Can Sugar Alcohol Cause Diarrhea?

Sugar alcohols, unfortunately, have certain drawbacks. When sugar alcohols are used in large quantities, the most typical negative effects include bloating and diarrhea.

How long does diarrhea from sugar alcohol last?

(5) A two-year study of the Soviet Union. As previously stated, following the completion of the Turku Sugar Studies, Galiullin published a research in 1981 that provided the first confirming clinical proof of xylitol’s caries-limiting properties. In this two-year study, children aged 8 to 14 were given 30 grams of xylitol each day in the form of candies. In the control group, 60 g of sucrose was given in the form of identical candies. The goal for the xylitol group was to replace half of their daily sugar intake. The study looked at anthropometric, pulmonary, otolaryngeal, rheumatologic, endocrinologic, and metabolic parameters of the individuals in addition to dental caries results (which revealed xylitol reduced caries incidence by roughly 70% compared to sucrose). Apart from significantly lower caries incidence in the xylitol group, the children’s full physical examinations indicated no differences between the xylitol and control groups. In addition, there were no differences between the groups when it came to recording bowel movements.

Xylitol users who have been using it for a long time. In 1977, a study of 11 people with diarrhea who had been using xylitol for 3.2 to 4.5 years was published. Four of the subjects had also taken part in the xylitol loading test stated earlier. Three of the 11 youngsters had been using xylitol throughout the majority of their lives. They were 1.4, 2.6, and 12.1 years old when they started the program. Six adults in this group had also taken part in the two-year Turku Sugar Studies (1972–1974), which involved a daily xylitol consumption of 67 g in the form of varied xylitol products on average. The six subjects ingested xylitol everyday for the next 2.5 years after the feeding research ended, usually in the form of chewing gum, troches, and chocolate, at consumption amounts ranging from 1.4 kilogram per year to 11 kg per year. During 1972–1974, two more adults in the 11-subject group used a total of 58 kg and 24.8 kg of xylitol, respectively, and 19.0 kg and 22 kg during the next 2.5 years (the 2.5-year figures resulted mostly from the use of confectioneries). No participant reported diarrhea over the whole trial period, according to detailed paper diary and questionnaire results (the children’s data was based on parental supervision). The absence of gastrointestinal issues was observed in the two youngest children. During their 3.3- or 4.5-year engagement, their average daily xylitol intake ranged from 3 to 7.

(12) WHO Research. Institutionalized 6- to 11-year-old hearing- and sight-impaired children or orphans (n = 278) received 14–20 g of xylitol daily over a three-year period in a collaborative Hungarian World Health Organization xylitol field trial conducted in the early 1980s. There were no issues with the reported frequency of laxation or perhaps accompanying stomach discomfort during the study’s whole duration.

Oral Xylitol in Adults in the United States. Twelve healthy adult individuals were given xylitol in gradually increasing daily doses, ranging from 30 g in three doses to 100 g in two doses, as well as a controlled diet. Diarrhea was experienced by all of the participants in a dose-dependent manner. One participant was unable to tolerate doses more than 20 g, whereas 11 others were able to endure daily doses of up to 100 g. The majority of the subjects showed signs of adaptation. “Oral xylitol in combination with a regular American diet imposes no adverse effects other than gastrointestinal intolerance, as seen in West Germany and Scandinavian nations,” the scientists found.

(14) Xylitol and Lactitol Metabolic Responses After a 10- to 12-hour fast, eight healthy, nonobese male individuals with an average age of 25 years were studied. Within 2-3 minutes, the patients drank either 25 g glucose, 25 g xylitol, or 26.25 g lactitol monohydrate in 250 mL water. During the trial, none of the participants experienced abdominal pain or diarrhea.

(15) Seattle Research. In xylitol feeding tests in young children aged 3 to 6 years, Lam’s team at the University of Washington employed xylitol-containing meals. Popsicles, puddings, gum drops, gelatin dessert, pastries, and popcorn were among the treats. The amount of xylitol provided to the children on a tray of xylitol meals was up to 2.4 g per episode; this experiment was not a loading test, rather it examined children’s acceptance of xylitol-based foods. Children generally tolerated these snack foods well. Xylitol-containing milk was favorably received by 4- to 7-year-old youngsters in another study.

