607 Responses to “Xylitol: Should We Stop Calling It Natural?”


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  2. Lisa Ammann

    Hello, I really loved your article. Unfortunately, the most hilarious parts were because of experiencing those bad side effects myself. I am actually having trouble searching for help on the subject because I am so dizzy I am having trouble walking from the bathroom to my computer! I wish this was funny, but I am scared. I wish I never saw that package of xylitol at the health food store! I chew xylitol gum all the time and never had this problem.

    • Maj

      I get dizzy, too!! For me, though, I can’t even have xylitol in gum. I had two pieces while I was driving on a trip, and I had to pull over because I couldn’t continue driving. It was incredibly scary.

      • Jim

        We paid $.43 per ounce for the xylitol hoping for a healthy substitute for sugar. Instead, we got constant diarrhea, serious cramps and massive amounts of gas! I am not kidding folks. I was trying to eat more healthy and this is what I get? Call me if you want a nice size bag of this crap “really” cheap! The upside is…the cats are moving out!

    • Ruthann

      This article about Xylitol and some of the responses are so comforting. As I write this I am listening to my stomach rumble around loudly and am also experiencing some slight dizziness. My daughter on the other hand swears by it and is learning to use it to cook and bake with! All I can add is each and every person’s chemical make up is slightly different. Our bodies tolerate and process different chemicals in different ways. Maybe if I continue to use Xylitol my system will get use to it but I’m not sure I want to find out! I will be returning to using a teaspoon of honey, processed in glass jars for the future sweetening of my morning coffee.

    • Don

      Wow, you actually take offence at people who vehemently disagree with you. Your article was poorly researched. Getting a so-called “chemist” to speculate, yes speculate, that because a lot of xylitol is manufactured by a big bad company means it must be bad for you. He discredited himself from any ability to influence on is “authority” from the get go with this silly observation. As a result, authoritative at all, he is not.

      I won’t call you names. I can see why you regret writing your article, and why you are saying you won’t address xylitol again. I understand that you would just like the nightmare to end.

      Perhaps retracting the worst of the article would help you, as again, it is so poorly researched, and it is so utterly lacking in solid scientific foundation, that the entire thing should probably go.

      I am not a big xylitol user and I have no relationship whatsoever with xylitol manufactures. I am just a discerning reader. Yes it is YOUR blog. That is o excuse for having some dependable substance to what you post, however. And, your getting rid of the comments that disagree, and leaving only those that jump in and support you, well, that renders your blog not objective, not fair, and not worth reading again….ever.

      • Don

        And………great science…….”rip up your insides”………this “people’s chemist” can’t do better than that in his explanation of xylitol’s effects on the stomach, colon, liver, gallbladder?!?!? I don’t trust a word he says. A high school chemistry student could have done better.

        My MD at Whitaker Wellness recommends xylitol, thank you very much Mr. “chemist”.

        • Sometimes user experience speaks more loudly than anything else. An MD could recommend Xylitol to me, but that MD isn’t lying here with stomach cramps after consuming Xylitol like I am. I found this site when I suspected the Xylitol I used for the first time today was causing all these cramps. Turns out, there are many people experiencing the same thing as evidenced by all the responses here. I choose to listen to my body over any study or expert out there. My body right now is telling me Xylitol–>not for me!

  3. Stone

    Thank you SO much for your article! I had been searching for a whey protein powder as a supplement for my gym workouts. I have an extremely sensitive and motile GI tract and when I came upon a powder with only stevia and xylitol, I thought I hit the jackpot. Was I wrong! Cramps, bloating, pain. When I read your post I began to understand why. So glad I came upon it.

    Yes, the media should have picked this up long ago. But sadly, consumers have too often been to weak to combat corporate profit economics. Maybe someday…..

  4. **Melinda

    Wow! I never experienced this, but had sweetened tea that my family drank with me and they all had stomach issues! Now I know!! My nutritionist put me on the stuff, just purchased liquid stevia, hope it’s safe?

