Xylitol dosing for adults.

- This page provides an overview of the dosing levels evaluated by studies investigating the use of xylitol in reducing tooth decay rates in adults. It also provides a summary of these findings.


Research studies.

Since there are no formal dosing recommendations for the use of xylitol as a preventive for the formation of tooth decay, one must evaluate published research articles and draw conclusions from them.

Toward this type of review, we provide the table below. It's similar to that published by Makinen (2000) in his paper "The Rocky Road of Xylitol to its Clinical Application."

This paper documented the tribulations of dental health professionals over the years as they promoted the use of xylitol. It also detailed various dosing amounts that had been evaulated and the reduction in tooth decay rates that had been attributed to them.

Study Xylitol Intake
(grams per day)
Study Duration
(in years)
Tooth Decay
Isokangas (1988) 7 to 10 3 59 to 84%
Scheinin (1975) 6.7 1 >82%
Makinen (1996) up to 8.5 1.8 80%
Galiullin (1981) 30 2 73%
Makinen (1995) up to 10.7 3.3 up to 73%
Makinen (1996) up to 10.7 2 up to 65%
Kandelman (1988) up to 20 3 58 to 62%
Alanen (2000) 5 2 to 3 50 to 60
Isokangas (1988) 7 to 10 2 30 to 57%
Kandelman (1990) 1 to 3.9 1 to 2 52%
Scheinin (1985) 14 to 20 2 to 3 37 to 45%

What you need to know.

a) Beyond a certain point, more isn't better.

The table above shows that most studies (including those that reported the greatest anti-cavity effect) only dosed their subjects with moderate amounts of xylitol, typically on the order of 10 grams per day or less.

The existence of a dosing ceiling was confirmed by a study [Milgrom (2006)] that evaluated different xylitol doses in regard to their ability to create changes in the level of cariogenic bacteria (the types of bacteria that cause cavities) found in dental plaque and saliva. Its conclusions were that a plateau effect came into play where amounts exceeding 10.3 grams per day were not likely to increase effectiveness.

Granular xylitol.

2 tsp. of granular xylitol a day can help to prevent tooth decay.

Most adults only need about this much (2 tsp.) per day.

This study also concluded that doses of 3.5 grams or less per day were ineffective in producing changes in populations of these bacteria.

!! Overall, it suggested that an effective xylitol dosing for preventing tooth decay lay between 6.9 and 10.3 grams per day. That's on the order of about 2 tsp. per day (see picture).

b) Long-term consumption is well tolerated.

Take notice that each study listed above ran for at least one year and, at the other extreme, for as long as 3.3 years. This shows that the long-term consumption of xylitol (within the levels shown in the table) is easily tolerated and does not pose a health risk or create significant side effects.

c) Protection takes time to develop.

The time frames chosen for the above studies reflects the fact that the preventive effects created by xylitol consumption are not immediate. A person's regimen needs to be in place and continued for several consecutive months, and preferably a year, before it can be assumed that maximum anti-cavity protection exists.

Conclusions: Xylitol dosing for adults.

Based on the findings of the studies listed in the table above, for an adult, the following regimen would seem to be reasonable and expected to ultimately produce an optimal anti-cavity effect.

1) Six to ten grams per day.

2) Divided up into three to five doses throughout the day.

3) Continuation of this regimen for six months to a year before it can be assumed that maximum anti-cavity protection exists.



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