however INCLUDES what your body makes naturally. Most gums and candies made of Xylitol contain .7 to 1 gram, in it's self.

The real warnings you need to know are simple. DO NOT EXCEED 15 GRAMS A DAY. Failure to comply will cause side effects. It is said that consuming 400 grams would be highly toxic to humans, and there are great concerns on the processing techniques used to mass produce Xylitol.

In lab tests, Xylitol will kill a rat 50% of the time in a dosage of 16.5 grams of Xylitol for every 1000 grams of rat. Medium rats weigh 100-120 grams, or say .25 pounds. That means, to kill a 100 gram rat, you need only to get the rat to consume, 1.65 grams of Xylitol.

There is great debates on the conclusiveness of the published MSDS for Xylitol, critics say they are inconclusive and not been proved safe for consumption. The FDA has however labeled Xylitol as GRAS for human consumption. Please note these concerns are aimed only at the MASS produced versions and not the naturally occurring substance made plants or by your body.

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