Study of South Korea (16). 123 5-year-old children were placed into three groups of similar size in a kindergarten study conducted in South Korea in 2002-2003. Two of the groups were given 4.5 to 5.0 g of xylitol or xylitol in the form of chewing gum.

Is sugar alcohol a laxative?

When you eat meals high in sugar alcohol, you can still gain weight, especially if you eat them in excess. They’re low in calories and carbs, but they’re not completely free of them.

Sugar alcohols tend to have a laxative effect

Children and persons with irritable bowel syndrome are more likely to experience this impact (IBS). Sugar alcohols can stay in the intestines and ferment instead of being absorbed in the stomach. Some varieties are even prescribed by doctors as laxatives.

How can you tell if a food contains sugar alcohols?

Sugar alcohol is known by a variety of names, much as sugar is known by a variety of words on food labels. Here’s what you’ll receive if you see one of these things on a shelf:

  • Xylitol, which is commonly used in gum, has a sweetness similar to sugar. Wheat straw and other cereals contain it. Corncobs are used in the production of this food.
  • Erythritol has a sweetness of 60 to 80 percent that of sugar. It’s found in pears, soy sauce, and watermelon, among other things. Corn fermentation is used to manufacture it.
  • Mannitol has a sweetness level of 50 to 70 percent that of sugar. Carrots, olives, and asparagus all contain it naturally. It is made from seaweed by manufacturers.
  • Sorbitol is half the sweetness of sugar. It’s found in apples and pears, of course. Corn syrup is used by food manufacturers to make it.
  • Lactitol accounts for around 40% of sugar’s sweetness. It is made from milk by manufacturers.
  • The sweetness of hydrogenated starch hydrolysates varies between 40% and 90% that of sugar. Manufacturers make these by combining various sugar alcohols.

In addition to reading the ingredients on food labels, Bissell believes you can spot sugar alcohol-containing products by looking for:

Bottom line: As with other foods, it’s recommended to consume sugar alcohol-containing goods in moderation. However, if you are aware of the negative consequences of sugar alcohol, it can help you cut your carbohydrate intake when consumed as part of a healthy diet.

What happens if you eat too much sugar alcohol?

Sugar alcohols are poorly absorbed by the small intestine, resulting in fewer calories entering the body. However, because sugar alcohols are not entirely absorbed, eating too much of them might produce gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Foods containing mannitol or sorbitol have a warning on the packaging that eating too much of them will cause them to act as a laxative.

Why does sugar alcohol upset my stomach?

As we talked more, she learned she had started chewing sugar-free gum around the same time her stomach pains began.

I advised that she cut off the sugar-free gum and let me know how it went before we continued talking.

Sure enough, she reached back a few days later to say her stomach problem was completely gone.

I used to chew gum all the time in college and my early twenties. It was weirdly addictive, so I kept a pack in my handbag or backpack at all times. I chewed gum throughout class, after meals, before going out, at my desk job, and everywhere else.

Sharp discomfort and bloating that, like my client’s, got worse as the day progressed.

It didn’t happen every day, and it wasn’t particularly bad, but it began to happen more frequently when I was in my early twenties, to the point where I felt compelled to take action.

I was browsing the internet one day when I came across an article stating that sugar-free gum can cause stomach ache and bloating in some people.

I had always assumed it was because of what I was eating, that I was either eating too much or the wrong things.

I decided I had nothing to lose, so I went cold turkey on sugar-free gum that day.

Years later, while studying to become a dietitian, I figured out WHY the sugar-free gum was making my stomach suffer so much.

Sugar-free gum, in particular, can induce stomach pain for two main reasons. The first is that chewing gum causes you to swallow a lot of air.

If a product is labeled sugar-free, whether it’s gum or anything else, it usually indicates it’s made with artificial sweeteners or natural low- or no-calorie sweeteners. In the case of sugar-free gum, sugar alcohols are generally present.

Sugar alcohols, a type of carbohydrate that is difficult to digest, are a typical cause of stomach distress, especially when ingested in large quantities.

Looking for the âol ending on an ingredient list is the easiest way to spot sugar alcohols. Not all sugar alcohols finish in âol, but the majority do.

Xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol, maltitol, and erythritol are some of the most prevalent sugar alcohols that you’ll probably recognize from packets.