  5. jeannine

    Hi Crunchy,

    Your a hoot! What a great way to deliver information. So sorry you had to deal with negative defensive remarks. I wanted to share that I was at the dentist yesterday and was mentioning that my adult son is having cavity issues and beside the bad genetics’ I gave him what could he do? I told her we don’t use fluoride unless there is a itsy bit in our toothpaste.He is a biologist and I am in the health and fitness area so I am fairly well versed in what is natural. I don’t even do x-rays at the dentist or ever use OTC for pain. She was so excited to tell me all about Xylitol… Just another way to confuse and scam the public. People need to do their research and come up with the choice that’s best fits them, but don’t lie to them about it being natural!!! Im with you 100%. Unfortunately if they told the truth we would still have clean soil, produce which still had it nutrients and the big companies and Monsantos in particular would have a little less $$$. Its painful to watch the government deceive the people.

  6. Dean Ellis

    Well, I’m here just doing some checking for both sides of the story. I just bought some Xylitol at the recommendation of a doctor who is a wiz at curing candida. He says to use Xylitol as a sweetener because it has been shown to actively kill candida yeast…………waiting a moment for this to sink in…………… it should be sunk in.

    The reason people have digestion issues on Xylitol is because of the candida. Those who do experience these symptoms should put themselves on a candida cleanse then try the xylitol again. I’d bet my left arm your symptoms will be gone. The greater your candida overload the greater your symptoms will be.

    And a little bit of moisturizer could help you with that crunchy. LOL.

    • carol

      You know, I think you’re right. I’m currently battling a candida yeast infection and I feel nauseated and gassy after consuming xylitol. I’m going to research that cleanse you mentioned. Thanks for making that connection!

      • Alisha

        I am a Registered Dental Hygienist who recommends Xylitol to my patients every day. I have seen first hand it’s ability to prevent tooth decay. I also use xylitol as a sweetener in my tea, coffee, and baking. I only just recently had my first trouble with gas, bloating, and diarrhea from using it, only to soon discover that I was battling candida! I since have been researching Candida Overgrowth and natural treatments only to discover that Xylitol does decimate candida (yeast) and can cause “die-off” symptoms of (but not limited to) gas, bloating/cramping, diarrhea, brain fog/dizziness, mood swings/irritability, chronic fatigue, and the list goes on.
        So I must agree that anyone suffering from similar symptoms should consider getting checked for candida overgrowth as this can be a very serious issue and can lead to even more serious issues. It often goes undiagnosed for far too long if one doesn’t realize the underlying problem. Candida is more than just a “female” problem. The infection can be internal long before any external signs like vaginal infections, oral thrush, and itching of the anal region even begin to show. Candida is often brought on by antibiotic use, especially pro-longed episodes. Antibiotics don’t distinguish between “good” and “bad” bacteria, consequently killing all of our good intestinal flora as well. This allows candida to thrive and multiply out of control. Candida can be extremely difficult to get under control, and Xylitol has been shown to be a successful tool when used in conjunction with diet and supplements. Hope this can help someone! :)

        • Bonnie

          This is so great to know!! I went Paleo about 2 years ago and started using Xylitol and was fine…then stopped using it, and am now back on a whole foods low carb diet and started to use very small amounts of Xylitol and the nausea and diarrhea and cramping I get from it are horrible! I didn’t understand it, as I used to use much large quantities of it with no problems at all! I looked up the symptoms for candida and I have almost all of them…I never would have known to look into this if it wasn’t for your comment, so thank you so much!

  7. Connie

    Thanks for the informative blog. Since I am sensitive to so many things, I will save my bowels and forgo the xylitol. It’s just not worth sitting on the toilet for.

  8. Crunchy Mama

    Right on! Way to tell it like it is! We have been duped over and over with all of these “natural” products that are actually so bastardized in laboratories! Stick to food, people! Not food-like man-made substances!

  9. Frannie

    I have dry mouth from a couple of meds and saw on Amazon that xylitol mints recommended for that problem. I bought the lemon flavored ones, loved them, put them next to my computer keyboard, and kept popping them in my mouth. My gut, it turned out, did not love them. My gut, in fact, was seriously offended. No more xylitol mints for this lady. No problem with gum containing xylitol, however. Apparently it has a lot to do with how much of the stuff you ingest. Ah, well, we live and learn. Thanks, Betty! Ran across your web site looking for confirmation of my suspicion that the xylitol mints were indeed cause of my problem, since I had not eaten anything else unusual or strange or suspect. I will be back here in the future. VERY good information and very well written, and despite the nature of the problem with xylitol, with even a wicked sense of humor!

