Benefits of natural sweeteners
SUMMARY: Natural sugar substitutes have several health benefits, including lowering the risk of dental caries.
Posted: June 5, 2013
Are you confused about what sugar is good and bad for you? Don't worry, it's hard to keep up! Research shows that raw sugar isn't perfect, but it is better than chemically produced sweeteners that are completely unnatural. Xylitol has been praised for its many benefits for the mouth and body, and it can even help reduce the chances of dental caries, tooth decay and bad breath. Recent research has been released showing that another sweetener has similar benefits as xylitol.
Erythritol, is a noncariogenic, calorie-free sugar substitute that acts and tastes like a natural sweetener. Since 1994, it has been marketed with the brand name Zerose. Erythritol is a part of the same family as xylitol, and it is made naturally through fermentation. Currently, more than 60 countries sell the sweetener as a sugar-alternative.
The company that sold the sweetener wanted to compare the health benefits of the three polyols to one another and determine the effect each has on dental biofilm and Streptococcus mutans. Authors from the University of Tartu determined that both Erythritol and xyltiol had similar oral benefits, and significantly reduced levels of S. mutans and dental plaque.
Researchers initially studied 136 teenagers from two public high schools who were assigned to the control group or one of the three polyol groups. The individuals who were in the polyol groups received chewable tablets with seven grams of the designated polyol every day as well as the use of a dentifrice, or toothpaste, with that polyol, which they were expected to use twice-a-day.
"In past clinical trials using xylitol chewing gum, it was generally accepted that sugar substitution in combination with saliva stimulation was responsible for lowering the risk of caries," Peter Decock, nutrition and regulatory manager for Cargill, said. "We now understand that there may be important differences between how sugar substitutes affect the oral microbiota and dental health when used in candies."
Both xylitol and Erythritol have great benefits to reduce dental plaque build-up and prevent cavities. You can get these positive side effects with help from products like TheraBreath Icy Mint Oral Rinse. This oral rinse works to decrease odor that causes bad breath as well as increase saliva flow to help you avoid dry mouth. The added xylitol makes the product taste better and leaves your breath feeling fresh.