Thu. Sep 24th, 2020

BY DONNA WESTFALL

 

While vacationing in Santa Barbara a year ago, we stopped in at a children’s clothing boutique in downtown Montecito called Summer For Kids.  There I picked up a sheet about XYLITOL, listing it’s health benefits including reduction of dental cavities by up to 80% by easy removal of cavity causing bacteria.

Xylitol (pronounced Zi la tol), is found widely in nature extracted from a variety of fruits and vegetables and birch bark  and can be extracted from various berries, oats, and mushrooms.  The FDA confirmed it as a safe sweetener for foods in 1986.

I had heard of Xylitol as an ingredient in gum;, chewed the gum and thought it was just fine never realizing it’s overall health benefits. It’s safe for diabetics and can help reduce the amount of insulin required to regulate blood-sugar levels. While Xylitol is just as sweet as table sugar (sucrose), it has about 40% fewer calories and 75% fewer carbohydrates.

Background:  It was discovered by German and French chemists in the late 19th century.  Its dental significance was researched in Finland in the early 1970s, when scientists at Turku University showed it had significant dental benefits.

Xylitol also has potential as a treatment for osteoporosis. Studies have shown xylitol chewing gum can help prevent ear infections; the act of chewing and swallowing assists with the disposal of earwax and clearing the middle ear, while the presence of xylitol prevents the growth of bacteria in the eustachian tubes  which connect the nose and ear.

You can pick up Xylitol products such as SPRY gum at Harvest Natural Foods currently located at 265 L Street in Crescent City.  Harvest Natural Foods will be moving to a larger location soon.  Or, you can access information and order  products from www.drjohns.com ,a dentist, and his SimplyXylitol product line.

NOTE:  While Xylitol consumption is safe for people at 6 to 10 grams per day, it can be fatal to dogs!

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