Erythritol May Be a Sweet Antioxidant

Erythritol May Be a Sweet Antioxidant
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The natural sweetener erythritol does not appear to carry the adverse effects associated with other non- and low-caloric natural and artificial sweeteners, and may actually have antioxidant potential.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

The only nontoxic, noncaloric, or low-calorie sweetener may be erythritol. For a while, it was only available in Japan. But now, it’s pretty much available anywhere.

It’s found naturally in pears and grapes. But industrially, we just have yeast make it for us. Doesn’t cause cavities, and hasn’t been implicated in fibromyalgia, preterm birth, headaches, hypertension, brain disorders, platelet disorders.

In videos in years past, I’ve talked about erythritol as being harmless. But, new data suggests I may have to change my tune. Now, it actually may be helpful. Adding to its role as a “low-calorie, tooth-friendly, bulk sweetener,” erythritol may be “a sweet antioxidant.”

This shows the dose-dependent protective effect of an increasing concentration of erythritol on the oxidative destruction of red blood cells. The reason they even looked for antioxidant activity is because it structurally looks like mannitol, a well-known antioxidant. The problem with mannitol and the other polyols (such as xylitol and sorbitol) is that they aren’t absorbed, and so can cause gastrointestinal symptoms lower down in the colon.

“Safety studies suggest that erythritol is well tolerated and shows no signs of toxicity. It is therefore an excellent sugar substitute [for example] for individuals with [diabetes]” because it can both replace sugar and maybe even help reduce free radical formation. Both are expected to reduce the onset and progression of painful and life-threatening diabetic complications.”

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Images thanks to Edgar181 and Su-no-G via Wikimedia; Anders Ljungberg via flickr; and Crunchy Betty.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

The only nontoxic, noncaloric, or low-calorie sweetener may be erythritol. For a while, it was only available in Japan. But now, it’s pretty much available anywhere.

It’s found naturally in pears and grapes. But industrially, we just have yeast make it for us. Doesn’t cause cavities, and hasn’t been implicated in fibromyalgia, preterm birth, headaches, hypertension, brain disorders, platelet disorders.

In videos in years past, I’ve talked about erythritol as being harmless. But, new data suggests I may have to change my tune. Now, it actually may be helpful. Adding to its role as a “low-calorie, tooth-friendly, bulk sweetener,” erythritol may be “a sweet antioxidant.”

This shows the dose-dependent protective effect of an increasing concentration of erythritol on the oxidative destruction of red blood cells. The reason they even looked for antioxidant activity is because it structurally looks like mannitol, a well-known antioxidant. The problem with mannitol and the other polyols (such as xylitol and sorbitol) is that they aren’t absorbed, and so can cause gastrointestinal symptoms lower down in the colon.

“Safety studies suggest that erythritol is well tolerated and shows no signs of toxicity. It is therefore an excellent sugar substitute [for example] for individuals with [diabetes]” because it can both replace sugar and maybe even help reduce free radical formation. Both are expected to reduce the onset and progression of painful and life-threatening diabetic complications.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

 

Images thanks to Edgar181 and Su-no-G via Wikimedia; Anders Ljungberg via flickr; and Crunchy Betty.

Doctor's Note

This is the third video in a series on sweeteners. See Aspartame-Induced Fibromyalgia, and also Diet Soda and Preterm Birth. Stevia is another natural sweetener that was launched in Japan, but it could have adverse effects at high doses; see Is Stevia Good For You? I previously addressed erythritol in A Harmless Artificial Sweetener—the too-good-to-be-true, nontoxic, low-calorie, tooth-friendly sweetener that may even act as an antioxidant. So, what’s the catch? I’ll close out this series with three videos that address a few possibilities: How Diet Soda Could Make Us Gain Weight; Neurobiology of Artificial Sweeteners; and Unsweetening the Diet.

For further context, check out my associated blog posts: Is There a Safe, Low-Calorie Sweetener?How to Gain Weight on Diet Soda; and Hibiscus Tea: The Best Beverage?

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