Erythritol - a "good" and "safe" sugar alcohol?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 09, 2010 6:12 PM GMT
    What are thoughts about erythritol, an alcohol sugar?

    It is mentioned in this article:
    Low-calorie sweeteners or sugar alcohols—such as sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol, maltitol, lactitol, isomalt, and erythritol—contain fewer calories per gram than real sugars. You’ll find sugar alcohols in packaged foods (look for them in the ingredient list), but the body digests them poorly and they may cause a laxative effect, not to mention gas and bloating (fun!), if consumed in large amounts.

    Yet the wikipedia article states:
    erythritol is absorbed into the bloodstream in the small intestine, and then for the most part excreted unchanged in the urine. Because erythritol is normally absorbed before it enters the large intestine, it does not normally cause laxative effects as are often experienced after over-consumption of other sugar alcohols (such as xylitol and maltitol) and most people will consume erythritol with no side effects. This is a unique characteristic, as other sugar alcohols are not absorbed directly by the body in this manner, and consequently are more prone to causing gastric distress.
    erythritol is generally free of side-effects in regular use, but if consumed in very extreme quantities (sometimes encouraged by its almost non-caloric nature), effectively consuming it faster than one's body can absorb it, a laxative effect may result. The laxative response does not begin until the body's natural absorption threshold is crossed, which is the point at which more erythritol has been ingested than is found in reasonable servings of food products and is usually a larger amount than most people will eat in a single sitting. Erythritol, when compared with other sugar alcohols, is also much more difficult for intestinal bacteria to digest, so it is unlikely to cause gas or bloating [4], unlike maltitol, sorbitol, or lactitol. Allergic side effects can be itching with hives.

    So what's the story with this?

  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Apr 09, 2010 6:55 PM GMT
    I've never had any negative issues with xylitol or erythritol. I like the taste of xylitol more than I do erythritol. To me, it seems women have a more adverse effect with these sugar alcohols, especially cramping.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Apr 10, 2010 12:33 AM GMT
    THe one thing to remember is that if it's absorbed and excreted in your urine, it's being filtered by your kidneys. So if you have a kidney condition, be careful.

    Also, don't take Beano if your purpose is lowered calories, since Beano is an enzyme that makes the sugar digestible again.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 10, 2010 12:51 AM GMT
    Eat a whole bag of the chocolate. Your farts will tell you if they are good or bad.
  • jperfit

    Posts: 593

    Apr 10, 2010 6:27 AM GMT