NEWS: This superfood is now available in the SANEStore as a convenient whole-food powder so you can more easily enjoy it in smoothies and recipes.
Erythritol is a polyol which is another name for sugar alcohol (a type of sugar substitute) which has been approved for use in the United States and throughout much of the world. It occurs naturally in mushrooms, fermented foods, and various fruits, such as grapes, melons and pears, and it is also found in supplement form as a crystalline powder. It was discovered in 1848 by British chemist John Stenhouse but has been part of the human diet for thousands of years due to its presence in fruits and other foods. It is about 80% as sweet as table sugar yet it is almost non-caloric; does not affect blood sugar, does not cause tooth decay and is absorbed in the small intestine and rapidly eliminated by the body within 24 hours. Laxative side effects sometimes associated with excessive polyol consumption are unlikely when consuming Erythritol.
Erythritol has been certified as tooth-friendly. The sugar alcohol cannot be metabolized by oral bacteria, and so does not contribute to tooth decay. Interestingly, erythritol exhibits some, but not all, of xylitol’s tendency to “starve” harmful bacteria. Unlike xylitol, erythritol is actually absorbed into the bloodstream after consumption but before excretion.
A new study from The Netherlands says erythritol may exert a strong antioxidant activity which may protect vascular health of diabetics.
The study with diabetic rats found that the sweetener could protect the cells lining the blood vessels from oxidative stress, a key process in the development of heart disease, according to findings from researchers from Maastricht University and Tate & Lyle.
- Clean taste like regular sugar (about 80% as sweet as sugar) without the negative effects
- Does not promote tooth decay
- Zero calorie
- Safe for people with diabetes (0 on the glycemic scale)
- Clean sweet taste with no aftertaste
- Low laxative effect
- Possibly reducing the glycemic impact of a food/beverage, thereby reducing the effects of hyperglycemia-induced free radical formation
- Protecting the cells lining the blood vessels from oxidative stress
1. FDA/CFSAN: Agency Response Letter: GRAS Notice No. GRN 000076
2. The discovery of erythritol, which Stenhouse called “erythroglucin”, was announced in: Stenhouse, John (January 1, 1848). “Examination of the proximate principles of some of the lichens”. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 138: 63–89; see especially p. 76.
3. Shindou, T., Sasaki, Y., Miki, H., Eguchi, T., Hagiwara, K., Ichikawa, T. (1988). “Determination of erythritol in fermented foods by high performance liquid chromatography”. Shokuhin Eiseigaku Zasshi 29 (6): 419–422.
5. Arrigoni, E.; Brouns, F.; Amadò, R. (Nov 2005). “Human gut microbiota does not ferment erythritol.”. Br J Nutr 94 (5): 643–6. PMID 16277764.
6. Munro IC, Berndt WO, Borzelleca JF, et al. (December 1998). “Erythritol: an interpretive summary of biochemical, metabolic, toxicological and clinical data”. Food Chem. Toxicol. 36 (12): 1139–74. doi:10.1016/S0278-6915(98)00091-X. PMID 9862657.
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9. Arrigoni E, Brouns F, Amadò R (November 2005). “Human gut microbiota does not ferment erythritol”. Br. J. Nutr. 94 (5): 643–6. PMID 16277764.
10. Wohlfarth, Christian (2006). CRC handbook of enthalpy data of polymer-solvent systems. CRC/Taylor & Francis. pp. 3–. ISBN 978-0-8493-9361-7.
11. Jasra,R.V.; Ahluwalia, J.C. 1982. Enthalpies of Solution, Partial Molal Heat Capacities and Apparent Molal Volumes of Sugars and Polyols in Water. Journal of Solution Chemistry, 11 ( 5): 325-338. Template:ISSN 1572-8927
12. Kawanabe J, Hirasawa M, Takeuchi T, Oda T, Ikeda T (1992). “Noncariogenicity of erythritol as a substrate”. Caries Res. 26 (5): 358–62. PMID 1468100.