Monday, October 22, 2012

Xylitol - Natural Sugar replacement and Cavity Preventer

Lately 3 out of 4 of my kids have had 2 or 3 cavities at their dental checkup. All these fillings add up and get to be pretty expensive, even with insurance.  Looking for some way to help prevent cavities, I did a quick Internet search and ran across Xylitol.

Wow! What an amazing product. The more I learn about this great product, the more I want to make it a part of my daily health habits.

Xylitol is a natural occurring sweetener that is found in the fibers of  vegetables, fruits,  birch trees, and fibrous materials such as corn cobs and husks. Xylitol is produced naturally in our bodies; in fact, we make up to 15 grams daily during normal metabolism.  Industrial production is usually taken from hard wood such as birch trees or corn cobs.   It looks like and tastes like table sugar.

Xylitol is slowly absorbed by the body and does not require insulin to metabolize which makes it a great sweetener for diabetics.  Xylitol began being added to foods in the 1960s and can be found in many products such as Trident Gum, Stride Gum, mints and suckers.

Benefits of Xylitol

Now to the part about preventing cavities, this is what interested me the most about Xylitol.

1.  Xylitol reduces tooth decay. Chewing xylitol gum right after meals helps eliminate the bacteria that causes tooth decay. You can also find other products such as toothpaste, mints and suckers which contain xylitol.  Cavity causing bacteria does not thrive in the presence of Xylitol therefore limiting its ability to grow. In addition Xylitol:
  • Helps reduce the development of cavities (dental caries).
  • Resists fermentation by mouth bacteria.
  • Reduces plaque formation.
  • Increases salivary flow to aid in the repair of damaged tooth enamel.
  • Compliments fluoride in oral hygiene products.

2. Helps Tooth Enamel & Strength
In addition to preventing cavities, consuming xylitol in small amounts helps decrease plaque formation, and promotes salivation to prevent “dry mouth”, which aids in enhancing mineral absorption for repairing damaged tooth enamel, while increasing tooth strength.

3. Safe for Diabetics.
Xylitol does not easily convert to fat, therefore the body does not require insulin to metabolize making it a good choice for diabetics.

4. Helps Prevent Ear Infections
Xylitol can also be used to prohibit harmful bacterial growth to help prevent ear infections in young children. It will also help clear out earwax and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the pharyngotympanic tubes, connecting the nose and ear.

5. Increases White Blood Cell Activity
Xylitol, when taken in small amounts, can help increase the white blood cell activity in fighting bacterial infections, to help build immunity, protect against chronic degenerative disease and have anti-aging benefits.

6. May Help With Allergies & Sinus Infection’s
When used as a nasal spray, xylitol is said to be able to help reduce the prevalence of sinus infections, asthma and allergies. It helps decrease the amount of harmful bacteria that may be in the cells of our nose.

I was so excited to learn that I could help prevent cavities by giving my kids a stick of gum to chew on after a meal. The two brands that I have found to have Xylitol in are Stride and Trident.
Also Vitacost has a great selection of gums, Xylitol sweetener and mints. Sign up for  Vitacost today and receive a $10 gift certificate.


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