Sweetener: An Overview
For more than 30 years, Xylitol sweetener has been
used as an all-natural additive to enhance the flavor of
popular chewing gum and candies sold worldwide. In
recent years, its use as a commercial ingredient has
In addition, demand for the natural sweetener has
increased among health-conscious consumers looking for
alternatives to traditional sugar and potentially
dangerous artificially manufactured sweeteners.
Xylitol sweetener was first discovered by French and
German chemists in the late 1800s.
It is classified as a sugar alcohol and naturally
occurs in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables,
including various berries, corn husks, oats, birch trees
While the sweetening agent is considered a
carbohydrate, it is slowly absorbed from the digestive
tract and, as a result, does not cause rapid increases
in blood glucose levels.
As a result, Xylitol is considered beneficial for
those who need to limit and manage sugar intake. The
natural sweetener also helps facilitate weight loss
because it has 40 percent fewer calories than sugar.
In addition, research has indicated that the natural
sweetening agent supports dental health because sugar
alcohol cannot be utilized by bacteria in the mouth to
promote tooth decay and oral disease.
It is also said to help reduce plaque and inhibit
existing cavities from worsening.
Because of its ability to prevent bacteria growth,
the sweetener’s natural properties are also thought to
help reduce ear and upper respiratory infections.
Like most sugar alcohols, it can produce a mild
laxative effect at high doses; yet, has no known
toxicity. Xylitol in powder form can be purchased at
health food stores in bulk or packaged in individual
servings for convenience.