Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol used as a sweetener in various foods. This compound is produced in small quantities within the human body and is found in some fruits and vegetables.

Health considerations

This sugar alcohol can be digested without the use of insulin, making it a useful sweetener for diabetic individuals. By not creating any major disturbances in blood sugar or insulin levels, this compound is also very useful after trauma, surgery, and for catabolic disorders in which individuals require assistance gaining weight. In addition, this sugar alcohol has been shown to limit obesity when used regularly in the diet, and has prebiotic qualities. See: Sugar alcohol.

Keep in mind

The Joint FAO/WHO Experts Committee on food additives recommend an unlimited ADI for xylitol as it has not proven to be harmful in laboratory tests. However, a study wherein patients were given solutions of xylitol in water found that intake of as little as 20g caused increased nausea and gastrointestinal effects.

May be found in

Sugar-free chocolate, pectin jellies, chewing gum, hard candies, wafer fillings, chocolate, pastilles and other sweets for diabetics


Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Alternative Spellings and Names

Sugar alcohol, wood sugar, E967

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