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Xylitol - Pros and Cons

by 5852 · July 10, 2012 at 09:47 PM

I recently found a chewing gum alternative that is sweetened only with Xylitol. Anyone have any good or bad info on it?

I do remember my dentist recommending me a toothpaste with Xylitol a few years back. He said it had been shown to reverse tooth decay. Sorry no reference other than that.

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3962 · January 14, 2011 at 11:07 PM

I have wondered what harm xylitol could do, even though it is said to have benefits for humans.

This bulletin from an animal hospital states:

Xylitol and Humans: Proponents of Xylitol for human consumption have boasted a number of health benefits including discouraging tooth decay, reducing plaque, avoiding sugar spikes, preventing osteoporosis, and even preventing ear infections. Dentists across the U.S. have joined the ranks of Xylitol supporters. For this reason, it is difficult to recommend against pet owners buying Xylitol products.

What Happens to Dogs? While Xylitol does not require insulin for metabolism, Xylitol triggers insulin production in dogs. The excess insulin causes normal blood sugar levels to drop rapidly (hypoglycemia). Clinical signs of Xylitol toxicity include depression, vomiting, imbalance, weakness, or depression. Seizures may result. Xylitol ingestion has also been associated with liver failure in dogs, but research on that subject is still pending.

How Much is Too Much? It had been previously reported that only large quantities of Xylitol would harm dogs. However, recent reports suggest that quantities as low as two sticks of Trident gum may cause serious health problems in a 20lb dog.

http://www.healingspringsanimalhospital.com/2006_08.htm

I have wondered if xylitol has effects on humans that are not being reported. I avoid it.

There is another thread about things one can chew:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/18950/things-you-can-chew/18958#18958

All the best to you. :)

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106 · October 05, 2011 at 10:03 PM

I ate way too much Xylitol today, because I went on a chewing gum binge out of anxiety because I had two tests at school. I must have consumed 20 sticks of gum at least, with Xylitol as the first ingredient. So far, zero negative effects. I'll keep you posted. Glad to be your guinea pig today :)

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1279 · January 14, 2011 at 11:02 PM

As I understand, it has antimicrobial properties due to the fact that bacteria eat it, thinkint it's sugar, but can't actually get any energy out of it.

As far as effects on you, it might be OK, but I'm curious if it disrupts gut flora.

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7249 · July 10, 2012 at 09:47 PM

what little xylitol you get in chewing the occasional piece of gum is not going to affect your gut flora or your insulin. Moderation is the key. Don't be afraid of insulin, or small things that aren't directly paleo. If you want to be hardcore paleo, cook on an open flame, kill your own meet, etc. Nothing is 100% paleo......nothing. Fresh home grown organic vegetables are not genetically identical to what someone ate 50k yrs ago. Neither is our gut flora identical either, based on what our diet is. The gut flora of an Eskimo is different than a Kitava. Don't focus on the petty stuff.

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10 · July 10, 2012 at 04:22 PM

DIE - A - REE - A - Cha, Cha, Cha!!!

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435 · July 10, 2012 at 09:14 PM

We used to use xylitol gum when my eldest child had baby teeth that were susceptible to cavities (she had antibiotics for a year after birth - not sure if that was the cause). It seemed to help a lot.

Please please please keep it away from your dogs though - an oops cost us $5k treating our pup's liver failure.

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4612 · July 10, 2012 at 04:33 PM

I use Squigle brand toothpaste with xylitol as a main ingredient, and Spry xylitol dental rinse (Spry's toothpaste has xylitol in it but also Splenda which I not only hate the taste of but is gross and toxic). I love the toothpaste and rinse, very few ingredients and I don't get any irritation that I used to get from using toothpastes with foaming agents like sodium lauryl sulfate (tongue swelling, inside of cheeks easily bitten and then it would get worse). So I love the dental products with it. Anyone else who uses it my household calls it "fake" toothpaste or "trick toothpaste" in the case of one guest because it doesn't give them the burn of normal toothpaste that they rely upon... icky.

I don't consume xylitol but I used to be into Spry's cinnamon gum, so I guess I was consuming more then. I only had loose bowel issues from maltitol candies back when I used to do junkie Atkins, not clean Atkins. So I think oral use vs. consumption are two different animals.

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