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Erythritol: Health Benefits And Side Effects

Erythritol, a sugar alcohol, is naturally present in some melons, pears and grapes, mushrooms and fermented foods such as cheese, beer and wine. It is also artificially produced and added to low-sugar and sugar-free items.

Erythritol is produced when a type of yeast ferments glucose from wheat or cornstarch, and is known to contain much fewer calories as compared to other sweeteners [1] .

 

Food manufacturing companies use erythritol to sweeten or thicken products like sugar-free foods and drinks. Erythritol can be found in zero-calorie diet soda, sports and energy drinks, sugar-free gums, mints, chocolate products, packaged grain-based desserts, frostings and in some medications.

The sweetener is often mixed with popular sugar substitutes such as stevia and aspartame, to make them sweeter.

Health Benefits Of Erythritol

1. Helps in weight management

Foods which contain erythritol are more likely to have fewer calories compared to those sweetened with sugar. Therefore, it can be helpful in managing weight. In addition, erythritol is also suitable for diabetic people and people who are on a keto diet [2] .

 

2. Controls blood sugar

Erythritol is rapidly absorbed in the small intestine with only a small per cent entering the colon and the rest excreted unchanged in the urine. This sweetener doesn't cause a spike in blood sugar or insulin levels and doesn't have a negative effect on cholesterol and triglycerides levels. This makes erythritol an excellent sweetener for diabetic people [3] .

Artificial Sweeteners And Their Side Effects

3. Prevents heart disease

A study showed that 24 adults with type 2 diabetes who consumed 36 grams of erythritol regularly for a month improved blood vessels function, thereby lowering their risk of heart disease [4] .

4. Inhibits plaque formation

Studies have shown that erythritol can lower the formation of plaque and even help prevent tooth decay according to a study. During the course of the study, 485 primary school children each were given four erythritol, xylitol or sorbitol candies three times per day. The results were erythritol caused a lower number of cavities than xylitol or sorbitol [5] .

Side Effects Of Erythritol

Read more about: health benefits risks uses
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