Friday, December 15, 2006

Xylitol and Diabetes

Dear Dr. Ellie,

I am a 70 year old man with diabetes, and my granddaughter suggested I contact you about xylitol, can you give me some more information?

Robert in Albany, NY

Dear Robert,

Besides being good for your dental health, xylitol is an excellent sugar-replacement for diabetics. The main goals of diabetes management are the control of your blood glucose, your lipids and your weight. Xylitol is a low glycaemic sweetener, and is slowly absorbed and metabolized independently of insulin. Xylitol does not cause the dramatic increase in blood sugar level or serum insulin response and Xylitol can be used as a sugar-free sweetener for diabetics. Xylitol also has low calories per gram (2.4) and can help the diabetic with weight control. Xylitol can be purchased in "sugar" form for sweetening and cooking and can be bought as mints and gums.

Good luck, and as always when introducing new foods/sweeteners/medications, consult your primary care physician.

Dr. Ellie

8 comments:

Deborah said...

Dr ellie, On the subject of xylitol, i was going to try this, but debra on debraslist.com advised that this would spike your bloob sugar as it did for her. She is a doctor and enviromentalist. She told me that it is no good for diabetes. Can you comment?

Dr. Ellie said...

Here are facts.
Xylitol has a glycemic index of 7 which is very low - ( regular sugar has a glycemic index of 100 which is high and why it spikes blood sugar).

Xylitol was originally used for iv support of diabetics - those undergoing surgery - one hundred years ago.
This was long before its other uses were known!

Xylitol does not use the insulin pathway so it is safe for diabetics.
There is so much evidence of this - you can find this on any web search, but I would suggest you read this site, which has a lot of useful information (keep reading until you reach the part about "xylitol for athletes" - which also talks more about xylitol for diabetics.
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/xylitol.htm

I cannot help everyone - and if you trust everyone you will be confused.
Do your own research and make your own decision.
Do you think Debra may be confusing xylitol with something else?

Thanks for your comment,
Ellie

Sonbird said...

I have to agree with a previous comment that Xylitol is no good for diabetics. I am diabetic and tried Xylitol in coffee,iced green tea and water and found a very rapid and dangerous spike to my blood glucose level (as high as 22.4). I have since stopped using it.
It has the same effect that a cola or soda pop has.

Dr. Ellie said...

I know a number of diabetics who have really enjoyed this healthy choice as a sugar substitute.

Make sure you use high quality xylitol - today there are many strange "look alikes" some called Z-sugar etc. Be careful and use only the high grade xylitol from a reputable company.

In the early days xylitol was used as an IV solution for diabetics during surgery - because it has a glycemic index of 7 - which is very low.


Ellie

www.zellies.com
26 Corporate Woods
Rochester, NY 14623
(585) 272-1270

Sharon said...

Hi,

7.9% of the United States population is suffering from a form of Diabetes. That is over 23 million people! Now, more than ever, it is important for organizations such as yourself. We here, at Disease.com (a site dedicated towards disease and their treatments), believe in the work you do and would like to coincide for the fight against diabetes. If you could, please list us as a resource or host our social book mark button, it would be much appreciated. Separately, we can make advancements, but together we can find a cure.
If you need more information please email me back with the subject line as your URL.

Thank You,
Sharon Vegoe
Disease.com

Dr. Ellie said...

It is great that xylitol is diabetic friendly and so effective against dental diseases.
Xylitol has been shown to help prevent cavities and limit plaque which will help prevent periodontal disease.

There is so much research to link periodontal disease and insulin instability.
It would make sense for diabetic patients to enjoy the benefits of xylitol as a low calorie, healthful sugar alternative that may help prevent insulin instability.
Thanks for your message,

Ellie Phillips DDS
www.zellies.com
26 Corporate Woods
Rochester, NY 14623
(585) 272-1270

Anonymous said...

Can you give me a few recommendations as to reputable companies to buy good quality xylitol?

Thank you - Mary-Anne

Dr. Ellie said...

www.Zellies.com! ( of course: http://zellies.gostorego.com/mints-gum/granular-products.html)
There are other good companies that sell xylitol and I suggest you look in your local health food store and check their brands.
This product is heavy to ship - so you probably want one that you can purchase easily from a store near you.

Wegmans Grocery Stores in the North East area of US sells Zellies mints and gum, but they sell Xyla xylitol in the diabetic section of their Nature's Marketplace.
This is a good product - but you will have to search the shelves - because it is often hidden and moves around!

Take a picture of the selection that is offered in your local health food store - and I can take a look and perhaps advise you as to which one I would purchase and why.

Best wishes,
Ellie

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