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


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  1. 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.

    • Sandor

      Vitamin C is chemically extracted and processedd, and is still very good for you. Xylitol is also a lot healthier than sugar. Mind you, sugar is actually healthy if consumed in proper amounts. Evolution made you desire sugar because your body needs it, but that’s beside the point.

      If you’re not used to xylitol, it may very easily cause the effects described in the article -which may actually be beneficial in some cases.

      The point is, manufacturing methods have nothing to do with healthiness.

      • Abbey

        You cant say “Evolution made you desire sugar because your body needs it”. We desire fast food and junk food, but that is simply because it is addicting. Sugar is known to be addicting. A lot of other things are addicitng as well, and they are very harmful and kill people daily, yep those include drugs. Just because we dsire something doesnt mean our bodies need it. I also disagree that manufacturing methods have nothing to do with healthiness. Everything is made up of chemicals, including our bodies. Those chemicals have to be in balance, otherwise we get sick. That is why “whole foods” are so important, they contain a natural balance of chemicals. Once humans start subtracting and adding chemicals, that balance has now been destroyed. As much as we try and as much as we sacrifice, we can never even hope to create something as balanced in structure as something directly from nature, whole in perfect form and That is evolution.

  2. Caroline

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

  3. 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.

    • cher

      Thank you Sol. I’m so happy to hear a sci-guy make that distinction. My brother, rest his soul, once justified to me his morning ritual of chocolafying his already sugared breakfast cereal with the “chocolate’s natural” argument. I replied that so was hydrochloric acid but I wouldn’t put a spoonful in my tea. Not a popular viewpoint in the 80’s. But commodification doesn’t allow for such distinctions, because it muddies the profit pool. If we haven’t learned to question everything sold by now, well . . . . Anyhow, thanks. Better late this comment than never. And thank you too Ms. Betty. Stick to your guns. We do still have a modicum of free speech left. Well, almost.

  4. sol

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Deborah O'Grady

    A Great Fact written article thank you. You will always get Gov. paid shills spreading their disinformation and discrediting any one or thing that talks sense – its their job! but the Facts are still the Facts Yet the sheeple follow these fools blindly. I admire and respect you for having an opinion that differs from the norm and I salute you for speaking the Truth.

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this article!!
    Long story short, I just switched from Crest toothpaste (to avoid SLS + fluoride) to a very natural toothpaste. Thankfully they offer an unsweetened flavor, but the rest of them have xylitol in them. Was looking for some quality research on what the heck xylitol is, especially because a lot of people are saying it’s safe – and here I am. I had a gut feeling it was not the best thing to consume, but thanks for some evidence to back that up.

  10. gemma

    Hi, I found the xylitol article fascinating. Did you know its one of the ingredients in Teetha babies teething gel? Another ingredient is ethanol which is an alcohol process of biofuels, made from the fermentation of sugars, and is produced using grains, grasses, wood waste and even garbage!
    I think that instead of saying ‘may cause side effects’, they should say ‘could possibly help but hey, there’s no guarantees!’
    It was interesting reading anyway so thanks for that.
    I’m working on my blog about homeopathy (on the plus side) so reading yours has taught me loads.

  11. Anthony

    Actually, xylitol is completely natural existing and appearing in nature. As is sulfuric acid. With a hoodoo mindframe, even salt is the MOST horrendous thing! (Ever learn about the process of iodination!?)

  12. JK

    I was just searching online to buy more xylitol (I only add it to coffee a few times a month) when I saw your post. Thanks! I did have an upset stomach every time but since it wasn’t too serious and I didn’t use it often, I thought it was still better than sugar. I’m not buying it any more. I wish the food industry wasn’t so disgustingly corrupt. As for the rude replies, there have always been and will be in the future all kinds of ill-bred people, who use internet anonymity to show their worse. That’s why I don’t have any pics or personal info on Facebook or other sites – I just don’t have enough health to endure the aggressiveness and spiritual ugliness of poorly brought up strangers.

  13. There are always ways to have a discussion and not just say hateful words! I like reading what you have to say and I still use xylitol in my toothpaste currently. This being stated, I still think if you have any information you would like to share with your readers, even if you were to re-visit xylitol in the future, you should!

    Keep sharing!

