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What is Sorbitol??
  1. #1
    dmvjester is offline New Member
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    Default What is Sorbitol??

    Hey everyone:

    Nursing student here. I need alittle more info on Sorbitol. I have looked everywhere. In the books, the computer, and even asked some medical people....no luck. Just need to know what it is and what it is used for. Can anyone help?

    Thanks in advance,

    Dawn

    BE-DO-HAVE

  2. #2
    Angel8 is offline New Member
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    Greetings: Here is some information from Kroger Pharmacy and Health: Health Guide. Google searched it.

    http://www.kroger.com/HN_Food_Guide/Sugar_Alcohols.htm

    "Sugar Alcohols

    Also indexed as: Mannitol, Sorbitol, Xylitol

    Sugar alcohols are found in many foods labeled “sugar-free,” including cookies and hard candies.

    * Varieties
    * Availability
    * Preparation tips
    * Nutritional highlights
    * Health benefits and concerns

    Sugar alcohols are substituted for other types of sugar in a wide range of food products.
    Varieties

    Sorbitol

    Sorbitol is the alcohol form of sucrose. It occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables, and is manufactured from corn syrup.

    Mannitol

    Mannitol is the alcohol form of mannose. It occurs naturally in pineapples, olives, asparagus, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Mannitol is extracted from seaweed for use in food manufacturing. It is sometimes used as a sweetener in dietetic products.

    Xylitol

    Xylitol, also called “wood sugar,” is the alcohol form of xylose. It occurs naturally in straw, corncobs, fruit, vegetables, cereals, mushrooms, and some seaweeds. For use in food manufacturing, xylitol is extracted from birch wood chips. Xylitol is used as a sweetener in chewing gums and other dietetic products.
    Availability

    Sugar alcohols are found in many foods labeled as “sugar-free,” including hard candies, cookies, chewing gums, soft drinks, and throat lozenges.
    Preparation, uses, and tips

    Sugar alcohols are not commonly used in home food preparation, but are a common ingredient in many processed foods.
    Nutritional Highlights

    Mannitol, 1g mannitol
    Calories: 2.6
    Protein: 0.0g
    Carbohydrate: less than 1.0g
    Total Fat: 0.0g
    Fiber: 0.0g

    Sorbitol, 1g sorbitol
    Calories: 2.6
    Protein: 0.0g
    Carbohydrate: less than 1.0g
    Total Fat: 0.0g
    Fiber: 0.0g

    Xylitol, 1g xylitol
    Calories: 2.6
    Protein: 0.0g
    Carbohydrate: less than 1.0g
    Total Fat: 0.0g
    Fiber: 0.0g
    Health benefits and concerns

    Diarrhea

    Some foods contain sugars that are absorbed slowly, such as fructose in fruit juice or sorbitol in dietetic confectionery. Through a process called osmosis, these unabsorbed sugars hold onto water in the intestines, sometimes leading to diarrhea. By reading labels, people with chronic non-infectious diarrhea can easily avoid fruit juice, fructose, and sorbitol to see if this eliminates the problem.

    Ear infection

    Xylitol, a natural sugar found in some fruits, interferes with the growth of some bacteria that may cause ear infections. In double-blind research, children who chewed gum sweetened with xylitol had a reduced risk of ear infections.

    Immune function

    Nearly all forms of sugar (including honey) interfere with the ability of white blood cells to destroy bacteria. In one study, when healthy volunteers consumed a large amount (100g) of refined sugar, their white blood cells’ ability to destroy bacteria was impaired for at least 5 hours. The importance of these effects in the prevention of infections in humans remains unclear. Nevertheless, many doctors recommend a reduced intake of sugar for prevention and treatment of infections (e.g., colds, flu, bronchitis, and urinary tract infections). Unlike other sweeteners, stevia has been reported to possess anti-viral activity.

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

    Preliminary evidence suggests that some people with IBS have greater trouble than healthy people absorbing the sugars lactose (as found in milk), fructose (as found in high concentration in fruit juice and dried fruit), and sorbitol (as found in some dietetic candy). In this report, restricting intake of these sugars led to reduction of symptoms in 40% of people with IBS symptoms. Therefore, when attempting to uncover food sensitivities, people with IBS should consider the possibility that fruit juice and dried fruit might trigger symptoms.

    Retinopathy

    Animal studies suggest that dietary fructose may contribute to the development of retinopathy (damage to the eye’s retina). Although such an association has not been demonstrated in humans, some doctors advise their diabetic patients to avoid foods containing added fructose or high-fructose corn syrup. On the other hand, the fructose that occurs naturally in some fruits has not been found to be harmful.

    Tooth decay

    Certain sugar substitutes appear to have anti-caries benefits beyond that of sugar reduction. Xylitol is not fermented by the oral bacteria, and it inhibits bacterial growth. Sorbitol is only slowly used by oral bacteria and it produces less dental caries than sucrose.Children chewing gum containing either xylitol or sorbitol for five minutes five times daily for two years had large reductions in caries risk compared to those not chewing gum. Xylitol gum was associated with a slightly greater risk reduction than sorbitol gum. A double-blind study found 100% xylitol gum was superior to gum containing lesser amounts or no xylitol. Another study found xylitol-containing gums gave long-term protection against caries while sorbitol-only gum did not. Other research has confirmed the anti-caries benefits of xylitol in various forms including gumas well as chewable lozenges, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and syrups.

    Urinary tract infection (UTI)

    In one study, when healthy volunteers consumed a large amount (100g) of refined sugar, their white blood cells’ ability to destroy bacteria was impaired for at least 5 hours. For this reason, many doctors recommend a reduced intake of sugar for prevention of UTI recurrences.

    Health benefits and concerns for sweeteners
    Many health benefits and concerns associated with this food are applicable to other sweeteners. Read about health benefits and concerns for sweeteners for a full description.
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