  10. I really appreciated reading this and am very happy to feel like I actually know what xylitol is now! Thank you for researching and writing this post!!!

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  12. pagau

    In answer to the question, Xylitol: Should We Stop Calling It Natural?
    Yes, absolutely. I don’t understand why you would get criticism for this. I use xylitol myself. I don’t seem to have the same issues others, but I have thought there will come a time when opinions will turn and people will begin to talk about the downsides to xylitol. I suspect it may contribute to problems with the eyes simply because similar sounding products do. I use it in moderation, usually along with stevia.

  13. Mark Duffy

    I too was taught Xylitol was good for me especially my teeth. They give it to children after lunch in Finnish schools.
    Alas I didn’t really hear much about the negatives – least not until tonight when my jack Russel ate a dozen pieces of Wrigleys spearmint – she is now in intensive care in the local animal hospital with suspect liver failure
    This stuff is anything but natural and really should carry a health warning – even if only for dogs

    • Police

      Sorry to hear about your dog.

      Why did you give your dog something that would make a human 10x the size the trots?

      • You're Sick

        Only an asshat would make the owner of a family pet feel bad about the gum it ate. What? Did she just want to experience the thrill of rushing a dying animal to a vet hospital and pay all the fees of an animal E.R. and Intensive Care? How about watching the suffering of an animal you love and cherish? Go be a douche troll somewhere where it’s appreciated–you know, like hell?

    • Kathleen

      I am so sorry to read about your doggie. I don’t believe you purposely gave your dog that gum. I know how dogs can be, they smell something good and eat it. Heck they eat things that don’t smell good, they’re dogs. Anyway I hope your dog made it out of intensive care and is now back at home with his/her family.

  14. jesse

    Xylose is a wood sugar used to make xylitol, a wood sugar alcohol, which is not absorbed in your small intestine and when it reaches your large intestines your good bacteria use it like fiber which is why you get the squats, it is best used as a toothpaste additive or mouth rinse because of its anti bacterial and anti fungal properties. Xylose is largely absorbed in your small intestine and excreted through your kidney ,so no laxative effects ( when overused most sugars have that problem with bacteria using sugars as dietary fiber) ,you use only about one third the calories as table sugar , it has the same sweetness as xylitol, and has teeth benefits, and is a 7 to sucrose’s 100 on the glycemic index ,some studies suggest it can reverse diabetic problems. It also increases calcium asbsorbtion rate in the body. Yes it is processed much like all the other sugar substitutes but it tastes great with no after taste. So xylose awesome, xylitol,use sparingly, the Asians have been using xylose for awhile,I don’t know why the usa doesn’t. I use it in all my hard candies, something impossible to do with xylitol.

  15. Gudrun B

    even though i use it – sparingly mind you! may be 1/2 pound/YEAR – partly due to the fact that i never sweeten coffee and tea with honey if that – i recently read the ingredient list on the gum (Spry); despite my semi shock i did order it again – since it is still less chemical stuff than regular gum, imo any way, and supposedly is good for the teeth; OK i chew may be one piece per day, nothing drastic, though even little bits add up in the end :(
    after reading this, i will NOT order the “sugar” ever again! the gum, i will just have to keep looking if i can find some thing better….. shucks BUT:
    Thanks for all the info!

  16. Simone

    I would like to let people know that after eating two biscuits that my mother had baked using Zylitol that within minutes I went into an intense reaction with vomiting, stomach craps, diarrhoea, passing out, blurred vision, pins and needles in my fingers and blood in my urine and diarrhoea. This was intense for 2 hours after which the light headedness eased and the frequency of the vomiting and diarrhoea reduced. The vomiting stopped 9 hours later and the diarrhoea the next day.

    Now 4 days later I still have cramps, no energy, little appetite and can only eat small amounts. My doctor said it was probably an anaphylactic reaction with some kidney damage even though I didn’t have swelling of the face or throat and that if I consumed any again it will be worse and possibly fatal. I now have an Epi Pen and have to read read every label. I am 49 years old and do not have any other food allergies.

    We are sure it was the Xylitol because my mother started using it occasionally in baking after being told she is getting close to having diabetes 2. She had used it in a slice she baked 4 days earlier of which I only had a taste and ended up vomiting all afternoon ( I thought I had a virus). Zylitol was the only common ingredient in the slice and biscuits.

