In the ever-expanding universe of nutrition information today, the truth is hard to find, especially with much of the information being distributed on the internet. This is certainly the case when it comes to accurate and unbiased information about erythritol.
More and more food and beverage products contain erythritol and recent publications in the scientific literature shine a positive light on this ingredient. Our brand, Zsweet®, was the first grocery store brand to feature this naturally occurring ingredient way back in 2005. However, consumers might wonder, “Why should I trust any brand that uses this ingredient with its scientific name?”
Erythritol is a protective compound that our own body makes during times of stress. Erythritol has been found in developing embryos and circulates freely in our bloodstream. It acts as a stabilizer and antioxidant, among other functions.
Erythritol is found across a wide variety of foods and plants. Remarkably, certain organisms that come into contact with wild honey combs convert glucose in the honey into erythritol. This is good for bees and for those who consume honey, since erythritol protects our bodies from harmful effects of too much blood sugar.
Erythritol has the highest digestive and metabolic tolerance of any sugar replacement ingredient. While some consumers are very gut sensitive, this is a very low percentage of the population in the United States. This group generally has the same negative reactions whether they consume pure fructose, glucose, erythritol, or other foods and beverages. Humans have an approximately 3 times higher tolerance for erythritol compared to other sugar alcohols (polyols) and certain fibers. Consuming very small, daily doses of erythritol will train your body to tolerate it, even if you are hyper sensitive. However, some consumers may simply want to avoid substances that hydrate the intestines until they can improve gut health. Some may be truly allergic or intolerant to erythritol. However, it is important to establish that erythritol does NOT ferment in the intestine and human flora do not use it for food (No FODMAP).
Here are some compelling aspects of how erythritol functions in our bodies:
Consumption of erythritol…
1) Helps control blood sugar damage.
2) Slows the digestion of carbohydrates by inhibiting the enzyme that produces glucose (blood sugar) in the gut. This blunts the effects of sugar and carbohydrates on metabolism.
3) Turns on satiety (full) hormones and turns off appetite (hungry) hormones.
4) Acts as an antioxidant and protects blood vessels from injury by glucose (blood sugar).
Below you will find the most comprehensive and current references that support the truth about erythritol:
1. Erythritol functional roles in Oral and Systemic Health
Advances in Dental Research, (2018) Vol. 29(1) 104–109
2. Erythritol as sweetener-where from and where to?
Regnat et al
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, (2018) 102:587-595
3. Erythritol attenuates postprandial blood glucose by inhibiting α-glucosidase
Wen et al
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, (2018) Jan. 23 PDF online. (full citation pending)