How does Xylitol work?
Xylitol tastes sweet but, unlike sugar, it is not converted in the mouth to acids that cause tooth decay. It reduces levels of decay-causing bacteria in saliva and also acts against some bacteria that cause ear infections.
Are there safety concerns?
Xylitol is safe in the amounts found in foods. It seems safe as a medicine for most adults in amounts up to about 50 grams per day. Avoid higher doses. There is some concern that extremely high doses for long periods of time (more than three years) can cause tumors. Xylitol can cause diarrhea
and intestinal gas
. It is probably safe for children as a medicine in amounts up to 20 grams per day.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
: Not enough is known about the use of xylitol during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Dosing considerations for Xylitol.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
APPLIED TO THE SKIN
- For reducing the risk of ear infections in preschoolers: total daily doses of 8.4 to 10 grams of xylitol in chewing gum, lozenges, or syrup given in five divided doses after meals.
- For prevention of cavities in adults and children, a wide range of doses has been used. Typically, doses are from 7 to 20 grams per day divided into three to five doses, usually given as candies or chewing gum that contact the gums.