    After this I did a google search and found that to make Zylitol that the base is natural, usually corn, beets, sugar cane or the like which is then hydrogenated and soaked in Sulphuric Acid. I googled Sulphuric Acid and Wikipedia describes it as a highly corrosive strong mineral acid. Corrosive on materials like metal, living tissue and stone.

    I may be a minority but this stuff really isn’t as safe as its made out to be. In that two hours of severe reaction I felt like I had been poisoned and I personally would like to see it removed from the market.

  17. Lynn

    for Chr**t sakes!!! I have been dizzy too!! i purchased 100% Xylitol thinking that i finally found a replacement for sugar. It has GMO free, all natural, made from hardwood all over the packaging. This really pisses me off. What can i use for sweetener… Stevia natural?

    • mar

      I use it for a year now and I love it. It test just like sugar and i did not have side effects what so ever. HOWEVER, recently I fell dizzy and I wandered why?? i come across this blog because I wanted to know how Xylitol is produced? it looks like sugar and test like sugar and the package has this information: “derived from 100% U.S. -grown birchwood” what can be more natural that that???

      Thank you for the article and thank you readers for sharing your experiences. Now I know the cause of my dizzyness.

    • Kathleen

      I have read that you can grow your own Stevie,(kind of like a mint plant I assume). I have wanted to try to grow it, but just haven’t done it yet. I don’t know how many leaves you would have to use to sweeten anything, but; One of these days I may get around to it and grow my own.

  18. Agnieszka

    Hi there, thank you for your investigation and sharing with us the result of it. Having read about how good xylitol is for your health I decided to find a way to do it myself, because I have a couple of birches. Of course, it is not THAT natural … Anyhow, when I read it can also be produced of corn, I started be more suspicious regards the M-company. If Monsteranto is envolved, than I better tell my friends and relatives and avoid this from far. People have to know and here in Europe some still cannot realize what you guys in US have to struggle against in that matter. Thank you once more.

  19. An excellent source of calcium are dairy items, such as soy milk.

  20. Nicole

    YOU ROCK! Thanks for sharing this info. I loved reading this post and was so surprised to read that you got negative feedback in your update. Not cool! My favorite part was when you wrote: This my blog, MY blog… true! So keep saying what you need to say, girl….and forget the haters who want to damn you for sharing information that quite clearly triggers their addiction to sweet stuff. Either that or threatens the income they are making off of it.

  21. A

    Regular sugar is bad for your immune system and is linked to a host of other diseases because of the reaction it has to your insulin level. Xylitol does not spike those levels and it is the only thing that I have found that tastes just like real sugar with no aftertaste like the good Stevia and those artificial sweeteners that have been proven harmful. I could not find any information wrong with Xylitol except you would not want to use too much of it because of its laxative effect. My concern is the long term effect it may have on the liver, though. Anyone have more info on that? I only put it in my coffee to cut down on having too much sugar during the day since I can’t control all the sugar that is in everything else. Supposedly it does not give you that tired, “let-down” later, either.

  22. Corella

    Thanks so much for your blog. I was looking for a protein powder n thought I found a good one until I read xylitol.
    I googled the name n found your blog. You saved me wasting over 200. Au $ plus my health. I don’t need to gamble with my health by taking this dicey replacement for sugar. I appreciate finding your blog such good reading n all the helpful comments kindly given. I’m so glad I googled xylitol n was informed of the dangers giving me a choice.

  23. Susan

    I have used very small amounts of xylitol occasionally over the last few years without noticeable side effects. But about 36 hours ago I baked some gluten free brownies using half organic sugar and half xylitol–about 1/4 cup each. My bladder has not been the same since. Overactive–discomfort–the urge to go right after emptying it. I hope these symptoms will clear up since. I will never use any sugar alcohols again.

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  25. vanessa palmer

    LOVED your last post about XYLITOL……love your writing style, info and humour.

    KEEP GOING !!!