They contain less calories and do not generate as much of a blood sugar rise and consequent insulin response as ordinary sugar because they are absorbed slowly and incompletely in the body.

Second, dentists prefer sugar alcohols to conventional sugar because germs in the mouth do not react to them, implying that sugar alcohols do not lead to tooth decay or cavities. Oral microorganisms have been reported to be inhibited by xylitol in particular.

Sugar alcohols cause stomach problems because they are poorly absorbed and metabolized by the body.

The sugar alcohols will enter the bloodstream in some cases, but the vast majority will pass through the intestines unabsorbed.

The sugar alcohol will meet bacteria in the intestinal tract, which will ferment it, releasing gas, causing bloating, cramps, pain, and/or diarrhea. It’s comparable to what happens when a lactose intolerant person consumes lactose-containing foods.

Stomach pain/bloating and GI disorders can arise for a variety of causes, so if you’re experiencing similar symptoms, it could be something else entirely.

That said, I’ve been intending to write about this for a while because I felt it could be useful to some of you.

If you’re having stomach problems and you’re consuming a lot of sugar-free items, gum included, consider eliminating them to see if it helps. Isn’t there anything to lose?

Sugar alcohols are commonly found in sugar-free confectionery, frozen desserts, chocolate, diet/low-calorie packaged food, and baked goods, in addition to sugar-free gum.

Sugar alcohols can also be found in mouthwash, toothpaste, and multivitamins, but the concentrations are rarely high enough to create problems.

What are artificial sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners can be used to sweeten foods and beverages instead of sugar. You can use them in beverages such as coffee or iced tea. They can also be found in a variety of grocery shop goods. Chemicals and natural substances are used to make these sweeteners, often known as sugar replacements.

When compared to sugar, sugar substitutes have very few calories. Some foods are calorie-free. Many people use sugar substitutes to cut down on their sugar intake. They may be reducing sweets in order to decrease weight, control blood sugar, or avoid tooth decay.

  • Acesulfame K is a kind of acesulfame that is (Sunett). In diet soft drinks, it’s frequently coupled with saccharin.
  • Stevia is a plant that is used to sweet (Truvia, PureVia, SweetLeaf). Stevia is a herb that is used to sweeten dishes and beverages.

Diet foods and drinks are also sweetened with sugar alcohols. Mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol are examples of plant-based products. Sugar alcohols can cause diarrhea and bloating if consumed in excess.

In 2014, the FDA authorized a novel sugar substitute called advantame. Aspartame and vanillin are used to make it. However, it is approximately 100 times sweeter than aspartame.

If you’re trying to reduce weight, remember that a food can be sugar-free but still have calories.

Is sugar alcohol actually alcohol?

When we go grocery shopping, many of us look for the healthiest snack, opting for items that are “sugar-free” or “no sugar added.” However, while looking at the back of the package, you’ll often see the word “sugar alcohol” mentioned as an ingredient. But what is sugar alcohol, exactly?

What is it?

Sugar alcohol is a low-calorie sweetener that can be found in chewing gums, protein bars, puddings, and other products. Despite the fact that “alcohol” is in the name, sugar alcohol does not include the ethanol present in alcoholic beverages.

While sugar alcohols are found naturally in some fruits and vegetables, the majority of sugar alcohols are manufactured industrially from other sugars, such as the glucose in cornstarch. Mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, isomalt, and maltitol are examples of sugar alcohols.

What does it taste like?

Sugar alcohol, although being a carbohydrate, has a molecular structure that is comparable to sugar, allowing it to stimulate the sweet taste receptors on the tongue. Most sugar alcohols, on the other hand, are less sweet than sugar.

Is it good for you?

Sugar alcohol is becoming more popular as a sugar substitute due to the fact that it has fewer calories than sugar. Sugar alcohols, unlike sugar, do not induce tooth decay or create a spike in blood glucose levels.

Sugar alcohols, on the other hand, are poorly absorbed in the body and may even have a minor laxative impact if ingested in excess. It’s also vital to always read the nutrition facts on the label when choosing items containing low-calorie sweeteners. While something may have less sugar, it may still have a lot of carbohydrates, calories, and fat.

How many grams of sugar alcohols can you have a day?

