Guidelines for Xylitol Treatment
Unlike many sugar alternatives, xylitol is a very natural substance. Traditionally, it’s been extracted from birch bark, though these days it’s often taken from corn, and a small amount is present in a variety of fruits and vegetables.
But while xylitol shows promise, and it appears to be safe for therapeutic use, you could experience some uncomfortable side effects. Digestive discomforts are the most common, including:
- Loose stools
Xylitol contains sugar alcohols, and these compounds can draw water into the intestine, plus they’re also prone to fermentation by the bacteria in your digestive tract. Too much water in your intestines generally results in loose bowel movements or diarrhea, and fermentation is responsible for the painful bloating and gas you may feel.
Fortunately, most side effects can be avoided altogether by reducing your dosage. Adults should take in less than 50 grams of xylitol a day to reduce their chances of digestive distress. If you’re taking a xylitol supplement, be wary of sugar-free chewing gum and other sweet products that contain no sugar – xylitol is a popular sweetener, and you could be taking in more than you realize if you’ve been replacing refined sugars with low-calorie alternatives.
Choose Your Source
If you’re interested in trying xylitol for your bone health, consult your doctor to get their advice. You can take it in different forms, and your doctor may be able to recommend an appropriate method. If you suffer from dry mouth (a relatively common post-menopausal symptom that may come along with osteoporosis), chewing gum could be the most effective source for you.