Why Xylitol Could Be Just as Bad as Sugar

Why Xylitol Could Be Just as Bad as Sugar

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol used as a sugar substitute. Xylitol manufacturers market the sugar as a safer alternative for diabetics, but when we consider how xylitol is made, its use becomes questionable.

The Manufacturing Process Makes It Suspicious

Conventional commercial producers of xylitol use harsh chemicals and involve high pressure and high temperature in its creation. If you’ve studied nutrition for many years, you’ve seen patterns emerge that can help you predict whether or not a food or food substance is going to eventually harm or nourish your body.

If something involves harsh chemicals, high pressure, and high temperature, the manufacturing process will create harmful advanced glycation endproducts or be found later to harm the body and its metabolism.

Advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) are molecular fragments that are worse than free radicals. They cause proteins everywhere in the body to become dysfunctional.Thus, in the production of xylitol, you also have the production of these molecular AGEs that are programmed with only one mission in life: to destroy your organs and rapidly age you.

An example of another substance that uses questionable manufacturing processes is high fructose corn syrup. As much as we are led to believe that high fructose corn syrup is a good thing created from corn, the truth is that harsh chemicals and high temperatures are used in its manufacturing. Studies 20+ years after high fructose corn syrup was born link it to metabolic disease, diabetes, and gout.

Another part of the processing of xylitol that is questionable is the use of a yeast, Pichia caribbica to produce D-xylose. After the D-xylose is created, the chemical extraction and high processing temperatures occur to get the xylitol final result.

However, this process has not been scientifically tested for safety and does not have long-term studies to back its use. There are many questions that still need to be answered – ones such as:

            • Does the use of the yeast impact Candidiasis in the body?

            • How does the yeast affect the bacterial flora in the intestinal tract?

            • Are there long-term side effects associated with the yeast?

            • Is the yeast related in any way to illnesses?


If we consider history important, xylitol is another product that could potentially damage millions of people while we wait for more research to prove its safety.

Another Potential Issue with Xylitol

Because xylitol affects insulin levels, it’s a clue to xylitol’s potential harm.

In one South African study, researchers showed that, even though diabetic rats given xylitol had lower blood sugar levels, their insulin levels increased. In a German study, intensive care patients had to be given 32.6% less insulin if their tube feeding contained xylitol.

You might think this is good, but the surge of insulin can actually be a bad thing if you have insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. When levels of insulin are higher than what they should be, the body’s biochemistry changes to fat storage instead of fat burning. This means you end up gaining weight, not losing it.

Think twice before you believe marketing advertisements for xylitol. The bottom line is that it’s not found in food naturally in high amounts – and, therefore, should not be in you in high amounts. It’s chemically altered, which always causes potential health problems.


Islam, M.S. and Indrajit, M. Effects of xylitol on blood glucose, glucose tolerance, serum insulin and lipid profile in a diabetes model of rats. Ann Nutr Metab 2012; 61(1):57-64. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22832597

Mukherji, R., et al. Crystalline xylitol production by a novel yeast Picchia caribbica and its application for quorum sensing inhibition in gram negative marker strain Chromobacterium violaceum CV026. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 2013 Mar; 169(6): 1753-63. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23338824

Schneider, A.S., et al. Assessment of xylitol serum levels during the course of parenteral nutrition including xylitol in intensive care patients: a case control study. Clin Nutr 2014 June; 33(3): 483-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23916161