  26. Kate

    THANK YOU so much for this post! I came across it after googling “xylitol effects on GI”. I am all about natural everything and usually use stevia, maple syrup, agave, etc as sweeteners. A friend introduced me to xylitol and I have been using it in my coffe and oatmeal for the past 3 months or so. Over the past few weeks I have noticed that my stomach feels like I ate glass… so much gas, loose stool, pain, and weird constipation. I had an itch that it was the xylitol because my diet is very clean for the most part and I couldn’t think of anything that would be causing these symptoms. Switching back to stevia ASAP… I would take the extra sweetness over GI upset anyday. Thanks again!

  27. Ryan Johnson

    I would have to agree that it should not be called natural but I believe that it is really good for you. I have two autistic sons and we give it regularly to them for the purpose of cleaning out their guts. Xylitol has been proven to break down biofilm, which is a byproduct of bacteria. So since there is good bacteria and bad bacteria, there is also good biofilm and bad biofilm. Plaque in your mouth is biofilm from bacteria in your mouth, which is why they put xylitol in toothpaste to help break it up. Normally a layer of biofilm in your gut acts as a barrier or a filter to bad things in your food and does not let some things through to get into your blood. But in the case of my boys, they had more bad bacteria in their gut than good. So we give them xylitol to clear out their digestive track and then give them good bacteria to grow in its place, and therefore, good biofilm. When I started taking xylitol, it gave me diarrhea as well but after continuing to take it, it has stopped. My personal theory is that people who respond badly at first to it have thick layers of biofilm in their guts and therefore there is much to strip out. The body makes thick walls of biofilm to protect. But if you are constantly eating junk food (lots of preservatives, nitrates, and processed food) than taking xylitol may be more bad than good. However, if you are eating healthy food regularly than taking xylitol will actually help you almost like a cleanse. I have changed my diet and like I said, xylitol no longer hurts me. I have switched to Xyla which is made from hardwood and that seemed to help as well. This is just my theory of course and I hope it helps someone. Ryan

  28. I too am against using xylitol. I actually wrote a post on my blog stating why. I first learned about it thru The Fat Burning Man because they promote it, if you can believe that!
    Keep up what you are doing because I for one love your blog and you do “make me happy”!

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  30. Sarah

    I have 4 year old twins who recently went to the dentist. He suggested 5-6 servings of xylitol per day because it’s so good at killing bad bacteria in your mouth, thus less cavities. I looked around and found some lollipops online (expensive ones, I might add! About $7 for 25 lollipops) and started letting them each have one per day “as a treat”. Within days, they both started complaining of stomach pain. I thought it was your typical little kid potty problem. But they kept saying it every day for about two weeks. I started thinking about any changes in their diet and it always came back to the lollipops. I then googled “stomach cramps with xylitol” and came across your post. I am NEVER giving my kids xylitol ever again. It’s obviously not meant for their consumption. Thank you for more information that solidifies my decision!

    • Marcie

      Gum, such as Trident, has xylitol, but not in the amounts found in the sugar or probably the lollipops either. I chew Trident gum in the same way that I used to smoke. I always have it on hand, and always have some in my mouth. With that said, I brush my teeth daily, but rarely floss or do anything else to take special care of my teeth. When I was younger (before Trident became my mainstay), I always had horrible teeth cleanings and lots of fillings. Recently I went to the dentist after a lengthy absence of annual cleaning (about 10 years) and the hygienist was impressed with how well I take care of my teeth. She had very little plaque to clean off of my teeth and was shocked that it had been that long since I had my teeth cleaned. The only thing I can figure is that it is the xylitol in the gum. I just keep chewing it and my teeth stay overall plaque free. I, personally, am a believer.
      As far as the sweetener goes, I have switched my sugar use to xylitol and while I have definitely had some “bubble gut” issues as an unpleasant side effect, I have also had some positive side effects. First, switching and cutting out any food with sugar in the 1st three ingredients, I lost 18 pounds from January 2 to March 30 2015. Secondly, cutting out table sugar and foods with added sugar or any ingredient ending in -ose and replacing it with xylitol I have found that my (violent, overpowering sweet tooth) has lost the evil control that it held over me.
      I too have wondered if this too will eventually be switched over to the not good for you list. And I have two dogs that I am VERY careful with. But raisins, and grapes, and chocolate and many other seemingly benign healthy foods are also unhealthy or even lethal for dogs, so that in and of itself does not instantly make me question it safety.

