Xylitol Side Effects?

Hi Dr. Ellie,

I’ve started your program for myself and I started putting some granular xylitol in my 2.5 year old daughter’s water. At that time, she started waking at night crying or screaming and asking for juice and wouldn’t settle down until she got juice. Obviously juice at night is bad news, but she has food allergies (dairy & corn) and I know things can bother her at night, so we gave her juice then water and put her back to bed. I was trying to give her xylitol water after the juice. Then I read about someone with a corn allergy & celiac disease who said that some people who are “sensitive” can have a bad reaction to xylitol…it can draw water out of the intestine or something. I know it can cause cramping and loose stools if used in excess, but my daughter didn’t have loose stools. I stopped Xylitol as a precaution, and the waking stopped. The brand of Xylitol I used is supposed to be corn free….unless there is something in the processing that uses corn. Any other thoughts?


Dear EM

Our bodies make about 15 grams of xylitol daily so under this amount should not cause any problem.

I think the comment about reactions to xylitol may be confusion between xylitol and sorbitol.
Sorbitol gives very bad stomach cramping and problems at extremely low dosage ( 2-4 grams).

Some companies mix sorbitol with xylitol it would be hard to tell the two apart. We sell Xylosweet which seems to be an excellent granular xylitol no reactions that I am aware of.

A couple of other suggestions come to mind:

Reduce the amount of xylitol you put in the water and work up the dosage. Even a sip of something as dilute as half an ounce of xylitol in a 8 oz of water would be enough to protect teeth after the juice. Also, use a Spiffy tooth wipe to wipe her teeth www.Spiffies.com

Hope this helps you,

Categories: Xylitol

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  • Anonymous says:

    Hi,My 2 1/2 year old has a cavity! I have switched her apple juice to a splenda based juice that is diluted by water and added 1/2 t. of granular xylitol. She loves Nesquik in her milk, any ideas for flavoring milk?

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    Yikes – let's stop right here! Yes, apple juice is acidic and will harm teeth but I think Splenda is toxic and should never be given to ANYONE – definitely not a child.If you want more information about Splenda and its dangers you may want to read Sweet Deception co=authored by Dr. Mercolahttp://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Deception-Splenda-NutraSweet-Hazardous/dp/0785221794/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247241695&sr=1-1 Before you worry about changing what is IN drinks – worry about what you do AFTER drinks, food, snacks and meals.I want you to eat a healthy diet – and Dr. Mercola has a wonderful website with sensible nutrition information if you are looking for help with diet. For preventing and healing cavities, you need to eat xylitol ( about a teaspoon and a half each day total) spaced out during the day – AFTER drinks, meals and snacks. You could make up some xylitol in water and give it to your daughter after meals as a "tooth wash" that she swishes around her teeth and then drinks.She could eat a quarter of a teaspoon of granular xylitol from a spoon if she prefers.If you like to try Zellies fruit mints, most kids love these: or the kids raspberry or fruit gum – if you allow chewing gum. You must help your daughter have xylitol after all drinks – this is much better than adding xylitol into the drinks.Sugar will not harm teeth if you finish each drink with xylitol – aim for about a teaspoon and a half each day. Please clean your daughter's teeth with some ACT dilute fluoride – brushed onto her teeth – morning and night.This will work to heal this cavity – and the results can be amazing if you use xylitol and ACT together in this way. Kids do not need toothpaste – a drop of bubblegum flavor ACT on the brush will be all you need. Hope this helps – but PLEASE, please, NO SPLENDA!!!Ellie

  • Mitzimi says:

    Hi – this is a comment about the first writer above whose daughter is allergic to corn. I know it's been a few months since the comment was posted, but perhaps this will help someone else in the future.According to Wikipedia, xylitol can be derived from corn, and may cause bloating, flatulence, constipation etc … although less so than sorbitol or other sugar alcohols.So it doesn't seem unreasonable to assume that her daughter's discomfort might indeed have been due to a sensitivity to xylitol related to her corn allergy.

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    Our bodies produce xylitol naturally during metabolism every day.Up to 15-20 grams is therefore a very gentle and well absorbed dose for humans to consume without any effects.Above this xylitol behaves like fiber – and the effects are those of consuming fiber. I would advise consumers to make sure they are only eating 100 percent pure and high grade xylitol. Some companies mix xylitol with other "non sugar' sweeteners – but do not always list this on their packaging. Like any other product – you have to trust the label – which means you have to trust the company behind the label. Ellie http://www.zellies.com26 Corporate WoodsRochester, NY 14623(585) 272-1270

  • ashley says:

