Xylitol Candy – The candy that can’t cause tooth decay.
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Purpose and Use:
Xylitol is a natural sugar molecule found in small quantities in various fruits and vegetables including the bark of the birch trees, raspberries, strawberries, yellow plums , cauliflower and others. It is also a natural intermediate product which is formed during human glucose metabolism. Xylitol’s sweetening ability is similar to sugar (sucrose) and it is used as a sweetener in the food industry. It does not depend on insulin for metabolism but produces the same amount of energy, which is useful in diabetic foods.
Xylitol is used for the prevention of dental cavities (decay) and is the most effective sugar substitute for protecting teeth from decay. Xylitol is commonly used as a sweetener in sweets and chewing gum. Trials indicate that taking xylitol orally is safe to at least 90g per day.
Xylitol doesn’t kill the bacteria, it merely causes the bacteria to detach from the soft tissue (mucosal) wall, allowing the body to remove it with natural secretions, thereby down-regulating bacterial load.
Xylitol reduces the bacterial population significantly by interfering with energy and acid production, leaving the bacteria unable to adhere to each other or tissues. A side effect of xylitol chewing gum studies was a 40 percent reduction in ear infections. Laboratory studies using a five percent xylitol solution reduced adherence of Strep pneumonia to nasal cells by 68 percent and Haemophilus influenza by 50 percent. The osmolarity of xylitol reduces swelling and pulls water from the tissue to wash the area.
None known. Pregnancy and Breast Feeding: Considered safe to use during these times.
There are no known contraindications in interactions with this product. May cause slight laxative effect.
Xylitol used in a Nasal Spray:
Upper respiratory infections (URIs) are a common complaint heard by primary care physicians. After colonization in the nose, bacteria extend down the Eustachian canal causing ear infection, into the sinuses and can be aspirated causing bronchitis. The greatest use of antibiotics is for URIs and the overuse in these cases becomes the primary source of antibiotic resistance.
A runny nose is nature’s way of washing out bacteria and toxins. Antihistamines and decongestants stop the normal washing process and have led to a three-fold increase in problems. In 1990, in the USA, the cost of treating ear infections was $3.5 billion; in 1994, the cost for asthma treatments was $5.8 billion.
Clinical cases of a five-month-old, an eight-year-old, and a 42- year-old showed clinically significant reductions in URIs when an 11 percent xylitol nasal wash was used three to four times per day. Asthma was also reduced significantly.
Clinical Implications: Adding xylitol nasal-washing instructions to oral hygiene instructions might provide patients with additional preventive benefits.
Jones, A.: Intranasal Xylitol, Recurrent Otitis Meida, and Asthma: Report of Three Cases. Clin Pract of Alter Prac, 2: 112-117, 2001.
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