Overall, erythritol appears to be very safe.Multiple studies on its toxicity and effects on metabolism have been performed in animals.Despite long-term feeding of high amounts of erythritol, no serious side effects have been detected.
There is one major caveat to most sugar alcohols — they can cause digestive issues.Due to their unique chemical structure, your body can’t digest them, and they pass unchanged through most of your digestive system, or until they reach the colon.
In the colon, they are fermented by the resident bacteria, which produce gas as a side product.Consequently, eating high amounts of sugar alcohols may cause bloating and digestive upset. In fact, they belong to a category of fiber known as FODMAPs.
However, erythritol is different than the other sugar alcohols. Most of it gets absorbed into the bloodstream before it reaches the colon.It circulates in the blood for a while, until it is eventually excreted unchanged in the urine. About 90% of erythritol is excreted this way.Although erythritol doesn’t have any serious side effects, eating high amounts may cause digestive upset, as explained in the next chapter.
All those diet soda and zero calorie products you see on store shelves? They contain non-nutritive sweeteners. “No added sugar” or “reduced-sugar” yogurts and coffee creamer. Non-nutritive sweeteners are very low in calories or contain no calories at all.
Sugar substitutes can be grouped into four categories.
Artificial sweeteners: Think the little pastel packets you often see at your table in restaurants. People use them to add sweetness to their drinks and sometimes put them on their food. Artificial sweeteners are also used in many processed foods and soft drinks. Examples of sugar substitutes approved by the FDA include acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, saccharin and sucralose.
Natural sweeteners: Think honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup. While they are promoted as “healthier options” over table sugar or other sugar substitutes, they do have a lot of calories. (Cue image of Buddy the Elf dousing spaghetti in maple syrup.) Of course, natural sugars do have a variety of uses in cooking at home and are often found in processed foods as “added sugars.”
Novel sweeteners: Stevia is the only novel sweetener approved by the FDA. Low in calories, yes. Some studies even say they can lower blood pressure. What's the catch? The way novel sweeteners are made (i.e. their formula) changes and can include other types of sugar substitutes.
Sugar alcohols (polyols): Technically not sugars, sugar alcohols are carbs that occur naturally in certain fruits and vegetables — although they can also be found in many processed foods. (And despite their name, these sugars are non-alcoholic.) Food labels may use the general term "sugar alcohol" or list the specific name, such as sorbitol. When eaten in large amounts, sugar alcohols can have a laxative effect.
Erythritol: 0 glycemic index, 5 grams of net carbs, only 20 calories per 100 grams. It’s a sugar alcohol so it passes right through the body. It’s also natural, affordable, versatile, and has about 70% the sweetness of sugar.
There are many myths surrounding sugar and cancer treatment. But what do cancer patients really need to know about sugar to make sure they’re getting the best diet during treatment?
We spoke with Erma Levy, a dietitian at MD Anderson, to find out.
Eating dessert won’t make your cancer spread
“Many people think that sugar will make your cancer spread, but that’s not technically true,” Levy says.
Every cell in your body uses sugar, and that includes cancer cells. But that doesn’t mean sugar will make your cancer spread.
“The danger in sugar is that it’s basically empty calories. It would be better to consume vitamins and nutrients that help your body stay strong during cancer treatment,” Levy says.
You don’t need to cut all sugar from your diet
Eliminating all sugar from your diet is difficult and unnecessary.
“You don’t need to take an all or nothing approach,” Levy says. “It’s best to consume no more than the recommended amount of sugar each day and to try to take in less sugar if you need to.”
The American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and nine teaspoons per day for men.
Levy says it’s more important to focus on consuming less added sugar than natural sugars, like those found in fruits and grains.
That’s because added sugar – which is found in drinks and processed or prepared foods -- can lead to unwanted weight gain, which can cause other health problems.
Artificial sweeteners aren’t necessarily healthy
Artificial sweeteners should be limited, Levy says. These synthetic sugar substitutes may contain zero calories, but that doesn’t mean they’re healthy.
They offer no nutritional benefit, and they could have negative health effects.
