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Xylitol’s Effect on Tooth Decay Still Unproven

from, March 31, 2015

“…the review found that many of the studies did not sufficiently report xylitol’s side effects, which can include bloating, diarrhea, and laxative effects.”

sugarThere is limited evidence to show that xylitol is effective in preventing dental caries in children and adults, a new research review published in the Cochrane Library concluded. But a dental professor asserts that xylitol has many valuable properties that inhibit caries development.

Because xylitol has been touted as a way to prevent caries, researchers at the University of Manchester in the U.K. sought to examine the available evidence to determine its effectiveness and safety.

The reviewers evaluated 10 studies involving nearly 6,000 participants from 1946 to 2014 and compared xylitol-containing products, such as toothpaste, syrup, lozenges, candy, and tablets with control products. They found there is little high-quality evidence that xylitol is beneficial in the fight against caries, which affects about 90% of children and most adults worldwide (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, March 26, 2015, Issue 3).

“The evidence we identified did not allow us to make any robust conclusions about the effects of xylitol, and we were unable to prove any benefit in the natural sweetener for preventing tooth decay,” lead researcher Philip Riley, MPH, from the University of Manchester School of Dentistry, said in a statement.



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