What is Xylitol?
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol (pronounced ZIE-lih-tol) is a naturally occurring five-carbon sugar found in many plant fibers, including fruits, vegetables, and hardwood trees. In its granular form, xylitol looks and tastes almost exactly like ordinary table sugar. The difference, however, is that xylitol's effects are almost the exact opposite of sugar. Xylitol is a pentose health sugar with so many supportive benefits for our bodies.
How it works
As an oral health supplement, xylitol balances the ecosystem of the mouth by supporting the good, protective bacteria necessary for sustainable oral health while at the same time it helps get rid of the harmful bacteria in our mouths.
Our mouth health depends on a balanced microbiome. New science shows a healthy mouth can have approximately 1,000 kinds of good bacteria and these are necessary for health. Supporting and nurturing these good bacteria is the best way to improve oral health. Small, regular amounts of xylitol, as in Zellie’s mints and gum, can promote this good bacteria and oral diversity.
At the same time that xylitol promotes these good bacteria in our mouths, it also helps to rid of the bad, harmful plaque and acid forming bacteria. All without damaging this delicate bacterial ecosystem. The harmful bacteria consume the xylitol but are not able to utilize it, so they become less “sticky” and unable to multiply. With regular xylitol use, the bad bacteria will easily be washed away.
By supporting these good bacteria and keeping the harmful bacteria at bay, xylitol is the ultimate ally in promoting oral health balance and overall health.
Another way xylitol is unique and specific is that it creates a hygroscopic effect in the mouth, meaning it pulls liquid to itself. When you put a Zellie’s mint or piece of gum in your mouth, the xylitol effectively stimulates our body’s own mineral-rich saliva to wash over our teeth. Saliva is nature’s way to naturally heal and protect our teeth.
This is why it is recommended to use Zellie’s after meals, drinks and snacks to wash away the damaging acidity produced every time we eat and drink. In addition, Zellie’s can be used throughout the day anytime your mouth feels dry to help protect and strengthen your teeth.
Why xylitol is different (& better!)
Xylitol has been studied rigorously for decades and widely used in many countries for oral health and as a health sugar.
Most of us are working hard to stay away from sugar and artificial sugars like aspartame, but xylitol stands apart as a unique and specific health sugar with attributes that should be embraced for all it can offer us for oral and general health.
Xylitol is naturally present in our body. We produce up to 15 grams of xylitol from other food sources using established energy pathways. Our body recognizes xylitol and knows how to use it. In addition, xylitol is a unique five-carbon (or pentose) sugar. It is often inaccurately confused with other “sugar alternatives” that are 6-carbon sugar alcohols. Xylitol’s unique structure and effects are so different from any other sugar out there.
Xylitol is low-calorie, has a low-glycemic index, and is a diabetic-safe sugar. It is widely used in Keto and other specific diets.
In addition to it’s oral health benefits, xylitol has been studied and used in other health-supportive ways:
- Preventively for osteoporosis
- To prevent catabolic muscle break-down - a benefit for athletes
- It works as a prebiotic fiber in our digestive tract, breaking down to form butyrate, which is an SCFA that benefits digestive health
Why we love it
We sweeten Zellie’s mints and gum with 100% xylitol and we put lots of this amazing ingredient in each piece. Using xylitol in a gum and mint form makes it easy and convenient to use in the way that works best for oral health – after meals, drinks and snacks. Xylitol works quickly and having it in the form of gum and mints helps to maximize its effects on saliva flow in the mouth.
Xylitol is nature's best kept secret for oral health! Xylitol's amazing dental health benefits are well recognized and have been studied for decades.
Learn about the Benefits of Xylitol