  14. rebecca

    I appreciate your article on xylitol very much. I don’t get why people are so clueless and mean. That being said, if you don’t know what something is and just blindly consume it, well it’s your health. I for one am grateful for the info so I can make an informed decision.

  15. Jo

    I would like to thank you for posting all of the information about Xylitol. I like Xylitol and it does not upset my stomach, but I like to know things like how it is manufactured and by whom as a lot of that kind of information is not always accessible. I appreciate seeing someone else’s perspective as well. Kudos.

  16. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I’ve recently begun a candida diet (not _the_ candida diet), and have been struggling with sugar. I am an avid baker, and have been trying to find alternatives to sugar (and more so, my true addiction, honey). I’ve tried stevia, and honestly if I put even 1 more drop of stevia in my mouth I think I will puke. And yes, I have pure, no additives liquid stevia. Nasty stuff. I have going back and forth with trying xylitol, and have been put off by the name, that alone seems chemically, and the possible digestive problems. After reading your post, I will stay well clear of it. Typical Dupont and gmo corn rearing their ugky heads yet again. I think I may try yacon syrup, I’ve heard good thibgs about it, although I have not researched it yet..that’s next in my agenda!

    • In order to enjoy stevia, you MUST stir it in well. I use the NOW Better Stevia Original, and as long as it is stirred in well, it tastes great! Sugar is NOT a nutrient, it is a poison. Use limited amounts of liquid stevia if you must, if not learn to enjoy the flavors and taste of real whole food!

  17. Donna

    This article itself did not change my mind. But it DID confirm my suspicion that xylitol is responsible for my digestive tract woes of late. Every time I eat candies or chew gum sweetened with xylitiol, my digestive tract goes wonkers. It’s good to know I’m not alone.

  18. Nick M.

    Well hello. This is an interesting and informative article. I just purchased some xylitol chewing gum. I chewed three pieces and swallowed the juices that came out of it. I feel OK. No upset stomach. Everybody’s different. Some obviously cannot stomach the stuff, apparently. That’s too bad.

    I tried some NOW brand xylitol sugar several years ago but returned it when I found out it was made with GMO corn. I don’t buy GMO. Anyways, I got an ebook recently on how to reverse tooth decay and this was one of the recommendations. Apparently xylitol kills certain bacteria in the mouth that cause plaque. I think it’s a great idea really. Only thing is the gum is a little pricy.

    I actually got online to try and find a source for birch xylitol powder in bulk and sure enough it’s available. Its even less expensive than I thought it would be. So that’s a plus. I was also thinking that for some people, if they just use it for the reason of fighting dental caries, that it could be used as a mouth wash after brushing and spit out so as not to swallow it. That seems to make sense if one wanted to use it for this specific function as opposed to a simple sugar substitute.

    I would not use corn xylitol unless it was made in the USA from organic corn. If apparently it could be made from actual sugarcane that would be even better. It seems like sugarcane should be a much more sustainable source. But maybe the sugar industry is not ready to let xylitol take a cut out of its profit margin. The fact that xylitol is produced through an involved chemical process is a little disconcerting however I personally don’t feel very bothered by the fact. If people realized how much stuff in processed foods and synthetically produced vitamins was also chemically derived, they might realize that the comparison is relative.

    Certainly xylitol could be considered more natural than aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose simply by the fact that it’s a substance that occurs in nature. The reason that it’s chemically manufactured is that this is obviously the only economically viable way to mass produce the substance that allows companies to turn a profit on it. But perhaps the next step up from birch xylitol is a version produced from sugarcane through some kind of more naturalistic method not involving the use of industrial acids.

    In response to those who are bothered by the name what I can say is that it’s actually not a chemical name. If know the root latin words that create the word xylitol you will see. Several other sugar alcohol analogs have the same suffix ‘itol’, in their names such as mannitol, sorbitol, and erythritol. These are all commonly added to many types of processed foods and may also be produced chemically. However the physiological effects produced by other sugar alcohols on the human body are obviously not going to all be the same.

    I am actually intrigued by the name xylitol because it reminds me of the word xylophone. Interestingly enough, both word stem from the same Greek root word ‘ξύλον’ or ‘xylon’ (Eng. lit. trans.) meaning “wood”. The relation is that the xylophone is a traditionally a wooden instrument that makes sound or ‘phōnē’ from the Greek word φωνή. So a xylophone is a ‘wood-sounder’ and xylitol is a ‘wood’-itol’- or wood-sugar-alcohol’. Interesting. Not so scary after all. By the way, I have no connection to the industry, I’m just an academic researcher.

