Xylitol is an all-natural sugar free sweetener that tastes and looks like sugar, but that is where the similarities end. Our bodies produce up to 15g of xylitol daily during normal metabolism. Xylitol is one of a group of sugar substitutes known as polyols. Xylitol has a unique 5 carbon structure metabolised only by friendly bacteria. Xylitol is a sweetener that occurs naturally, in berries and other fruits, some vegetables and in the woody fibres of birch tree and corncobs.
Where was xylitol discovered?
German and French chemists discovered xylitol almost simultaneously in the late 19th century. In Europe, it has been used for decades as a sweetener for diabetics and for intravenous feeding solutions. Xylitol has been used for various medical purposes and is now used in over 40 countries as a safe, natural and healthy alternative sweetener. In the USA, xylitol has been FDA approved for over 40 years.
How is xylitol manufactured?
Xylitol derives its name from xylan, meaning wood, and is manufactured from natural xylan-rich sources (biomass) such as birch tree and corncob fibre. Wood sugar (xylose) is extracted from the biomass, and the liquid wood sugar is then converted to pure crystalline xylitol.
How is xylitol metabolised in the body?
Dietary xylitol is easily metabolised by the body. A small portion is slowly absorbed through the small intestine and carried in the portal blood supply to the liver, where it is converted to glucose. Because of the slowness of absorption, the majority of xylitol (approximately ¾ of that consumed) moves down to the lower intestine. There, it is metabolised by friendly bacteria to short-chain fatty acids, which are mostly returned to the liver for oxidation, providing energy.
While some of the health benefits of xylitol may depend on your individual circumstances, others are universal to the extent that almost anyone can benefit from a switch to SweetLife’s xylitol products.
From the start, removing sucrose and processed, refined sugars from your diet and replacing it with a natural sugar free sweetener like Perfect Sweet™ xylitol, is one of the best nutritional changes that you can make. The harmful effects of processed sugar are well recognised, obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay are the obvious ones but there are many more.
Xylitol benefits extend across increasing wellbeing, not only just preventing illness. Xylitol’s natural ability to prevent tooth decay is of major significance, and in some studies, it can even work to remineralise and reverse damage. Xylitol has also been shown to work successfully with ear, nose and throat infections because of antibacterial properties.
Xylitol can perform too, as a prebiotic. Unlike table sugar, aspartame or many other sweeteners, xylitol actively fights against unhealthy bacteria and yeast, rather than encouraging it. This makes it extremely useful towards yeast infections, candida, and related conditions.
Perfect Sweet™ Xylitol is often used by people with diabetes 2 as it does not raise blood sugar levels, and can contribute positively to weight loss. The natural sugar free sweetener is metabolized without insulin, thereby creating a lower glycaemic effect. Xylitol has a glycaemic index of only 7. Now compare that to sugar, which has a glycaemic index of 68.