  31. Mrs Amy

    Hello from the UK, this is the only website I could find that actually discusses side effects. I ate around 33g of sugar free chocolate and within 5 mins I felt sick, stomach cramps, weakness, dizziness and diarrhoea. I found taking probiotic tablets a couple of hours after eating helped. It was awful, I felt like i had been poisoned. When eating this chocolate before I had less and felt unwell but not to this extent. I have read up on it and I didn’t even have a large amount, in fact very small.

  32. Tina

    I started using xylitol a few years ago and never had any problems but a few of my friends got very bad diarrhea. About 16 months ago I got into the best shape of my life at age 50 through change of diet and exercise. About 6 months ago I started using xylitol in my tea instead of honey and that was right about the time I started getting really bloated in my stomach after eating. I does’t matter what I eat,though some foods do tend to make it worse; the bloating comes after mid day and gets worse into the evening. I tend to be constipated so It never gives me diarrhea. A few weeks ago I stopped drinking tea because I was not drinking enough water. Consequently my stomach got flatter and the bloating almost cleared completely up. Then my work hours increased and needed the tea for energy so I started drinking recently and the bloating came back so this little voice in my head said “Google bloating and xylitol. I found an article from a doctor who said that sugar alcohols can cause these symptoms. Now after reading this article that says it tears up your insides it makes sense to me. I have a feeling it’s the chemicals used to process it because I only use the kind made from pure organic birch. Whatever the reason I’m going to stop using it and see if once again my stomach bloat goes away. I’m pretty sure it will, my little voice never steers me wrong. My comment is for those who came upon this site in search of answers for the well being of their loved ones or themselves is to listen to the other individuals who came here for the same reason and to listen to your inner voice.
    Love to you all and many thanks to you Betty. :)

  33. Petra

    While I don’t deny your experience at all, I just want to let people know that if their dentist recommends it they should try xylitol at least as a mouth rinse or toothpaste because I used to get cavities ALL THE TIME and after using a bunch of xylitol products I’ve finally managed to shake them. I also don’t know that xylitol gum (the other main product I use) would cause this effect as very little xylitol is actually ingested. Perhaps that would be a good test to see if you have any reaction to it. As for myself I can eat as much as 10 grams a day with no real effect (I’ve never had more than that in a day, but I don’t really expect myself to be all that sensitive, according to some people if you increase gradually from hints to .5gr to 1gr ect. you can avoid any stomach problems)

  34. Kimberly

    Thank you for posting this. I’d like ot share my experience if I may.

    I started using Xylitol in my tea and oatmeal every morning about a month ago. Keep in mind I use 1t in my tea and 1t in my oatmeal, so not much. Withing two days I felt ridiculously tired. Not just regular tired, but I had no energy at all, didn’t want to get out of bed, and felt horrible. It was a felling I’d never had before. I had zero intestinal distress, so I didn’t make the connection between what I was feeling and Xylitol. As the month went on things got worse. I wasn’t urinating often, and I have a “baby bladder”, so this was concerning to me. In addition I was becoming more and more exhausted from doing absolutely nothing, AND I was finding it more and more difficult to actually sleep. A friend told me two days ago to stop the Xylitol. That it was slowly damaging my kidneys and I needed to throw it out. It’s been merely two days without it and I can feel myself returning to normal. Please be careful when ingesting this chemical (which following processing is exactly what it is). Remember, they used to say saccharin was perfectly safe as well….

  35. Jessica

    your communication skills are very fine tuned and mature and polite. I seriously wish I had someone like you in my life to teach me these skills. I may never read a blog from you again cuz I am way too busy to even be reading and posting this now, but I just wanted to say thanks for that lesson and example in communication and all around morality and I wish I could sound as educated and well rounded as you and as humble at the same time. I can’t help but assume that the God of the bible is your mentor. Never met anyone so well rounded, humble, and respectful besides a Christian (wait, just thought of one, but only one, that’s gotta mean something).

  36. bananotechnology

    Sorry I’m 1 1/2 years late on this, but I just wanted to add my two cents for posterity.