    Peace Out!

  19. louisa

    Sounds a bit like that story when they made a product to fatten turkeys actually killed them instead..so they invented margarine to get their investment back. We should probably Just eat plums corn and vegs. My sister lost weight is why I looked into it.

  20. Danelle

    Thank you for taking the time to research this with your contact. I was led astray as well, but just didn’t have peace about this “natural” magical substance that is the answer to everyone’s dreams….as it kills us? No thanks. And for the people who attacked you, please don’t let that stop what you do, because it is important and a lot of people care. I am one. What you said was completely respectful. Freedom of religion and freedom of speech seem to old fashioned values these days. I apologize for those immature human beings….and if it makes you feel any better I was flipped off at the grocery store for pulling into a parking spot rather than reading the drivers mind on the other side who wanted me to back out for her so she didn’t have to back up like everyone else and drive away. UNBELIEVABLE how wacked people can be! Probably all the xylitol they are eating!

  21. I’ve just read a recipe on ‘Wallflower Girl’ suitable for vegans and it contained Xylitol which I’ve never used. And now I will never use it. I tend to use Stevia in plant form which I grow in a pot or Sweet Cicely also grown in a pot. I add leaves to whatever I’m doing – I pull them out before using whatever I’ve cooked or in drinks. These leaves or sprigs don’t cause me any problems and I have huge problems with allergies.

  22. Kris

    Hi ;
    I found your article on xylitol very interesting. I’ve had a weight problem and wanted to find an alternative to sugar. I will throw out the remainder of my xylitol but can you suggest a healthy low carb alternative ?
    Thank you

  23. April

    Can anyone tell me if the Xylitol they use in toothpaste is processed or is it in the natural form?

  24. I have been having terrible gas and bloating, and have also been consuming a lot of Xylital. Now I know why, or at least partially why. Thank you for posting this important information! It really helps.

  25. Julie

    I enjoyed reading your article on xylitol. I have been contemplating using it as I am trying to reduce carbs in my diet. I appreciate your asking questions and it is spurring me on to further investigate. Your blog has been a fantastic starting point for me.
    So, what was your motivation for using xylitol over refined sugar? I’m curious what you use now to sweeten your coffee… I need more suggestions of acceptable, natural, healthy alternatives.
    Thanks so much! Julie

  26. Hayley

    Thank you for this information. I was searching what xylitol was in children’s toothpaste before I made the purchase. Thanks for this post.

  27. Jess

    Thanks for the post ! We are on a systemic candida diet 3 weeks in and both my little people have diarrhea – coincidence that Im using Xylitol as recommended by naturopath or ?? Thanks again will avoid it for a while n see if symptoms clear up x jess

  28. Larae

    I was using xylitol and my cat jumped up and licked ever so slightly a little from my bowl when I quickly grabbed her. $1200 dollars later with a vet bill and a very close call with her life, I had to ask myself, if such a small amount of something like this almost killed my cat, what is the impact on me? That was it. No more xylitol for me. I stick with stevia now.

  29. Thomas R.

    So, I made peanut butter cookies for my sugar sensitive girlfriend. The original recipe is 1-cup peanut butter, one-cup sugar and one egg. It is a flourless cookie recipe. I figured on substituting the sugar for an artificial sweetener and using non-sweetened, pure peanut butter (palm oil free even).

    First, I made a small batch with sugar. They were tasty but excessively sweet. Next, I tried Splenda but they came out way too sweet, brittle and airy. Finally, I tried Xylitol. My girlfriend loves the stuff in her tea; claiming it has zero after-taste like other artificial sweeteners, and it is natural.

    Well, I ate four cookies with the Xylitol (about the size of a standard commercial cookie) the first night. Within a few hours, I had some bothersome bowel issues though nothing too major. I never even thought about the Xylitol until the next day. I had three more cookies. Lo and behold, a few hours later, more aggressive bowel issues plagued me. So, I googled: “Xylitol gave me the runs” and guess which website my search revealed.

    In all truth, I’ve had Xylitol numerous times in tea and coffee but never in such quantity all at once as with these cookies and it really wasn’t that much more Xylitol… but it was obviously just enough. So, is this stuff natural? Hardly. Is it harmless? Don’t bet on it.

