Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used commonly to sweeten products such as chewing gum, toothpaste and ‘sugar-free’ foods. Xylitol is found naturally in fruits and vegetables. It has a chemical formula is C5H12O5 and the molecular mass of 152.146 g·mol−1.
Xylitol Benefits and Uses
Xylitol contains significantly less energy per gram when compared to normal table sugar. More recently, Xylitol is being recognized as a prebiotic and is therefore consumed anecdotally to improve gut health.
Xylitol is known by a number of alternative names including:
- Birch Sugar
- Sucre de Bouleau
As a food additive and dietary supplement, Xylitol is likely safe for children and adults.
Warning: Excessive consumption of xylitol ( > 10g/day) can cause gastrointestinal disturbances such as bloating and diarrhoea. Not enough is known about the safety of Xylitol for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Avoid this supplement if pregnant or breastfeeding.