Monday, January 14, 2008

Health Effects of Sorbitol

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that is commonly used as a sweetener in a variety of food products. It has come to the attention of researchers recently that the sorbitol found in chewing gum can cause chronic diarrhea. This chronic diarrhea can lead to unintentional weight loss and other health issues. I haven't found the study but the news article says enough.

There is an extensive use of additives in food. Obviously, we don't know the impact of all of them. Another reason to read the labels on everything. Unfortunately, in an image obsessed society somebody will likely promote the possible weight loss with sorbitol and sell more of it. A new twist on on "nutriceuticals". We'll all be spending more time reading the labels than eating or cooking by the looks of it.

11 comments:

BBC said...

I don't use Sorbitol, and I cook most of my own meals and breads and biscuits, from scratch.

Not that I worry about my health, at my age I expect to die of one thing or the other and I'm not going to sit around worrying over what it might be.

Anonymous said...

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Anne said...

Nice blog. If you understand finnish, my blog is in: www.iskuryhma.blogspot.com, also a health based site. Welcome!

FeButterfly said...

Don't read Finnish but thanks for stopping by. I'll check your site out anyway.

Donna said...

I DO believe it causes diarrhea because it happened to me. My daughter loves the "5" gum so we bought some. I was chewing about 1-2 stickes a day for a few weeks and then a developed diarrhea 5 days straight while chewing this gum. That was very unususal for me to get. I did a little research online and found out how sorbitol can cause diarrhea so I quit chewing it and the diarrhea stopped too. So now I watch out for "low calorie" gums,snacks and foods with sorbitol in it. Who wants to be in the bathroom all day.

FeButterfly said...

I gave up gum chewing a long time ago because I found I was getting headaches and an upset stomach. At the time I didn't realize what it was. Sorbitol is one of many food additives that are out there and we need to be responsible for our health by understanding what they are.

Anonymous said...

I guess tolerance levels are different for different people. Gum doesn't affect me at all. I didn't have problems with sorbitol until I started running through a bottle of sugar-free maple syrup a week. That was bad.

Anonymous said...

thanks! this helped me with my project!

FeButterfly said...

Glad that we could be of help.

Unknown said...

They use sorbitol in the cough syrup "rikodeine", which can be bought over the counter. The active ingredient is dehydrahodeine, an opiate that will make you extremely high if the dose is big enough. It has become a real problem for some people. A bottle of rikodeine will get you high but will cause extreme bowel problems and hours on the dunny. I know a guy with severe digestive problems from overuse of this. The sorbitol level is quite extreme.

Anonymous said...

Meh. Sorbitol, like xylitol, maltitol, mannitol, etc, as a class "the sugar alcohols," are slowly metabolized and not well absorbed into the body (hence the sweet without sugary affects). This poor absorption creates a condition where water is drawn into the bowel, and, a common laxative affect.

The laxative affect is usually labeled, and stops when the sugar alcohol use is discontinued.