Proven Antibacterial, Anti-Fungal & Immune Enhancement Properties

Chemical Profile:

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, not actually a glucose sugar. The xylitol molecule contains five carbon atoms and five hydroxyl groups which means that it is a pentitol. In comparison, most natural sweeteners contain six carbon atoms. This is an important distinction when discussing how xylitol actually improves dental properties. The five-carbon structure is a key reason why many cariogenic bacteria cannot metabolise xylitol.
Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol of the pentitol type, i.e. the xylitol molecule contains five carbon atoms and five hydroxyl groups (Fig. 1). Therefore, xylitol can be called a pentitol. Xylitol belongs to the polyalcohols (polyols) which are not, strictly speaking, "sugars" which traditionally include certain nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners (sucrose, corn sugar, corn syrup, invert sugar, D-fructose, D-glucose, etc.; in some reports the term "sugars" is collectively used to refer to mono- and disaccharides). However, the legitimacy for including polyols in the sugar field results from biochemical relationships; polyols are formed from, and can be converted to, sugars (i.e. aldoses and ketoses). Some chemical encyclopedias define sugars as crystalline, sweet carbohydrates. The sugar alcohols thus fall in this category.
Unique Characteristic: It does not require insulin to get into the cells to make glucose...excellent characteristic for diabetics an Syndrom-X ers...
History : http://www.xylitol.org/drmakinen.asp
Xylitol has been known to organic chemistry at least from the 1890's. German and French researchers were obviously the first ones who made xylitol chemically more than 100 years ago. This reaction was accomplished by means of sodium amalgam reduction of D-xylose (wood sugar). Owing to the obvious impurity of the then raw material, the first xylitol preparation was a syrupy mixture also containg small amounts of sugar alcohols other than xylitol. The definitive characterization and purification of xylitol to polarographic purity was accomplished already in the 1930's. The first successful crystallization of xylitol, after reduction of purified D-xylose, took place during the second world war. This product was not, however, a stable form of xylitol. A stable, crystalline form was obtained slightly thereafter.
Although xylitol has a relatively long organic chemical history, the first half of this century was rather eventless from xylitol's point of view; xylitol was regarded as one of the numerous sweet carbohydrates organic chemists isolated at those times. Scientists obviously did not realize the biologic properties of xylitol until researchers started to exploit its insulin-independent nature after the World War II. Frontrunners in these developments were Japan, Germany and the [former] Soviet Union. In Japan, xylitol was used, for instance, in the resuscitation of patients from diabetic coma.
Xylitol thus remained mostly as a research chemical until the war-associated sugar shortage in some countries, such as Finland, forced engineers and chemists to search for alternative sweeteners. Such substances were supposed to be present, for example, in hardwood. Researchers and engineers at the former Finnish Sugar Co. Ltd. succeeded to develop an industrial procedure for small-scale xylitol production, but the matter was temporarily put aside in the advent of peace; the sugar shortage subsided. The idea was not totally forgotten, however, and the process was being gradually improved. In 1975 the Finnish company began the first truly large-scale production of xylitol in Kotka, a small town located in South Finland. Simultaneously, a Swiss company (F. Hoffman La-Roche) had shown interest in xylitol. The two companies founded a joint venture (Xyrofin) in 1976. Later, Xyrofin became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Finnish Sugar Co. (currently Cultor). At the same time, other companies located in the [former] Soviet Union, China, Japan, Germany, Italy, etc. had produced xylitol mostly for domestic markets. Before 1970, xylitol was mainly used in these countries as a sweetener in the diabetic diet or in parenteral nutrition (infusion therapy). Use of xylitol for dental purposes commenced in the 1970's: the first xylitol chewing gum was launced in Finland in 1975 and in the USA in the same year but a few months later.
Excepts from Jonathan Wright, M.D./ http://www.wrightnewsletter.com/nah/search/art/2001/nh_0112_a.htm
Beat bacteria and infection the natural way: Replace your antibiotics with a few simple sugars!