  30. Heather

    Just used Xylitol for the 1st time in a brownie recipe and the brownies low carb are great but the stomach cramps going for the 3rd hour are not great at all. Last time I will use it. Thank for the article, was looking up a way to stop the cramps and found it.

  31. Jennifer

    For centuries manufacturers have created and marketed stuff to make money. It is the making of money that is the driving factor not whether the product was necessarily good for our well being. People have been too unaware or simply too easily fooled. We are all to ready to be taken on a ride to the next trend. In the late 19th century a particular green became the trendy must have thing. It was used in wallpaper pigments eventually people started getting sick and dropping dead. Even though manufacturers knew it contained arsenic the colour was so popular and THE must have thing according to the who’s who in society it was ignored and the marketing proper gander continued, It was making someone a lot of money. Finally it was taken off the market when peoples awareness to the dangers of arsenic and off gassing. The same thing with cola’s (sugar drinks), it was recommended to mothers to start there children on it early telling them they were giving there children a better start to life and that they NEEDED it. It made someone and still is – a LOT of money.

    • Jennifer

      Here are some more examples of marketing and trends being peddled, found in old advertisements with slogans to encourage people to buy products. “DDT is good for me” and one that claims “Use sugar to help kerb your appetite. And one to help you during the fat time of day, “a sugar drink now with save me a lot of calories later”, and “sugar can be the willpower to help you under eat”. another one saying “3 teaspoons of sugar has less calories than and apple”, How about DDT wallpaper for the kids rooms to keep them safe from insects. Or DDT in the fly spray you spray around the house. Here is one “red river potato mix with DDT for better results”.

  32. Nichol

    As I switched to low carbing I purchased a bag of your Xyla. I thought a great way to cut sugar out of my family’s diet. So I decided to make some koolaid with Xyla . For two litres of red cool aid I used 6 tsp of Xyla I set it in fridge to chill and await the results. I had about a three ounce glass and was amazed at how great it tasted… I went about my merry way and was getting ready for bed and took a shower . Well I had this disturbing gas pain and passed wind and shit water on the floor. Now -good thing I didn’t give it to the children – as they would have the embarrassment of shitting themselves at school ! Wow I would rather become a diabetic and eat real sugar than suffer such bonkers symptoms.

    Please put larger warnings on such embarrassing inducing products.

    Ms Nicholson

  33. Pat

    I have found using xylitol in a sinus irrigation solution very helpful in limiting infections. I make my own solution by the quart and keep it in a plastic bottle. The solution is made up of 1 quart filtered and boiled water. While still warm I add 1.5-2 tsp. kosher salt, 1 tsp. baking soda, and 1 tsp. xylitol. I added the xylitol based on the information that bacteria can ingest xylitol but cannot eliminate it. When they cannot process normal sugars in their energy cycle they will die. Ref: https://authoritynutrition.com/xylitol-101/ Neti potting once or twice a week is a great way to maintain sinus health.

  34. Joana

    Hi! Thank you so much for the post, it really heplped me. Over the years I’ve reduced any intake of candy or packaged cookies/biscuits/cakes because I started noticing side effects to the food colorants, sweeteners and preservatives (headaches, getting angry, sad and anxious for no aparent reason). The other day I started taking a food suplement (a relative’s store was closing and some stuff was handed to me) that contained xylitol as one of the ingredients. I’ve been having a mild but constant headache since I started taking that and I’ve now decided to stop. I had been able to reduce headaches and sinus-like pain on my face since I stopped drinking milk but now, apparently thanks to xylitol, they’re back. So, bye bye stuff with xylitol!

  35. I cannot eat any of this terrible stuff without having acute GI distress. I don’t think a scoop of ice cream has that much xylitol in it but that’s enough to knock me for a loop. It’s very upsetting when workers tell you their ice cream is sweetened with Splenda then come to realize within 30 minutes if that is entirely untrue. I can’t eat no sugar added ice cream from most ice cream shops which apparently do not realize their ice cream is laced with completely unnatural garbage.


  1. […] 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. […]

  2. […] Now, let me be clear: xylitol itself does not grow on trees, it is made in a lab – traditionally from birch and more often from corn. (source) […]

  3. […] 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 […]

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