Xylitol – The secret weapon against bacteria that cause cavities
Dr. John’s Candies recently introduced the ingredient of xylitol to its candies, completing a circle of sorts for the Michigan husband and wife dental team who have been serving up healthier alternatives to candy for almost 15 years.
“Dr. John” is, a dentist in Grand Rapids, MI. His wife, Debra, is a former dental hygienist. The word “former” is a little misleading since she left the couple’s dental practice to ensure that the flow of candy doesn’t stop, becoming the manager of the business. Since 1995, Dr. John’s Candies has been recognized for its sugar-free candies by a variety of organizations and news media,
Some questions from the show:
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a safe and delicious, naturally occurring sugar substitute that can help prevent cavities and plaque build-up. It is found in fruits, birch trees and corn husks. Our bodies normally produce about 15 grams of xylitol each day. Dr. John’s uses 100% USA Xylitol.
Who Can Use Xylitol?
Xylitol can be used by everyone — infants, children, adults and the elderly. Xylitol looks and tastes as sweet as sugar, but has 40% fewer calories, 75% fewer carbohydrates, and a much lower glycemic index (7), which makes it safe and beneficial for diabetics (on the advice of their physician) and everyone concerned with achieving and maintaining an ideal body weight.
What Are Some Benefits of Using Xylitol?
Numerous clinical studies have proven Xylitol effectively reduces dental caries by up to 80%, fights plaque, helps fluoride penetrate teeth, assists in the remineralization of damaged tooth enamel, and lessens the severity and occurrence of inner ear infections (especially in children).
Additionally, recent research shows Xylitol is a natural enemy of bacteria. Normally, when certain harmful bacteria enter the body, they attach to tooth surfaces and membranes of the nose and throat and cause infection as they begin to culture and grow. But when exposed to Xylitol some harmful bacteria lose their ability to adhere to surfaces, and Xylitol simply helps for harmful bacteria to be “washed away.”
What quantity and frequency of Xylitol consumption are recommended to achieve the following benefits?
You will want to consume 6 to 10 grams per day, divided into 3 to 5 doses, with consumption of each dose lasting approximately 5 minutes. Learn More about the SimplyXylitol® Plan.
The health benefits of Xylitol include the following:
- Possible reduction of dental cavities
- Easy removal of cavity causing bacteria
- Improvement of your oral health which has been shown to improve your overall health
- Possible reduction of cavities in children whose mothers consumed Xylitol when expectant or after delivery
- Possible reduction of ear infections up to 40%
- Prevention of white lines and swollen gums when wearing braces
How much Xylitol is in Dr. John’s SimplyXylitol® products?
Learn more about the SimplyXylitol® Plan.
How much Xylitol is in your Candies with Xylitol?
Each Dr. John’s Candies Xylitol lollipop, caramel, nougat and taffy contains approximately 1/2 gram of Xylitol. Each Xylitol Hard Candy disc contains approximately 1/4 gram of Xylitol.
Is Xylitol Safe?
Yes, Xylitol is safe for all ages as well as diabetics (on the advice of their physician). Our bodies normally produce about 15 grams of Xylitol per day. Most people, including children, should be able to consume up to 40 grams of Xylitol per day without GI upset, however some people are more sensitive to sugar alcohols. For those individuals, we recommend increasing Xylitol intake slowly as the body adjusts, working up to the optimal 6-10 grams per day. For dental health benefits, we suggest two grams of Xylitol per serving, 3-5 times per day.
Is Xylitol harmful to Pets (dogs)?
Yes! Do not allow your pets, especially dogs, to consume Xylitol or products that contain Xylitol. Reports that Xylitol may be toxic for dogs included cases where Xylitol consumption was in the range of 1/4 to 1 pound. Call your veterinarian should concerns arise.
In March 2008, ABC’s “Good Morning America” featured a cavity fighting
lollipop that you manufactured in cooperation with UCLA scientist, Dr. Wenyuan
Shi. Can you tell us about the Dr. John’s Herbal Lollipop and it’s effectiveness
against the bacteria that cause dental decay? What studies were done to
substantiate these claims? How does the herbal lollipop differ or compliment the
Xylitol products you manufacture? Can you use them at the same time?
10. How can Xylitol become more of a household item in the US and what ways can
the general public spread the word of it’s effectiveness?
Dr. John Bruinsma