Moderate dosages of 10–15 grams per day are commonly tolerated, according to current standards. To avoid symptoms, sensitive people may need to avoid sugar alcohols, especially sorbitol and maltitol, or minimize their intake ( 3 , 9 , 10 ).

How long does diarrhea from sugar free candy last?

Sugar alcohols have the advantage of helping you cut down on sugar in your diet while also not causing tooth decay, unlike sugar.

Because sugar alcohols are not entirely absorbed by the body and are digested by bacteria in the large intestine, they can induce gas, bloating, and diarrhea. As a result, the United States Food and Drug Administration requires that products containing 50 grams (almost two ounces) of the sugar alcohol sorbitol or 20 grams (about 0.7 ounces) of the sugar alcohol mannitol bear the following warning: “Excess consumption may have a laxative effect.” Another issue is that sugar alcohols are not calorie-free, thus eating a lot of foods that contain them can lead to weight gain.

  • Mannitol is a food additive made from seaweed; it can also be found in pineapples, olives, asparagus, sweet potatoes, and carrots. It’s 50-70 percent sweeter than sugar. Mannitol can cause bloating and diarrhea because it stays in the intestines for a long time after consumption.
  • Sorbitol: Found naturally in many fruits and vegetables and synthesized from corn syrup, sorbitol is commonly used in sugar-free gum and sweets. It is less likely to produce diarrhea than mannitol, but it can be consumed in excess of 50 grams (1.76 ounces) per day.
  • Xylitol is a sugar substitute that can be found in chewing gum, breath mints, diet soda, jams and jellies, gumdrops, hard candies, chocolate, ice cream, and cookies, as well as toothpastes, mouthwash, cough syrups, and other goods. It has the same sweetness as sugar. Adults can have 50 to 70 grams per day, while healthy youngsters can consume up to 20 grams per day. Increased daily use might result in stomach discomfort, loose stools, abdominal bloating, pain or cramps, and a lot of gas. The laxative effect may fade or eliminate after 4 to 5 days of frequent use.
  • Lactitol: Lactitol is a sugar substitute that is commonly used in sugar-free ice cream, chocolate, chocolates, baked products, and chewing gums. Lactitol is around 40% sweeter than sugar. It can induce bloating and diarrhea if consumed in excessive amounts, however taking up to 20 grams (0.71 ounces) per day should not cause these issues.
  • Isomalt is a sweetener found in hard candies, toffee, cough drops, and lollipops, as well as cereals, fruit spreads, jams and preserves, and frozen and smoked fish. Excessive consumption can cause diarrhea, but most healthy people can handle at least 50 grams (approximately 1.76 ounces) per day.
  • Maltitol is a sugar-free hard candy made from wheat, tapioca, or corn that is 75 percent sweeter than sugar. It is used in sugar-free hard candies, chewing gum, chocolate-flavored sweets, baked goods, and ice cream. Bloating, discomfort, cramps, excessive gas, loose stools, and diarrhea are all symptoms of excessive drinking. Most people can handle roughly 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of marijuana each day.

Can erythritol give you diarrhea?

Despite the fact that this artificial sweetener is not broken down by the body, it can have a number of negative side effects. Digestion issues and diarrhea are common erythritol side effects. Bloating, cramps, and gas are other possible side effects. Furthermore, erythritol and other sugar alcohols cause diarrhea by creating an increase in water in the intestines. Nausea and headaches are also possible side effects. The latter symptom is frequently caused by dehydration as a result of severe diarrhea.

All sugar alcohols have the laxative effect that the drug is known for. To experience these benefits, you must ingest a considerable dose of erythritol. According to one study, ingesting half a gram of the sweetener per pound of body weight is safe and does not cause negative effects. In general, you’ll have troubles if you consume more than 18 grams. However, because no two human bodies are comparable, consuming 18 grams or more of the chemical may have an effect on you but not on your friend or neighbor.

Overeating is yet another potential side effect of this sweetener. It may deceive your brain into thinking you are still hungry because it is not metabolized by the body. Given that the chemical is often used in sugar-free and other “diet” meals, this is an amusing side effect.

Do sugar alcohols affect gut bacteria?

Most sugar alcohols, on the other hand, travel through to your large intestine and are fermented by gut bacteria. This might induce bloating, flatulence, stomach pain, and diarrhea at greater ingestion levels, especially in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) ( 3 , 9 , 10 ).