How much xylitol do you need?

- A person's daily xylitol consumption needs to lie within a certain range. Consuming more serves no purpose, less will result in less-than-optimal protection. And, of course, suggested levels are different for children and adults. (The way you take your xylitol is important too.

 

Formal recommendations.

It's disappointing but there is no outstanding authority source that has made a formal recommendation in regard to what amount of xylitol should be considered an appropriate daily dosing for optimal anti-cavity protection.


Because of this short coming, one must evaluate research articles and draw a conclusion from them. Towards this type of review, we've collected information and present it on the following pages.

The other things you need to know.

From the above pages, it should be easy enough for you to determine what level of intake is appropriate for both you and the members of your family.

Beyond this, however, there are a few additional points you need to understand before formulating your regimen. Please take the time to read the remainder of this page so your use of xylitol will be as effective, and uneventful, as possible.

a) Xylitol consumption should be spread out throughout the day.

Research has shown that xylitol produces its maximum benefit when its consumption is divided up into multiple doses spread throughout the day. This type of regimen maximizes the total amount of time the bacteria it affects are exposed to it.

Milgrom (2006) compared the effects of different daily regimens on cariogenic bacteria (the types of bacteria that cause tooth decay). All study participants received the same total quantity of xylitol but broken up into two, three, or four administrations throughout the day. Of these, it was found that the four-dose regimen created the greatest effect.

Milgrom (2006) also compared different daily regimens in regard to the level of anti-cavity protection they created. With each regimen, all study participants received the same total quantity of xylitol although broken up into two, three, or four administrations throughout the day. Of these, it was found that the four-dose regimen provided the greatest benefit.


b) Larger amounts do not create a greater level of protection.

Beyond a certain quantity, consuming yet larger amounts of xylitol will not create a higher degree of anti-cavity protection. Instead, it simply places the person at greater risk for experiencing gastrointestinal side effects.

This plateau effect is revealed by comparing the results of two early xylitol studies carried out in Finland in the 1970's. One of these studies evaluated a consumption level on the order of 67 grams per day whereas the other evaluated a 6.7 gram-per-day exposure. Despite this tenfold difference in consumption, both studies reported a similar reduction in tooth decay rates (on the order of 80 to 85 percent).

c) Side effects are usually dose related.

If a person experiences any type of side effects, they will most likely be gastrointestinal in nature. Diarrhea, flatulence, nausea or stomach cramps, all minor in nature, are the most common. When encountered, a person can usually remedy their problems by reducing their total-daily or per-serving xylitol consumption.

In most cases, the side effects that a person notices will be, at most, just a minor nuisance. However, when initiating xylitol usage, it makes sense to start out with a relatively lower dosing first. Then, over time (1 week or more), edge it up to the point needed for optimal anti-cavity protection. This method may be especially beneficial for young children.

d) It takes time for xylitol's protection to develop.

Optimal anti-cavity effects are not realized immediately. It takes time for xylitol to have its effect on the bacteria that cause cavities. An appropriate regimen needs to have been in place for at least six months, and preferably a year, before maximum cavity-prevention effects can be assumed to exist.


 
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Input from site visitors.

My tip.

In my case, more isn't better. At least not in terms of per dose. I have to break my daily amount into many small doses. As long as I do this, all is fine. I lke xylitol.

How many doses.

How many doses should one divide their amount into?

If you're worried about

If you're worried about gastrointestinal problems, try just sprinkling xylitol into and on to the foods and beverages you consume throughout the length of your entire day.

That way, you both lower your chances for side effects and maximize the number of hours per day there is an exposure of xylitol in your mouth.

clarification

I get that more exposures yields the best result but I am unclear if the dose is 1 gram is for each exposure or can be divided by that number of exposures. I am considering using 1/4 tsp xylitol directly in the mouth and "swishing" with saliva.... thoughts?

Right Lin,

You're looking for a cross between spread-out doses during the day, with each exposure lasting as long as possible.

I went back and looked at a couple of papers. One specifically stated that the xylitol should be spread out into at least 3 daily dosings to be effective. And then, several studies seemed to be using a regimen of 5 dosings per day.

Your idea of eight 1/4th tsp (or possibly six 1/3rd tsp) doses per day would be fine. (Assuming you are adult-sized.)