Medicine is filled with irony. The medical world created antibiotics to defeat diseases caused by bacteria. And what happened? The bacteria adapted, made our drugs less effective, and, in the process, learned how to make us sicker. Professional dentists (and many, many moms) said for years that sugar rots teeth. And what happened? Researchers discovered that there are exceptions to this rule.
Sugars-particular simple, natural sugars-are demonstrating abilities to protect us from tooth decay, ear infections, bladder infections, asthma, sinusitis, and a host of other diseases caused by bacteria. These sugars can replace antibiotics for some treatments. They may even help us break the vicious cycle that has seen the medical establishment create ever stronger drugs and ever stronger bacteria.
Diminishing returns from drug therapies
Since the 1940s, mainstream doctors have been prescribing antibiotics for most infections. But even the most conventional physicians have come to realize that the "golden days" of easy bacteria-killing with antibiotics are over.
Bacteria are fighting for their very survival. They are literally learning to save themselves from dying at the hands of antibiotics and steadily producing new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In essence, bacteria are getting smarter-and stronger. Consequently, they're having a much easier time making us sick and even killing us.
For example, 25 years ago the dose of amoxicillin used to treat an ear infection was 20 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day. Now, statistics show that Americans suffer from nearly four times as many ear infections and that the average dose of amoxicillin required to eliminate a single infection is four times higher.
But finding new antibiotics is getting harder and harder, and when they are found, they're likely to be more toxic to us. The antibiotic approach to killing infections is obviously one of diminishing returns.
Prevention: a better way to deal with infection
Obviously, preventing infections is a much better strategy, and there are many ways to do this. (For a review of several approaches to preventing infection, see the April 2001 issue of Nutrition & Healing.) A reduction in infections would, of course, result in less antibiotic use and leave us contending with fewer drug-resistant strains. We know that many strains of bacteria lose their resistance if they are not exposed to antibiotics for some time. Some European countries, such as Norway, have significantly reduced their problem with antibiotic-resistant bacteria by restricting antibiotic use.
Unfortunately, the majority of us, including doctors, don't focus sufficiently on prevention, so the infection rate is likely to continue at or near its present level. Consequently, we'd best look for additional tools in the battle against bacterial infection.
Know your enemy
Many famous warriors have commented that one of the most important parts of warfare is intelligence-knowing your enemy. In our single-minded effort to find yet another patentable molecule to kill bacteria, we've fallen short in our efforts to understand the abilities of these microbes.
Elisabet Sahtouris, a biologist, points out that we have learned a great deal recently about the early bacteria that were the first life forms on this planet. First of all, they are persistent: 90 percent of the bacteria that scientists think existed about 600 million years ago (when the first nucleated cell appeared) are still around. On the other hand, 90 percent of the "higher" life forms that have existed since that time are now extinct! We need to remember these dismal odds when we engage in antibiotic warfare with these bacteria.
For the 2 billion years that bacteria were "the only show in town," they learned to free oxygen from minerals and use it for energy. They learned to move around, ferment organic material, and impart their knowledge and survival skills to other bacteria by sharing their DNA. Almost as soon as one bacterium learns how to deal with a threat (such as one of our antibiotics), they all know. Bacteria are a very tough enemy.
Fight bacteria with sugar alcohols
Fortunately, there are natural ways to combat bacteria. Biochemicals (such as sugars) and bacteria interact closely. Bacteria use sugars as a communications medium. Meanwhile, sugars can trigger changes in bacteria. And those interactions have spawned a scientific discipline. The study of sugars and their use in bacterial (and other) living communication systems is called glycobiology.
Dr. Nathan Sharon has been involved with glycobiology for almost 30 years, studying mannose, galactose, fucose, xylose, N-acetylglucosamine, N-acetylneuraminic acid, N-acetylgalactosamine, and other sugars. Sugars comprise the "letters of the cellular alphabet," according to Dr. Sharon. They exist on cell surfaces and help communicate the needs of each cell to its general environment and to other nearby cells.
