Pure Xylitol (wood sugar or birsch sugar) is a white crystalline substance (processed into a granular or powder form) that looks and tastes like sugar, and extracted from birch wood, but also found in raspberries, mushrooms, hardwoods, plums and corn. A cup of raspberries contains less than one gram of xylitol. The human body produces up to fifteen grams of xylitol from food sources. The substance has forty percent fewer calories and seventy-five percent fewer carbohydrates than sugar. About one-third of xylitol is absorbs in the liver. The other two-thirds is converted to short – chain of fatty acids. Since the 1960s, Xylitol has been used in foods, and a popular sweetener for diabetic diets in some countries. Also, in some countries xylitol is available in IV (intravenous solutions), for diabetics and critical care situations, such as burns. For diabetics, xylitol is a seven, as measured on the glycemic index of 100, which is an important measurement of how rapidly, particular foods are turned into glucose, after eating them, and how much insulin is required for the body to use. In 1891, a German chemist first manufactured xylitol. During World War Two, Finland discovered xylitol as an alternative sugar, which was in short supply. In 1997, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, approved the use of xylitol as a food additive.
In the United States, the xylitol extract is approved as food additive. The World Organization and Food & Drug Administration (1963) gave safe ratings as a food supplement. Researchers in Finland, found the dietary xylitol prevents weakening of bones in laboratory rats, and improves bone density. This has potential treatment for osteoporosis. Xylitol is available for purchase at health food stores, and online websites.
During the past 25 years, tests have confirmed Xylitol is the best sweetener, tastes good, and reduces tooth decay or inhibits the growth of plaque producing bacteria that causes cavities, especially for high – risk groups, including those that have poor oral hygiene. Also, increases the production of saliva, which is a natural mechanism for cleaning and repairing damage to tooth enamel. Recommend up to 15 grams a day of Xylitol, prevents tooth decay or using xylitol before bedtime, after brushing and flossing. Six national dental associations have approved Xylitol incorporated in the production of chewing gum (In 2004, Trident gum was reformulated to include xylitol), candy or tablets. Xylitol mints and gums contain about one gram per piece. Using these gums or mints three to five times every day, for about three to five minutes, achieves maximum results, preventing tooth decay. In Finland, xylitol is incorporated in the production of confectioneries. In Japan and South Korea, xylitol is made with chewing gums. Also, studies have shown xylitol chewing gum helps prevent ear infections, by chewing and swallowing assists with the disposal of earwax and cleaning the middle ear. This prevents growth of bacteria in the Eustachian tube connecting the nose and ear. According to the British Medical Journal in 1996 and in Pediatrics 1998, studies have shown ear infections in children, could be reduced by 40 percent with eight to nine grams of oral xylitol every day. Actually, prevention of tooth decay and reduction of ear infection, works simultaneously, chewing xylitol gum.
Nasal Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, works effectively in the nasal passage: Decreases harmful bacteria to the cells in the nose. Stimulates defensive washing of the nose. Decrease the accumulation of salt in the airway surface fluid, which helps antibiotic substances to be more effective. Patented Xlear Nasal Wash contains Xylitol, and available for sale in 1.5 oz., for treating nasal irritation, caused by pollutants, allergens, and infections of the nasal passage.
Human consumption of xylitol in large quantity, as much as 30 – 40 grams daily, experienced diarrhea and intestinal gas. However, canines or dogs ingesting large amounts of this product, experience a rapid drop in blood sugar, results in a loss of coordination, depression, and seizures within 30 minutes of consumption. Also, possibly causing liver failure in dogs.
Reported in March 2006, Dynamic Food Ingredients (DFI) has exclusive worldwide licensed technology, designed to make the production of xylitol, a natural sweetener. The process developed by Purdue Research Foundation. In 2004, Perdue University research team led by James N. DeMiller, developed an alternative method processing xylitol by electrolytic technology. The process requires air, hydrogen, and electricity. However, the byproduct has baking soda. According to Dynamic Food Ingredient’s chief technology officer, John Stapley, “the technology significantly lowers the current expense of manufacturing xylitol and can accommodate production rates far exceeding that of previous processes.”