People Are Tossing This Popular Sweetener After a New Disturbing Study

published Jun 10, 2024
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Put natural sweetener stevia from a pile into a spoon
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There’s still a lot we don’t know about the health implications of consuming sugar substitutes. We’ve been told that aspartame is possibly carcinogenic but is not linked to cancer. We’ve been told that erythritol is associated with cardiovascular events, but no real scientific connection has been made. And now, according to a new study published in the European Heart Journal by the Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology, xylitol might also be linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

The study was actually an analysis of a few different studies that examined the effect of xylitol on human health, particularly how it affected plasma levels in the body and their likelihood of experiencing a cardiovascular event. After evaluating over 3,000 patients, the research team concluded that high levels of xylitol can cause platelets (a certain type of blood cell) to clot.

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Keep in mind that this research does have its limitations, and the scientists conclude that more research needs to be done to determine the negative effects of consuming this particular sugar substitute. Many other factors are needed to be considered to make any kind of real conclusion: What were the diets of these patients like past their consumption of xylitol-sweetened beverages? Were they physically active? Were there other cardiovascular risk factors in their life that should be considered?

As of right now, xylitol is still considered safe to eat according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Further studies will need to take place to determine how xylitol (or other sugar substitutes) could play a role in the development of heart and metabolic diseases. So you can still feel confident in using your favorite sugar substitute in your baked goods. Like almost everything else in life, it’s important to look at the bigger picture and to practice moderation when it comes to our health. There are a variety of factors at play when it comes to your body’s health.