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Amazing Benefits of Xylitol Chewing Gum

Updated on January 20, 2011

The media buzz surrounding xylitol`s health benefits have finally catapulted it into the mainstream. There has been solid science behind xylitol for decades but it has taken a while for people to warm up to the idea of ditching their old sweetener in North America.

Originally it was extracted from birch trees in Finland and promoted in Europe as a safe sugar alternative for diabetics. More recently the ability to prevent cavities by killing off harmful bacteria has been the focus of attention. Xylitol promotes good health in a number of ways and getting your daily dosage from chewing gum is just as effective as it is practical. Let`s take a look at the numerous benefits of chewing xylitol gum on a daily basis.

A little gum may save your teeth.
A little gum may save your teeth.

Healthier, Whiter Teeth

Everyone wants great looking teeth. Sadly improving your dental health can be elusive. As carefully as you follow your dentists instructions to brush and floss daily, it still isn`t enough. That is because the root cause of plaque is the excretions of malicious bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria feeds from food particles and sugars so that is why brushing is so important. Still, it doesn`t get at the underlying problem: a species called streptococcus mutans.

Xylitol plays a crafty trick on bad bacteria and as a result it dies off. Dental caries mistake xylitol as regular sugar but can`t live off it because of its carbon structure.

Keep Diabetes Risk at Bay

Nearly ten percent of Americans have some form of diabetes due to obesity and ultimately a poor diet. It is especially sad when you consider how unnecessary the suffering is. High-fructose corn syrup is found in nearly all processed foods and it is linked to the onset of type 2 diabetes. The problem is that it is incredibly cheap. Even more so than white granular sugar.

Xylitol tastes incredibly similar to run of the mill table sugar and yet it is far better for your health. It is absorbed more slowly by the body so it doesn`t cause a quick jump in insulin. Additionally, it has 40 percent less calories than sugar.

Osteoporosis

Typically as we age bone strength is weakened. When this phenomenon is more severe it is referred to as osteoporosis.

Finnish researchers found that xylitol not only prevents the weakening of bones but actually reverses the effects of osteoporosis. This often isn`t a main reason for people chewing xylitol gum but it is certainly a welcome side effect!

For Good Xylitol Gum: Read the Label

Products in the gum isle are now touting the addition of xylitol. Unfortunately offerings from Trident and Wrigley`s don`t contain enough of it to make a difference. Cheap solutions like sorbitol are still doing most of the sweetening. In fact, it seems major corporations put just enough xylitol in the product so they can make health claims.

Luckily there are gums made with 100% xylitol out there. At the moment small boutique operations like Spry and Zellies make the best xylitol gum. The flavour probably won`t last as long as Stride gum but this is a small price to pay for all the amazing health benefits.

Closing Remarks

Gum is a great way to get xylitol because exposing several small doses to your teeth per day is the most effective way to kill bacteria. Xylitol advocate Dr. Ellie Phillips recommends 6.5 grams a day. To meet this requirement you may want to pick up some granulated xylitol to supplement the gum.

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