Why not xylitol rather than sucralose?


#1

Given that xylitol is digestible is small quantities and has some known health effects (dental health), why is it not used as the sweetening agent rather than sucralose?

Sucralose seems pretty contentious as an ingredient, as it has been implicated in insulin resistance due to changes in gut fauna. Xylitol may be a safer (or at least less controversial) alternative.


#2

I can’t speak to the current understanding of sucralose regardless of controversy, but Soylent has almost no sucralose.


#3

Yeah, they’re down to 15 mg of sucralose in 1.5. That’s about a 1/128 teaspoon. Per bag. The FDA’s ADI (acceptable daily intake) for sucralose is 5 mg per kg of body weight per day. So long as you weigh more than 6.6 pounds you should be just fine.

Xylitol is fine too, but it would mean a lot of changes to the formula. Sucralose is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar and isn’t digested at all; xylitol is about as sweet as sugar but has less calories per gram. So you’d be replacing 15 mg of sucralose (zero calories) with 5-15 g of xylitol (12-36 calories) and presumably tweaking other things to make it fit.

Xylitol is also toxic to dogs; I think at the amount of xylitol we’re considering, a serving or two of Soylent would possibly be fatal to small dogs and would even make a large dog sick. Caveat: I totally guesstimated the math in my head.


#4

Additionally, xylitol is the additive that chemically reacts with people’s humor center and colon, and causes symptoms like writing reviews of sugar-free products.


#5

Oh, right! For some reason I was thinking of erythritol, which doesn’t have that downside (except at larger doses). Yeah, xylitol is a bad idea for real food. I think my sugarfree gum has some and I’m alright with that usage.


#6

I have some xylitol gum in the house and it makes me overly nervous because of the dog; I keep it out of her reach, for sure.


#7

Is it this the kind of thing you were referring to?

Now, I don’t normally treat Amazon reviews as scientific evidence, but…this is enough to make me never ever want to see xylitol listed on Soylent’s ingredients…or on the ingredients of anything I eat, for that matter. I’ve never tried xylitol gum. A friend of mine was prescribed xylitol tablets by a doctor who couldn’t figure out a diagnosis for her and seemingly wanted her to leave him alone…can’t remember what the symptoms were but I advised her that artificial sweeteners wouldn’t help and she should find a new doctor.


#8

I didn’t dig deeply on this, but there are apparently actual medical uses for xylitol.


#9

I have heard of some scant evidence supporting medical uses of xylitol, but in absence of a diagnosis? It struck me as something like “Hmm…I don’t know what it is, but you obviously want drugs to fix it so I guess I can recommend some kind of placebo to make you happy”


#10

That is exactly what I was thinking! Like a sugar pill, but less obvious.


#11

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16708791

Sufficient evidence exists to support the use of xylitol to reduce caries.


#12

Yeah, for sure. It seems like a great decision to put it in chewing gum.


#13

That sounds more like a maltitol review. I’ve not heard of such awesome effects from xylitol, though I imagine if you used a large enough amount it could be troublesome. What product was that from?


#14

I’ve been using 8 grams of xylitol daily in my DIY for about 6 months now, following the recommandations of Dr. Ellie (link). I have always had bad teeths but last time I visited the dentist, he didn’t notice any cavities.

My anecdotal evidence does not prove that xylitol works, but it does not harm and it isn’t expensive… Plus, it tastes good.


#15

It’s from a Haribo Sugar Free Gummy Bears review, and they do contain maltitol.


#16

I thought it might be, I linked to those bears above as well.


#17

But why would you give Soylent to a dog anyway…? :?


#18

I never said I would. (I wouldn’t, if that wasn’t clear.)

Apparently dogs will eat food that is intended for humans, without concern to the shade it will cast on their moral character.

There is also the smaller issue of, even if there was a warning printed on the bag (which isn’t legally required, AFAIK), some people may not read it. Or they may read it once and forget.

Basically it’s another advantage for sucralose: xylitol is toxic to dogs; sucralose is not.


#19

Fair enough, but most dog owners google and are smart enough to keep things away from their dogs. I don’t think that should be the deciding factor for inclusion/exclusion of an ingredient…

Not that I’m a proponent of this xylitol stuff…


#20

People? My dog barely skims the small print on contracts and warranties. I guarantee you he won’t read a warning listed on food products. :dog: