The popular sugar substitute xylitol, commonly used by weight-loss or diabetic patients, has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke, according to A. Research It was published Thursday in the European Heart Journal.

  • Researchers have conducted several studies. In one, an earlier study analyzed pooled plasma samples from participants – more than 3,000 fasting. These subjects were followed for more than three years, during which time some of them developed cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure or bleeding. In the new study, researchers found that people with cardiovascular problems have higher levels of xylitol in their blood.
  • Researchers also studied the effect of xylitol on coagulation using human whole blood and platelets, and found that xylitol stabilized platelets in the blood. They then tested how quickly xylitol in mice clots, by injuring the animal’s carotid artery, xylitol improves the rate of blood clot formation in areas where the arteries are damaged. Clogged blood in the arteries or veins in parts of the body, such as the heart, can lead to heart attack, stroke, or even death.
  • In another study, researchers tested blood clotting risk by collecting blood from 10 healthy volunteers 30 minutes before drinking a xylitol-sweetened beverage. Ten other volunteers were given a glucose or sugar-sweetened drink. Researchers found that people who drank xylitol had a higher blood clotting ability after drinking it. No change in blood clotting ability was found in those who took glucose. “I think we need to know whether this is a common behavior of all sugar alcohols and a common behavior with a subset,” he said. Stanley HazenCardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic. “So far, it looks like everything, but we need to do more research, and more are needed.”
  • The researchers cautioned that although these studies show that xylitol is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular events, they do not show that these events are the cause.

Sugar alcohols such as xylitol and erythritol are widely used as sugar substitutes in processed foods such as candies, gums, and baked goods. Sugar alcohols have few calories and carbohydrates, and they do not cause. Sudden increase in blood sugarStudies show.

Although xylitol is not commonly used in keto or sugar-free food products in the United States, it is widespread in other countries, the researchers said. “Next, we were trying to find another way to help cholesterol, which naturally occurs in our bodies, to help with heart disease,” said Hazen, chair of cardiovascular and metabolic sciences at the Lerner Research Institute at Cleveland Clinic. We think that’s what we have, these sugar alcohols, erythritol or xylitol, are the cause of heart disease, or at least are associated with the development of future heart events.

The same research group a Same link Last year between erythritol and cardiovascular risk.

The use of sugar substitutes is increasing

As the findings come The use of sugar alcohols like xylitol is on the rise as keto and low-carb diet trends lead to a boom in alternative sweeteners labeled as “natural.” 1.19 billion dollars worth of xylitol products were sold In the year by 2021, and that market is expected to grow to about $1.48 billion by 2030, according to Custom Market Insights.

“Over the past decade or two, there’s been an unusual situation where humans are experiencing levels of xylitol that have never evolved before,” Hazen said.

The results challenge the popular perception of sugar alcohols like xylitol and erythritol as healthy and natural sugar alternatives. People see them as natural because our bodies produce them as part of energy metabolism; But our cells produce them at very low levels. When these sugar alcohols are produced, they are produced industrially by using bacteria or yeast in the fermentation and fermentation process to create chemicals that trick our taste buds, Hazen said.

“Even though it’s a natural compound, it’s being used in a very unnatural way, at a much higher rate than ever before,” Hazen said.

Researchers have found that high levels of xylitol may be worse for your heart than cholesterol. Eating a high-cholesterol diet can increase blood cholesterol levels by 10 to 30 percent, Hazen said.

Researchers found that by consuming a product rich in xylitol, the level of the chemical in the blood increased 1,000 times – or 100,000 percent – and remained elevated for four to six hours.

Sadly, among the thousands of people he sees in a preventive cardiology clinic, those whose cholesterol levels are above 25 percent have a 30 percent higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The minimum is 25 percent. However, the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with blood xylitol levels in the 25th percentile is 200% higher than in those with less than 25%.

“This study adds to the growing body of literature on potential psychological problems caused by artificial sweeteners.” Marion Nestle, professor emeritus of nutrition at New York University, wrote in an email. Researchers are now finding xylitol problematic among themselves.

Although she believes the research needs to be repeated, it suggests that xylitol may not be healthy. The benefits of artificial sweeteners in general are uncertain, she wrote.

“They are becoming more and more dangerous,” she wrote. “My preference is to stay away from them, but I don’t like the way they taste.”

Rob Van DamA professor of exercise and nutritional sciences at George Washington University said the paper’s findings are compelling and add to the growing body of research on the risks of artificial sweeteners, but scientists have not been able to definitively test the link between xylitol consumed and heart risks. They used blood from people who were fasting, which means that the blood probably contains xylitol that is metabolized in the body.

“So the question is, do these elevated xylitol levels reflect that the xylitol diet is bad?” Van Dam asked. “Or does it mean something goes wrong in people’s metabolism that leads to high levels of xylitol?”

Acknowledging this, the researchers did a follow-up experiment where they gave 10 people xylitol and water to see what happened to their blood platelets, and found that older platelets seemed to aggregate more.

“I think, in and of itself, it wouldn’t be too shocking, but there is this accumulating evidence that some of these artificial sweeteners may not be as harmless as we thought,” Van Damme said. “If it was something that people didn’t eat much of, no one would care that much. But the context is that this is something that hundreds of millions of people are exposed to, sometimes every day, so every bit of evidence that shows some concern is very important to public health.

This study should be a red flag because the medical community is widely recommending sugar substitutes instead of sugar for people who are obese or trying to lose weight, or have diabetes or metabolic syndrome, Hazen said.

“I hope this is a call to arms, for researchers to start studying this, because this is a huge public health concern, we’re diving into our food pyramid thinking it’s the healthiest thing,” Hazen said.