Birch Xylitol vs. Corn Xylitol

Dear Dr. Ellie,

What is the difference in the value of birch sugar xylitol verses corn-based xylitol? Will the corn based be efffective?


Hi Shelly,

Scandinavian birch tree derived xylitol was the original source for this product. It is the most expensive source and obviously with growing demand people have been looking into the various ways of deriving this product from other sources. Xylitol is present in many different fruits and vegetable fibers (raspberries, mushrooms, plums etc) but it appears that mostly in such a small quantity that it would not be realistic as a general source. Xylitol can be derived from the fibers from corn husks and this has been a method of obtaining xylitol most used in Asia and especially China. There are two schools of thought: and it may be about snobbery – it may be Norwegian marketing ( I doubt that!) or it may be folk lore! I was always told me that birch derived was better. People worry about contamination and genetically modified corn being a problem with corn-derived xylitol. I believe that there are bad and cheap sources of xylitol that may be contaminated with sorbitol – since it would be quite easy to mix together. So I think that using a reliable source is probably the answer – no matter where it comes from. Zellies are manufactured only by reliable people who I trust to use the finest products and produce my product with honesty and integrity. The taste of xylitol varies with it source and quality – I feel that I can taste the difference between corn and birch ( but only just!) Both sources appear to work just as well and I think the final decision (like most things) is in the hands of the consumer and their trust in the manufacturer to deliver the best possible product (and Zellies will always do that!) Thanks for the question – I hope that I answered it. For more about xylitol off my own website you may like to check out this link: always welcome questions and comments.
Take care,

Ellie Phillips DDS
Dental Health for Everyone!
26, Corporate Woods
Rochester NY 14623

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  • My family owns an organic manufacturing & distribution company. I am looking for a place that manufactures birch xylitol and sells it in bulk. As you are an advocate of this product, I thought you may know of a source. Thanks, Jonathan

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    Thanks for your question.My product is made in Scandinavia and shipped to the US.Danisco is the main importer of xylitol into the US – they may be able to help you. Ellie

  • Anonymous says:

    My daughter just tested for a corn allergy – we are to avoid it across the board. I am wondering if you may know if Xylitol produced from corn retains any of it’s origin’s allergen properties? I use Xylitol on a daily basis myself, so I’d just like to know if I need to look into my brand’s source. Thanks, Sheryl

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    All Zellies gum is made with xylitol from only birch and hardwood sources – both the children’s gum and the other flavors.There does not seem to be any connection between allergy to corn and xylitol from corn base – but if you have any concerns – you can be completely sure if you let her use Zellies gum.

  • Anonymous says:

    Actually anything that was derived from corn will upset an allergy including xylitol, some medicines even benedryl and albuterol

  • Anonymous says:

    I really like Erythitol, but it too is Corn Derived. Is there any place you can buy Erythitol that made from some other plant that is less allergic prone or Senstitive prone for those of us who have allergies or senstivities to Corn?Sincerely,Cathi G.

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    I don't know anything about erythritol – and I don't think it has any oral health benefits.Ellie

    • chaosthetic says:

      Well, you should. Here is a literature review I found off of your site with a whole big section on erythritol (see page 16):

      It appears that Erythritol might be as benign as Xylitol in the mouth and won’t feed gut bacteria. What worries me is that so much is passed out in the urine. I wonder if over time this would affect urinary tract organs in any way?

      • Although I think we are going to hear a lot more about Erythritol in the years ahead, I believe there is a big difference between xylitol and erythritol. I’ll stick with xylitol!
        We know xylitol is viewed as fiber in the gut and that it breaks down to form a valuable short chain fatty acid called butyrate. Butyrate is essential for the health of the cells of the gut lining – and in this way xylitol may help to keep the digestive tract healthy. Xylitol has a long history of use in many cultures and in large doses – and it appears to offer numerous beneficial outcomes ( with only one exception: that xylitol should not be fed to dogs).

  • Anonymous says:

    Xyla brand Xylitol is sold in Canada. Made from Birch trees.

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