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What is xylitol used for?

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People who have diabetes sometimes use xylitol as a sugar substitute. Blood sugar stays at a more constant level with xylitol than with regular sugar.

Some gum or oral care products, such as toothpaste and mouthwash, also contain xylitol. Mouth bacteria can't use it for energy, so this may help prevent tooth decay.

Researchers have studied using xylitol in children who have frequent earaches to prevent middle ear inflammation (otitis media). More studies are needed to confirm it’s effective.

From: Xylitol WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database: "Xylitol."

Food Insight: "Background on Carbohydrates & Sugars," "Sugar Alcohols Fact Sheet."

Canadian Diabetes Association: "Sweeteners."

Amo, K. , July 2011. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition

Bope, E. , Saunders Elsevier, 2013. Conn's Current Therapy 2013

Schmid RD. A 2016 cute Hepatic Failure in a Dog after Xylitol Ingestion.

Azarpazhooh A.   August 2016. Xylitol for preventing acute otitis media in children up to 12 years of age.

FDA: Paws Off Xylitol; It's Dangerous for Dogs.  

Reviewed by Christine Mikstas on May 30, 2019

SOURCES:

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database: "Xylitol."

Food Insight: "Background on Carbohydrates & Sugars," "Sugar Alcohols Fact Sheet."

Canadian Diabetes Association: "Sweeteners."

Amo, K. , July 2011. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition

Bope, E. , Saunders Elsevier, 2013. Conn's Current Therapy 2013

Schmid RD. A 2016 cute Hepatic Failure in a Dog after Xylitol Ingestion.

Azarpazhooh A.   August 2016. Xylitol for preventing acute otitis media in children up to 12 years of age.

FDA: Paws Off Xylitol; It's Dangerous for Dogs.  

Reviewed by Christine Mikstas on May 30, 2019

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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