“Xylitol, a sugar substitute, raises the risk of cancer and heart attacks.”


“Xylitol, a sugar substitute, raises the risk of cancer and heart attacks.”

A recent study found a connection between high xylitol levels and certain cardiovascular issues, cancer, and other conditions.

Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic have reported that higher levels of xylitol, a form of sugar alcohol, are linked to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular events. Their study was published in the European Heart Journal.

The researchers discovered the connections in a clinical intervention study, preclinical research models, and a large-scale patient analysis.


Xylitol is a low-glycemic alternative to sugar that has fewer calories. Carbohydrates that aren’t really made of alcohol are called sugar alcohols.

Xylitol is found in trace levels in trees, fibrous fruits and vegetables, maize cobs, and human bodies. It is used as a sugar substitute because of its similar taste to sugar, but without the added calories.

Xylitol is present in a wide range of items, including toothpaste, gum, and sugar-free candies. Furthermore, it’s used in baking and as a sweetener.

Researchers found that a three-year increased risk of cardiovascular events was linked to high levels of circulating xylitol in a study involving over 3,000 participants from both Europe and the United States.

A third of the patients were shown to be at a higher risk of experiencing a cardiovascular incident if their plasma had the highest concentration of xylitol.

Medical News Today was informed by Dr. Bradley Serwer, chief medical officer and cardiologist at VitalSolution, a company that offers anesthesiology and cardiovascular services to hospitals around the country, that issues with sugar replacements have existed for over a century.

According to Serwer, saccharin was originally identified in 1879 and became widely used as a synthetic sweetener in the early 20th century.

The National Toxicology Program removed saccharin from its list of possible carcinogens in the early 2000s, allaying significant worries that the chemical could cause cancer in the 1970s, he added.

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