Wellness/Prevention: Does Xylitol Prevent Tooth Decay?

Researchers have found that the available evidence on the effects of xylitol (a natural sugar substitute used in candy, gum, and toothpaste) is insufficient to prove it prevents tooth decay. The investigators found low-quality evidence that tooth decay was lower among children who used a fluoride toothpaste containing xylitol when compared with children who used a fluoride-only toothpaste. An analysis of the rest of the data covering other xylitol-containing products like xylitol syrup, lozenges, and tablets found little or no evidence the sugar substitute prevents tooth decay. The authors also highlighted the fact that several of the studies did not give sufficient information about xylitol’s side effects, such as bloating, diarrhea, and laxative effects. Cochrane Database Systematic Review, March 2015

Quote: “Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.” ~ Molière

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