Sugar-Free but Risky: The Debate Over Erythritol’s Potential Health Hazards

An early investigation indicated that the ingestion of erythritol, which is present in a variety of no-sugar and keto-friendly products, can considerably elevate the chances of developing heart disease.


What is Erythritol?

Erythritol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that is used as a low-calorie sweetener. It is found naturally in some fruits, such as grapes and melons, and is also produced commercially through a fermentation process using glucose from cornstarch.

Erythritol is about 70% as sweet as sugar but contains almost no calories, making it a popular alternative to sugar for people looking to reduce their sugar intake or manage their weight. Erythritol has a similar taste and texture to sugar and can be used in baking and cooking, as well as in drinks and other foods. Erythritol has been generally recognized as safe by regulatory agencies such as the FDA and EFSA, and has been considered a safe and natural sweetener. Until now…

Recent articles have raised concerns about the potential link between erythritol and an increased risk of blood clotting and stroke.

A study conducted at Cleveland Clinic suggests a link between the consumption of this artificial sweetener and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Although artificial sweeteners are generally considered safe by regulatory agencies, little is known about their long-term health effects. Patients with metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity are often advised to use artificial sweeteners as a substitute for sugar to improve glycemic control and achieve weight loss. However, there is growing epidemiological evidence linking the consumption of artificial sweeteners to adverse cardiometabolic phenotypes, including weight gain, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

The article focuses on the 4-carbon sugar alcohol, erythritol, commonly used as a sugar substitute, and presents findings from two independent validation cohorts that indicate higher levels of erythritol in the blood are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The findings highlight the importance of moderation when consuming artificial sweeteners and the need for additional research to better understand their potential effects on health.

It is important to note that erythritol was recognized as safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and approved for use as a food additive in the European Union by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). It has also been approved for use in many other countries around the world. However, as the article suggests, there is still limited knowledge about the long-term health effects of consuming erythritol and other artificial sweeteners, and more research is needed to fully understand their safety.

As with any food or ingredient, it is important to consume it in moderation and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or medical conditions.

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