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Review
Published: 17-02-2022

Positioning on the Use of Polyols as Table Sweeteners

Department of Medicine, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, São Carlos, SP, Brazil
Department of Medicine from FAMERP, SP, Brazil / Department of Nutrology of Fac. de Medicina Fundação Padre Albino - FAMECA, SP, Brazil / Department of Nutrology at HSPE/IAMSPE/SP, Brazil / Department of Nutrology, Endocrinology and Clinical Medicine by CFM/AMB, Brazil
polyols xylitol erythritol sweeteners benefits

Abstract

Polyols are poorly digestible carbohydrates present in small amounts in some fruits and vegetables. Xylitol and erythritol are used as table sweeteners. These compounds are widely used in the food industry due to their low-calorie content. Erythritol is the only noncaloric polyol. Xylitol is the sweetest of the polyols, being the only one with sweetness equivalent to sucrose, but with one third of its calories. Clinical studies have shown reductions in the number of plaques, in counts of Streptococcus mutans, and in the number of dental cavities in individuals receiving erythritol and xylitol. Xylitol is also capable of reducing the growth and adherence to the oropharynx of bacteria that cause acute otitis media, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, and several studies have shown that it reduces the risk of this bacterial infection in children. In addition to these effects, polyols can also have beneficial effects on metabolism. Both erythritol and xylitol have been approved by the European Union for use as sweeteners for several years, and replacing sugar with polyols decreases caloric intake, which can reduce body weight and blood glucose in individuals with obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The safety of polyols is recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who classifies them as compounds generally recognized as safe (GRAS). Thus, based on available scientific data, the daily consumption of both substances is associated with several benefits and does not represent any risk to human health.

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How to Cite

Nogueira-de-Almeida, C. A., & Ribas Filho, D. (2022). Positioning on the Use of Polyols as Table Sweeteners. International Journal of Nutrology, 14(2), 71–80. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0041-1733907