    I have a question for you. My son is almost 22 months old and i noticed he has a few small brown spots on the top of his top front teeth, and his top teeth don't look as white as his bottom teeth. He doesnt get much juice (maybe 1 or 2 diluted cups a month) we eat healthy and i brush his teeth twice a day. I do breastfeed at night still as my son will not stay asleep without me nursing. But his dr told me that there was nothing in breastmilk that would harm his teeth. So i'm at a loss as to why his teeth look the way they do. I did just switch to spry infant/toddler toothpaste after reading an earlier blog of yours. So im hoping that helps, i give nursery water with fluride in it since we have well water. I have tried to teach him to spit after i brush his teeth but so far he doesnt get it. Should i switch to a fluride toothpaste before he is able to spit out the toothpaste? Or just wait and keep giving the water with fluride? Any other advice on ways to help his teeth? Thanks so much

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    The main goal of any Mom is to protect her child.Teeth are just another area of our bodies that we need to protect. Think about things that could attack teeth – especially anything acidic – lemon juice, apple juice etc. Any food or drink that is acidic will damage teeth – so immediately after something acidic you need to give your child a little xylitol ( it takes away mouth acidity). Spry gel would work for brushing teeth – but plain xylitol dissolved in water would be good also.Spiffies baby tooth wipes are another great option. A drop of ACT on a toothbrush is another option. Also, do not forget the oral health of any caretakers of this child. You, your family, grandparents – anyone can infect your child with tooth-decaying bacteria. Cavity forming germs grow on toothbrushes and are transmitted by kissing and sharing food. You and your family should all consider xylitol ( 6.5 grams every day) and a good oral care routine – to wipe out these harmful bacteria from your own mouths. Check out the Complete Mouth Care System on my website http://www.Zellies.com or think about reading Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye when it is published January 2010!Thanks for your question – I think you must consider all aspects of mouth infection and tooth damage very carefully. Ellie http://www.zellies.com26 Corporate WoodsRochester, NY 14623(585) 272-1270

  • living2love says:

    Hello,I stumbled upon this webpage today in researching xylitol. I really do appreciate the information you are providing to help others take proactive steps to protect their teeth. On the other hand I went to your zellies site for more information. I find it baffling that the complete mouth kit includes listerine, but the "Zellies for Professionals" section warns against the use of listerine posing the question, "Is Listerine A Problem?" I can't help but wonder after reading either it is not good to use or it is. Please clarify what is your position/recommendation is for the use of Listerine.Again, thanks for sharing!

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    Hi and thanks for the question. I hope you are a lady – and I hope you use skin care products! (because then you will understand very easily what I am about to say!)Skin care products recommend using a cleanser, followed by a toner ( to clean the skin) and finally a moisturizer (to cover and protect).This three part formula promotes healthy skin. My system of oral care suggests the same routine: a cleanser ( Closys followed by Crest Original toothpaste) then Listerine ( to clean teeth – like toner cleans skin) and then a protective rinse ACT ( a kind of moisturizer for teeth !) The details of the biochemistry involved are explained in simple language in my book, Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye.These mouth rinses constitutes part of my Complete Mouth Care System, which combines with xylitol for total oral health. The point I make is that although Listerine is very good at "cleaning" teeth – it should not be used alone and never left on teeth.Many conscientious patients use Listerine but unknowingly damage their teeth with this product.If only patients would rinse the Listerine off with ACT – the combination of the two rinses:one after the other- creates results that would be obvious in a short time! I suggest Crest Original toothpaste, Closys and Zellies with the above rinses to create a perfect regimen for oral health!Here is a link that may help to explain: http://cleanwhiteteeth.com/Zellie-Mouth-Care-System.php Thanks and please let me know if you have more questions, Ellie http://www.zellies.com26 Corporate WoodsRochester, NY 14623(585) 272-1270

  • Anonymous says:

    To the Mom whose little one is developing brown spots on his teeth…could it be that there is too much fluoride in the well water? Might want to have it tested….

  • Dr. Ellie says:

    I understand your comment idea – but this is not possible since the brown spots from fluoride develop in adult teeth – and are seen many years later.Brown spots occur when fluoride is consumed during infancy – before the age of three – HOWEVER this damage is to teeth that are forming IN THE JAWS at this developmental stage.The fluoride ingested does not affect the baby teeth- but the growing adult ones.The adult incisor teeth are developing enamel as they grow in the jaws during the first three years of a baby's life ( but you can't see this of course!).Too much fluoride will kill enamel-forming cells and cause voids in the enamel surface as it forms.These voids show as brown spots when the teeth erupt.Moms will discover the fluoride damage only when the new adult teeth erupt at age 7 or 8.It is hard to imagine that possibly too much fluoride in infant formula was the reason for brown teeth that erupt at 8 years old.That is how brown spots get onto teeth because of fluoride. It has to be ingested during the development stage.Fluoride therefore should not be ingested by young children – should be eliminated from formula milk and parents should use bottled water to make up formula if they have fluoride in their drinking water supply.My book Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye has a whole chapter devoted to this very mis-understood subject.Fluoride has many great attributes to help heal teeth and protect adult teeth – when used as a mouth rinse – but people need to be aware of the problems when children drink a lot of it – I agree!Thanks for your comment.

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