Your idea of just direct consumption of granules seems reasonable enough (and likely the most cost-effective way to do things).

A benefit comes from how long the xylitol remains in your mouth (and therefore available to the bacteria it has an effect on). So let the granules dissolve. Swish things some. Spit out or swallow when you're ready (what you swallow provides no benefit toward cavity reduction). Don't rinse out with water afterward. Let the xylitol linger in your mouth as long as possible.

xylitol powder vs gum

Hi there, I have a bag of xylitol powder and just take about half a teaspoon after meals and swish round my mouth for 3-5 mins then spit out. I am looking into buying chewing gum or mints to take instead but these are unbelievably expensive compared to a bag of powder, so in essence I guess I am asking if it is really worth paying for expensive gums/mints? or will I be getting the same benefits from using the powder only in my mouth? Thanks for any thoughts

Right Mark,

It only comes down to two issues:
1) The dosing level (amount of xylitol)
2) The dosing exposure (how often/long the bacteria have the xylitol available to them).

What you're doing sounds great.

I noticed you stated "... then spit out" (the better choice), as opposed to spitting out and then rinsing, which would more quickly dilute the residual xylitol remaining in your mouth.

The two advantages that gum or mints might offer are:
1) The xylitol dosing might be spread out over a longer time frame (assuming you would have the item in your mouth longer than 3 to 5 min). This might allow for a greater exposure of xylitol to a larger number of bacteria (our conjecture).
2) When something (like gum or a mint) is in your mouth it increases your flow of saliva, which has it's own buffering and diluting effects on the cavity-causing acids produced by oral bacteria. So, if you would chew for extended periods of time, there might be some advantage to gum.

For all practical purposes however, what you're doing sounds like a good, as well as cost-effective, choice.

Xylitol Sources - need to know!

This article makes some good points, but is lacking a significant side of xylitol, in my opinion. I say that because that's what I'm trying to find out about the most. I thought all xylitol was processed from birch wood, but recently I found out many manufacturers use corn as a source of xylitol. I find this alarming because I'm aware the majority of corn produced in this country is genetically modified. As Tom Philpott who is the food and ag correspondent for Mother Jones reported, "Bayer's neonicotinoid pesticides, which now coat upwards of 90 percent of US corn seeds and seeds of increasing portions of other major crops like soy, have emerged as a likely trigger for [killing bees]." If food manufacturers of my "xylitol" gum, mints and toothpaste are sourcing their xylitol from corn, I'll find another product! This article has a section called "xylitol sources" but only discusses labeling, not how to find the sources of xylitol. I'm disappointed.

KL,

This website is about the usage of xylitol in preventing tooth decay. In light of the fact that it discusses the use of multiple types of products to create a proper daily dosing level, labeling a section "xylitol sources" doesn't seem that unreasonable.

If not using GMO products is important to you, the easiest way to avoid them would be via the use of granulated xylitol as your sole xylitol source. We did a Google search and it listed these brands as some sources for non-GMO bulk granular xylitol: Xlear, Epic, Swanson, Xyla, Smart Sweet. (We confirmed this information by visiting each company's website.)

xxxxxxxxxx mouthwash

Ingredients xxxxxxxxxx Mouthwash Classic
Aqua, Glycerin, Hudrogenated starch hydrolysate, xylitol, steareth-30, sodium benzoate, citric acid, amyloglucosidase, sodium hydroxide, allantoin, glucose oxidase, aroma, zinc gluconate, sodium fluoride, potassium thiocyanate, calcium citrate, lactoperoxidase, limonene, Cl 42051

They do not mention % of xylitol

What is your oppinion of the possible % ?

Thank you
Zarko

Zarko

We're not even going to wager a guess. This should be a great opportunity for you to get the specific information you need, and simultaneously let a company know that more is expected of them.

We're assuming you like this mouthwash for other reasons other than just its xylitol content. (If not, why not just make your own rinse?) So if you can't find further information just consider it an adjunct, and extra one or two exposures of (some amount) xylitol per day.

Since you don't swallow it, whatever its concentration is using it won't tip you over into levels where xylitol may cause systemic side effects. The bacteria in your mouth may technically be getting more exposure than is needed, but if you spit it out it won't cause any harm to you.

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