Xylitol and Digestive Upset

Dear Dr. Ellie, 

In an attempt to reduce my sugar intake, I got some Xylitol to use to sweeten tea. I found that if I drank more than one cup of tea, which had about 2 tablespoons xylitol in it, I got a very rumbly stomach. What are the risks of digestive upset with the Zellies? 


Dear CS,

Xylitol and sorbitol should not be confused ( although they are often combined together in products check the ingredients in any sugar fee products).

Sorbitol is a nasty artificial sweetener that causes cramping and stomach problems at very low doses besides causing mouth bacteria to change and possibly thicken to promote gum disease.

Xylitol on the other hand is well tolerated in larger doses ( often up to 100 grams.)
Some people who are used to eating regular white sugar in quantity may experience a little stomach reaction the first few times they eat Xylitol. It is as if their intestines have forgotten how to process it.

Xylitol quickly will become accepted and the mild reactions should disappear within a week or less. In fact, people who have suffered acid reflux and other digestive problems tell me that after the first week or so they notice these other symptoms getting better.

I would advise you to keep eating Xylitol but increase the dosage slowly.

Check the source of the Xylitol you are putting into your tea.

Zellies breath mints and gum are made from 100 percent birch tree Xylitol which seems to be the Xylitol product that is tolerated the best of all.

Thanks for your enquiry,
Ellie Phillips DDS

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