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Tuesday, May. 19th 2015

Study Finds Very Weak Evidence that Xylitol Protects Teeth

A new study out of the United Kingdom has studied the supposed tooth decay prevention properties of xylitol.  For those of you who haven’t chewed gum in the last twenty years, xylitol is a sugar alcohol – a calorie-free sweetener made industrially from hardwoods and corn-cobs.  While it’s known to cause less tooth decay than sugar because it’s not a carbohydrate, there have been claims that xylitol actually prevents cavities by killing damaging bacteria.  However, the study does not support these claims.

This recent study was conducted by the University of Manchester in the UK
The research team’s plans were to collect and and analyze data from 10 previous studies about the effects of xylitol.
They planned to pool all the data together so it could treated like one big study.  However, this proved impossible, since the studies were structured so differently from each other.

However, analyzing the studies reveled something interesting: most products with xylitol don’t lead to better oral health, nor do they kill harmful bacteria.  Researchers were most surprised to learn that xylitol chewing gum produces no positive effects.

The only area where the team saw a slight improvement in oral health for xylitol users was in children using xylitol toothpaste.  For all other xylitol products, there is no evidence of the cavity-prevention claims.

Read more at medicalnewstoday.com

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