What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a natural sweetener that can be found in fruits and vegetables. Its physical appearance is similar to regular sugar (crystalline and colorless) as well as its taste. Xylitol differs from other sweeteners (sugar substitutes) because for one, it is all natural and two, its molecules are composed of five instead of six carbon atoms, which means that most bacteria in the mouth cannot make use of it.
Xylitol is widely used by diabetics because it does not need insulin to metabolize. In fact this is one of the reasons why Xylitol was launched into popularity in Europe after it was discovered, late in the 19th century.
Xylitol is also widely used in dentistry and as a common natural anti-cavity treatment. The composition of xylitol prevents it from being fermented by the bacteria in the mouth, therefore the acid that is produced from this process is reduced, also reducing the occurrence of cavities. The bacteria in the mouth is also prevented from multiplying and in fact, the count can be reduced to as much as 90%.
Xylitol is recommended for people who are going on a diet because it has approximately 40% fewer calories and as much as 75% fewer carbohydrates than regular sugar. It is also known for having positive effects on preventing or treating osteoporosis, ear infections, respiratory infections, and candida yeast infections.