    I have used xylitol in the past and have had no ill effects.
    My doc, who is all about natural and has more certifications than you can shake a stick at, is a promotor of xylitol.
    The science on what xylitol does for dental health is pretty convincing to me.
    I would call it not a natural product, but a minimally processed, nontoxic natural product derivative.
    I think the alleged intestinal problems need to be looked at more closely.
    After all, beans create intestinal discomfort. Taking probiotics can cause momentary gas and discomfort as well. Many foods that are actually healthy, will cause problems in unhealthy people. And it could be that THAT is really the issue.
    XYlitol is an antimicrobial and biofilm buster. (Dental plaque is a bacterial biofilm.) It not only kills candida — a very frequent unwelcome guest in the intestinal tract and systemically — but also hidden bacterial infections that many of us have no idea we are harboring. When you kill these things off, it creates symptoms. Google “Herxheimer reaction.” Since I am treating apparent Lyme disease, I know that when I take anything with antimicrobial activity, I will probably suffer some sort of herx symptoms. People need to consider this before writing off what could be a powerful weapon FOR health.

  37. bananotechnology

    I should also add, since xylitol is a prebiotic (promotes growth of intestinal flora) then just like a probiotic, it can produce a little gas — especially, I would think, in those who don’t have a healthy gut flora. Yeah, gas can be really uncomfortable, even painful. Yet it does not in itself prove that something harmful is going on.

  38. Linda Cofini

    Dear Betty (Crunch), Thank you for this information you posted on xylitol; I found it to be informative and very useful. I had been searching for a Truvia substitute and thus far had only found positive articles about xylitol (left out the processing details).
    Please keep posting; very much appreciated.
    Thank you!

  39. Patty

    I have used xylitol now for about 4 years as a sugar substitute. I have noticed a little bit of stomach upset and some gas but that was with large amounts. Well, I haven’t been eating too well for the past 6 months or so and have let sugar slip back I to my diet, and my weight has paid the price. Anyway, I made some banana bread using xylitol today and ate a slice this evening. All of a sudden I had a terrible pain in my gallbladder – I know this pain because I’ve got gallstones and used to have attacks. But it’s been about 25 years since the last attack – hence the fact that I still have my gallbladder. So now I’ve got to wonder what that xylitol does to the gallbladder. Anyone know???

  40. Clarissa

    Well, I decided to try out Xylitol because it was recommended for Candida sufferers (those with Candida overgrowth). I did not like the name because it sounded like medicine but the word ‘natural’ was on the bottle, so I tried it. Big mistake! My symptoms of Candida overgrowth actually worsened! My trimethylaminuria was triggered and went into overdrive. I am already on a very strict diet so I was flabbergasted, thinking that I had to eliminate another of the few foods that I eat. Then it struck me that it could be the new sweetener, Xylitol, I was trying. I wish I had friends like yours but I was satisfied with my online research. You are absolutely correct and I am grateful to you for pointing out that it is not absorbed by the body. I believe that.

  41. Caroline

    I agree.
    Its chemically extracted. End of Story.!
    No longer natural
    No longer good for you
    Its just processed crap

  42. sol

    “Because, yes, I am aware (and I was when I wrote it) that our bodies (and many living things) contain “xylitol.” Poor choice of title there, and I know it gets your knickers in a twist. But just because our bodies produce something…”

    Great write. One clarification that’s critical: The human body and plants do not naturally contain manufactured Xylitol. What exists in nature and our bodies is the natural plant-like sugar, Xylose = an essential glycan.

  43. sol

    Ps. I think the title: ‘Xylitol: Should We Stop Calling It Natural?’ is spot on and well ahead of it’s time Bravo!

  44. Joanne

    Well done. Excellent article. I am very impressed with your research skills and writing skills. I wish I could pH test this product to see how it is as pH is everything.

  45. whimsy

    Please can you tell me who wrote this blog post. I love the way she writes and would love to read more from her. Please can you send me a link to her blog. Thanks

  46. Maggie

    I am so very grateful for this article! I was getting ready to use a product for Candida and will not touch it now due to the Xylitol in it. If it is processed this way and can harm my insides more, I would not chance it, or believe it was related to die off symptoms if using it. Thank you SO MUCH! I am so glad to see other do research and question the “so called” natural new fangled products that are always popping up and making health claims.

  47. lorilee

    Greetings from Florida! Just read your blog regarding xylitol. I appreciate your sharing your opinions, as always, whether it goes with the majority or not. Your insights have been invaluable when researching something I want to know more about. I am severely behind the curve here having just beginning this journey! Thanks for all your advice and recipes etc! Keep up the charge for health!

