THE BEGINNERS GUIDE TO
THE MOST EXTENSIVE AND COMPREHENSIVE INTRODUCTION TO XYLITOL THAT YOU’LL FIND ANYWHERE
DANGERS OF XYLITOL
With all of the health benefits of xylitol there must be a downside, right? Especially in this day and age, it seems like when something is too good to be true, it usually is. Well, we don’t want to keep anything from our readers, so yes, xylitol has a few downfalls. But they are quite minute.
The first thing xylitol users should know is that xylitol can be toxic to dogs. So be extra careful to keep all products containing xylitol away from where your pup can get into them. Make sure not to feed them human food that contains xylitol, keep the sweetener sealed and in a place they cannot get into, and keep all nasal or oral care products out of reach and preferably in your medicine cabinet or bathroom drawer. Many pups like to get into our belongings and use them as chew toys, so it’s important to keep these products out of reach just to be safe. Just like chocolate, raisins, or onions, xylitol can be harmful to your fur babies, but safe for human consumption.
Now the side effects for humans are much less drastic. The main side effect some users experience is bloating, gas, and/or diarrhea. Xylitol, like other five carbon sweeteners can cause discomfort if too much is consumed. Some people are much more sensitive to this than others. A good plan is to start your xylitol consumption low and work up to the recommended five doses per day while monitoring your body’s reaction. Many individuals are able to consume xylitol with no digestive discomfort, while others are much more sensitive.
Individuals who have pentosuria, found almost exclusively in persons of Ashkenazi Jewish decent, have a congenital enzyme defect, which makes it impossible for them to digest xylitol. However, those with pentosuria can still consume xylitol without worry. Pentosuria is simply the excretion of pentoses (monosaccharides that contains five carbon atoms, like xylitol) in the urine. The only concern about pentosuria and xylitol is that the excretion of L-xylulose may be mistaken for glycosuria and diagnosed as diabetes mellitus.