What is Xylitol and why is it good for teeth?
What is xylitol?
Pronounced “zy-lee-tol” this natural product is anything but bad. In fact it’s probably one of nature's super heroes. Put simply, xylitol is a natural sweetener. Technically speaking, it’s sugar alcohol. Most importantly however, xylitol is a sweetener which won’t significantly up your calorie count and it doesn’t cause tooth decay!
What is Xylitol made from?
It’s extracted from the sap found under bark from the birch tree, but it also occurs naturally in many fruits, vegetables and mushrooms. Both humans and animals make tiny amounts of it themselves when we are processing carbohydrates.
Discovered some time in the late 19th Century by German and French chemists. The benefits of xylitol weren’t really discovered and researched until the 1970’s. It became popular in Europe following the second world war when sugar was in short supply. But it was the Turku University in Finland that really unearthed the benefits and sheer brilliance of xylitol in dental hygiene.
At truthpaste we source our xylitol from non-GMO European Birch wood.
Xylitol: a sugar substitute
Apart from being one of our favourite ingredients in truthpaste, you can find xylitol in a range of dental hygiene products like mouthwash and fluoride products. It’s used as a sugar substitute in sweets and chewing gum and can be found in jams, jellies and peanut butters.
Occasionally you may find xylitol used to treat ear infections, although there is no evidence to support this.
We’ve already mentioned that xylitol is a sweetener you can use without worrying about tooth decay. It gets so much better than that though!
Xylitol has undergone extensive research which highlights it’s benefits in oral hygiene. Not only does it fight bacteria that cause gum disease and plaque acids, studies have shown that it actively increases the production of the immune system proteins so that bacteria can’t form in the first instance.
Xylitol has also been proven to significantly reduce the amount of streptococcus mutans, the bacteria largely responsible for plaque forming
In fact there are nearly 25 years worth of studies to prove the benefits of xylitol. Approved by both the Food and Agricultural Organisation and the World Health Organisation, it was a natural choice for an ingredient in truthpaste.
Xylitol and dogs
We often get asked if truthpaste is safe for dogs. The answer is always a very firm “no”. Whilst essential oils are often harmful to animals, generally speaking, xylitol - even in small amounts - can cause hypoglycemia in dogs. Just part of the reason that we never test on animals.
Is xylitol safe?
The good news is that xylitol is safe for people, a good sugar substitute for those with diabetes and great for weight loss. As with all natural products, moderation is key. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions.
We love xylitol here at truthpaste and it can be found in our Original range as well as helping to provide the sweet and delicious flavours of truthpaste Kids that is proving popular amongst both adults and children alike!