  48. TUMO

    This is helpful,I have been using Xylitol and because I have been having some complications; I decided to find out about it, and this has been very informative. cheers

  49. Confused Confucius

    Boston cream pie, why on earth did you post your personal medical information here?
    As for the blog post, I would also just like to point out that sugar is also “all natural” and bad for us in large quantities. Good article. Gives us plenty to think about in order to make more informed decisions. That’s important.

  50. Confused Confucius

    Boston cream pie, why on earth did you post your personal medical information here?
    As for the blog post, I would also just like to point out that sugar is also “all natural” and bad for us in large quantities. Good article. Gives us plenty to think about in order to make more informed decisions. That’s important. Also, historically, I recall reading that birch tree twigs were commonly chewed on in societies that had “good teeth”. Perhaps in its true, unprocessed and natural form it is meant for us to chew on for our oral health, but maybe not so much for processing to a form used for baking etc. Just a thought.


  1. […] the fact that its a white as white can be powder made me a little suspicious. Then I came across this article, which delves into how xylitol is processed and where it comes from (spoiler: its […]

  2. […] Xylitol: Should We Stop Calling It Natural? | Crunchy Betty Truth About Xylitol Found these on the inter webs, too. So much for believing people that tell me xylitol is "natural" and "safe". A "health coach" I'm working with told me not to use any other artificial sweetener. See how much she knows. Janet Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves for we shall never cease to be amused. A1C 5.6 6/13 Diagnosed T2 6/12, A1C 5.2, FBS 150 Metformin ER 500mg daily Victoza 1.2 mg daily Levothyroxine 88 mg daily Wellbutrin XL 150 mg 2 x day Lamotrigine 25 mg 2 x day Atenelol 25 mg daily Losartan 50 mg daily Multivitamin daily Ativan 1mg 2x day Probiotics 2x day Beet flow 3 -4 caps w/ each meal Bile-E-Mulsion 1-3 caps between meals 3 x day Reply With Quote […]

  3. […] it may be pulled from a natural source, when highly concentrated and eaten in larger amounts, can we really call it a natural substance? One thing about xylitol is that it is not converted into harmful acids in the mouth that cause […]

  4. […] toothpaste recipes prefer xylitol, but I still haven’t decided if it’s harmless or just plain creepy.) […]

  5. […] it may be pulled from a natural source, when highly concentrated and eaten in larger amounts, can we really call it a natural substance? One thing about xylitol is that it is not converted into harmful acids in the mouth that cause […]

  6. […] a kukoricáéban is. Nem véletlen, hogy a boltokban kapható xilitol általában kukoricából készül. Nagyipari előállítása többlépcsős, bonyolult kémiai […]

  7. […] Xylitol: Should We Stop Calling It Natural? | Crunchy Betty – So, xylitol is known to cause stomach problems and diarrhea if used in large amounts. There are plenty of studies that confirm this, but it’s always worded in ways that make it seem like you’d have to eat your weight in xylitol to be affected. […]

  8. […] Xylitol: Should We Stop Calling It Natural? | Crunchy Betty – How natural is xylitol, exactly? How safe? I talk to Shane Ellison, The People’s Chemist, to try to get some answers. […]

  9. […] Xylitol: Should We Stop Calling It Natural? | Crunchy Betty – So, xylitol is known to cause stomach problems and diarrhea if used in large amounts. There are plenty of studies that confirm this, but it’s always worded in ways that make it seem like you’d have to eat your weight in xylitol to be affected. […]

  10. […] based on this article and this article and the horrible stomach cramps I got after eating it several times, I decided […]

  11. […] it may be pulled from a natural source, when highly concentrated and eaten in larger amounts, can we really call it a natural substance? One thing about xylitol is that it is not converted into harmful acids in the mouth that cause […]

  12. […] It’s unfortunate that although sweet is our “go-to taste” for comfort, most things that taste sweet are actually making us sick. There are many reasons why we should avoid refined sugar like the plague. Sugar is linked to type-2 diabetes, it’s bad for our heart and our overall immune system, to name a few. According to Dr. William Davis, cardiologist and author, the best sweeteners for our health are stevia (I prefer pure liquid form as I find the powder to be more bitter), monk fruit (lo han guo) and xylitol.I am not a huge fan of xylitol because it is processed. […]

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