Some studies done in laboratory animals have found links between artificial sweeteners and cancer, but there’s no proof that they can cause cancer to develop or spread. Regardless, it’s best to avoid artificial sweeteners or consume them in moderation.
Natural sweeteners don’t offer as many benefits as you may think
Natural sweeteners like honey, dates, coconut sugar and maple syrup are often thought of as healthy alternatives to sugar. Yet the health benefits aren’t big enough to make a difference in your diet, Levy says.
“These natural sweeteners do contain some antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, but it’s really small amounts. They won’t have a big effect on your health,” Levy says.
“The most important thing for cancer patients is to limit the amount of sugar in your diet and focus on getting the nutrients you need to stay strong during treatment.”
Though erythritol is one of the newer sugar alcohols on the market -- xylitol and mannitol have been around longer -- researchers have done a number of studies of it in animals and humans. The World Health Organization (WHO) approved erythritol in 1999, and the FDA did the same in 2001.
It's also OK for people with diabetes. Erythritol has no effect on glucose or insulin levels. This makes it a safe sugar substitute if you have diabetes. Foods that contain erythritol may still contain carbohydrates, calories, and fat, so it's important to check the label.
Newer sweeteners, such as stevia (Truvia, Pure Via) have been approved as “generally recognized as safe” in the isolated chemical form. The FDA has not approved stevia leaves or "crude stevia extracts" for use as food additives. These sweeteners do not raise blood sugars, but since they are relatively new products, it is advised to use them in moderation. Some studies have shown negative effects on the kidneys.
When used in moderation and within Health Canada’s recommendations for acceptable daily intake (ADI), artificial sweeteners are considered safe for use in pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Aspartame should be avoided by people with an inherited genetic disorder called phenylketonuria. All products with aspartame are labeled that they contain phenylalanine so they can be avoided by those people.
Saccharin was previously thought to cause cancer, but scientific research has proven this theory incorrect. As such, saccharin has been approved for use in Canada.
Another artificial sweetener called cyclamate (Sugar Twin®, Sweet N’Low®, Weight Watchers Table Top Sweetener®) is only approved for sale as a non-food item and cannot be used as a food additive in Canada. It must be labeled with a cautionary statement ““this sweetener should be used only on the advice of a physician”. Cyclamate should NOT be consumed by a pregnant woman. It is currently banned for use in the United States. It is not clear if cyclamate is safe for use in women who are breastfeeding.
Erythritol is safe to consume in moderate amounts. It’s even safe to consume in high amounts - however, erythritol side effects can show up for some people when they consume this sweetener in excessive amounts. Erythritol side effects can include diarrhea, headache, and stomachache in some people, particularly when consumed in large doses.
We recommend you eat only a small amount of erythritol when you first try it. That way, you can screen out an allergy or negative reaction before it is serious. However, no serious allergies have been reported in relation to this alternative sweetener, so that’s unlikely to happen.
I’ll get into the details below, but I will start with the answer to the question above: YES, erythritol is considered to be safe for the human body and safe for fatty liver as well. As a result, you can safely consume it as a sugar substitute as long as you don’t consume more than 0.45 grams of erythritol per pound of body weight per day.
This means that a person with a weight of 150 pounds (around 69 kilograms) shouldn’t consume more than 5 tablespoons of erythritol per day. Which is a lot and you will surely consume a LOT less – maybe a teaspoon at most.
There were actually studies made in the past and there were no notable side effects noticed. However, erythritol, like all sugar alcohols, is not side-effect free. You can experience bloating or gas and it can have laxative effects if you consume a lot of it.
But unlike most sugar alcohols, this one has the smallest risk of side effects happening and those occur only if you consume a lot of it each day. Which you should never do anyway.
Erythritol is considered a solid sugar alternative and I always prefer to get foods sweetened with it whenever possible. Now, to get into the details and see why it is actually a good product for the fatty liver!
The main reasons are those we’ve already talked about: it has minimal calories, it won’t spike your sugar levels and it helps you keep the carbs intake as low as possible, while still being almost as sweet as sugar. In other words, you get all the benefits you normally get from sugar, without any of the cons.
For bulk erythritol powder, please contact us at email: email@example.com