Sunday, February 7, 2010

Xylitol: The Sweetener That Reduces Cavities

It’s estimated that the we consume over one hundred pounds of sugar each year, and sugar is one of the main factors that contribute to bad teeth, weight gain, hypoglycemia and diabetes.

Xylitol is a natural, low calorie sweetener that tastes and looks like sugar but has 40% less calories than sugar. It’s approved by the FDA and the World Health Organization as being safe for adults and children.
Xylitol is considered a healthy alternative to sugar and lacks major side effects. In fact, most users experience no side effects.
Because it is a low glycemic sweetener, Xylitol has only small effects on blood sugar and insulin release, and it is considered a safe alternative to sugar for diabetic individuals. Dieters also can benefit from using it in low carb diets.

The greatest benefit of using xylitol as a sweetener, and the reason I am writing this is related to the teeth. Certain types of bacteria that normally live in the mouth, break down the sugars in what we eat and drink. They produce acid that decalcifies or softens the enamel on teeth. The decalcified area allows the bacteria to get inside the tooth and creates a cavity. Studies show that Xylitol inhibits the growth of the bacteria that cause cavities. These bacteria (Streptococcus mutans) cannot utilize Xylitol to stick to the surfaces of the teeth and create cavities.
Another beneficial effect of Xylitol is in the reduction and control of candida yeast infections in the mouth.

Other Xylitol studies have also shown that it can reduce ear infections and upper respiratory infections by affecting the streptococcus bacteria that cause these problems.

Xylitol is widely used in Europe as a sweetener in candies and gum, but it is not very widespread in the United States.
In order to avoid endorsing any products, I won't mention them here, but you can do a search on the web for Xylitol and you will get several reputable companies that manufacture and sell xylitol gum, mints and sugar substitute products.

One last note worth mentioning is that you need to keep any and all Xylitol products away from your pet, as it does have some harmful effects on them.

I encourage you to do your own research and take advantage of this wonderful sweetener that reduces cavities by just using a mint or a piece of gum 4 or 5 times a day.

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