Photo by Igor Stepanov on Unsplash

Is My Drink Plotting My Downfall? Xylitol Explained

Michael Hunter, MD
BeingWell
Published in
4 min readJun 18, 2024

--

I thought the story of scary bug-eyed fish with fiber-optic lights protruding from their foreheads would be my story of the week.

But then I saw scary headlines proclaiming that the sweetener xylitol — in the gum that I am chewing as I write — is linked to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and early death.

Here’s CNN:

“Common low-calorie sweetener linked to heart attack and stroke, study finds.”

The Washington Post offered this take:

“Sugar substitute xylitol linked to increased risk of heart attack, stroke.”

Photo by Katie Rainbow 🏳️‍🌈 on Unsplash

A recent study throws a wrench into the idea that sugar alcohols like xylitol and erythritol are universally healthy, natural sugar substitutes.

Before discussing the research findings, let’s briefly examine xylitol.

Sugar-Free Candy, Gum, Protein Bars & More

True story: I chewed on Xylitol-containing gum as I spied the striking headlines.

--

--

Michael Hunter, MD
BeingWell

I have degrees from Harvard, Yale, and Penn. I am a radiation oncologist in the Seattle area. You may find me regularly posting at www.newcancerinfo.com