Xylitol is a natural substance found in many fruits and vegetables, and is even produced by humans in small amounts. It can be processed from birch trees and be produced by processing xylan (a plant fiber) into xylitol. It is categorized as a sugar alcohol (or polyalcohol), and its structure stimulates the sweet taste receptors on the tongue. It is a common ingredient in sugar free chewing gums, candies, mints, diabetes friendly foods and oral care products. Xylitol has a similar sweetness as regular sugar, but contains 40% fewer calories.
Does xylitol fight dental decay?
Studies using xylitol have shown a high reduction in new tooth decay, along with some reversal of existing dental caries. So, yes, xylitol can help fight dental decay.
Where does xylitol come from?
Xylitol is widely distributed throughout nature in small amounts. Some of the best sources are fruits, berries, mushrooms, lettuce, hardwoods, and corn cobs. One cup of raspberries contains less than one gram of xylitol. Our body can also produce xylitol in small amounts via metabolism.
What products contain xylitol?
Xylitol is a common ingredient in sugar free chewing gums, candies, mints, diabetes friendly foods and oral care products.