+ What is xylitol?
Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener found in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables, including, but not limited to: various berries, corn husks, oats, and mushrooms. The Finnish name for it is koivusokeri, or birch sugar, and it was first produced in Scandinavia from xylan, a sugar found in the wood fibers of birch trees. Xylitol is a five-carbon sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in plants. Xylitol is also naturally found in our bodies. We produce up to 15 grams of xylitol from other food sources using established energy pathways. Xylitol is delicious and can be your own special weapon in your fight against dental disease. Best of all, it can help everyone avoid cavities and strengthen their teeth. Granular xylitol looks and tastes almost like sugar (sucrose) but with 40 percent fewer calories. As a natural sweetener, it is a great alternative to regular sugar but, unlike sugar, it is a powerful and effective tool that improves dental health. A few grams of xylitol eaten after meals and snacks will reduce the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth and also protect teeth from acidity. Xylitol creates the ideal conditions to stop and even reverse dental damage. Studies show that the greatest reduction in harmful bacteria comes from eating 100 percent xylitol.