Molecules of bacteria, viruses, and toxins have receptor sites that are drawn to sugars on particular cells and can hang onto them. This allows bacteria to stick to the surface of cells. However, if bacteria (and viruses) cannot stick to our cells, our bodies' normal cleansing washes them out.
Now researchers have learned how to turn that relationship into a treatment for infections.
Cure infections naturally
Bladder and urinary tract infections. Glycobiology experts treat such infections by infusing soluble sugars into the urinary tract. Essentially, these free-floating sugars overwhelm the bacteria, attaching themselves to all the receptor sites on the bacteria molecules. Without any free receptors, the bacteria can't attach themselves to the body's cells and are flushed away in our urine. Some of the bacteria that has already attached to tissue is also washed away. The remaining bacteria are usually sufficiently handled by our immune systems.
We've been using this treatment at the Tahoma Clinic since the 1980s, giving patients D-mannose for E. coli bladder infections. Over 90 percent of bladder infections are caused by E. coli bacteria, which stick to mannose molecules present on the surfaces of the cells that line our bladders. If a person has an E. coli infection and takes D-mannose, the "loose" molecules of D-mannose surround and coat each E. coli bacterium, so they can't stick to the bladder. The next time the patient urinates, the D-mannose-coated E. coli are rinsed away­­headed for their next happy home in a septic tank or sewage treatment plant. (For more information on treating bladder and urinary tract infections with D-mannose, see the June 1999 and October 2001 issues of Nutrition & Healing, as well as the new booklet D-Mannose and Bladder Infection, by Lane Lenard, Ph.D., and me. This booklet is available from the Tahoma Clinic Dispensary, 1-888-893-6878, www.tahomaclinic.com, with which I am affiliated.)
There is also some evidence that we can successfully deal with bacteria over longer time periods, without antibiotics, using strategies derived from glycobiology. For example, a recent study with cranberry juice extract (which contains D-mannose as well as other natural bacteria-fighting substances) shows long-term benefits. A group of women with chronic urinary infections were given the extract every day for six months. The protection offered by the extract, however, lasted an entire year.
Ear and sinus infections. Another substance that has similar abilities is xylitol ("zye-lit-all"). Xylitol is a natural substance, like all of the sugars studied by glycobiology. It looks and tastes like the sugar we are most familiar with, sucrose (or table sugar). We make xylitol in our bodies every day, but it is also found in plums and can be made from wood and wheat grass.
One study found that a solution containing 5 percent xylitol blocks the ability of more than half of all harmful bacteria to "stick" to the tissues inside the back of the nose. As with D-mannose, the bacteria are prevented from infecting us without being actually killed.Dr. Lon Jones, a physician in Texas, pioneered the use of intranasal xylitol in his medical practice. I've spoken to Dr. Jones, and he tells me that his experience has been a 93 percent reduction in ear and sinus infections when the inside of the nose is sprayed regularly with the xylitol solution. Not only does the xylitol appear to "unstick" the bacteria that adhere to the cells lining the nose and sinuses but also stimulates the body's normal defensive drainage in the back of the nose (where the bacteria causing these conditions usually live).
Dr. Jones points out that his patients' biggest problem with the success of the xylitol spray is that they experience such dramatic relief that they forget to continue using it! Unfortunately, this results in a recurrence of the original problems. Although it's too early to say for certain and more research needs to be done, Dr. Jones believes that regular, long-term, xylitol use will change the nature and behavior of the bacteria inside the nose and sinuses, resulting in significantly fewer infections in the long run. Current preliminary research on xylitol's ability to change oral bacteria gives us reason to beleive that Dr. Jones is correct.
Allergic reactions and asthma. In addition to stimu-lating nasal drainage, xylitol spray also removes other pollutants that trigger allergic reactions and consequent asthma attacks. (Asthma can be triggered by infection in the back of the nose and sinuses, other upper respiratory infection, chronic sinus problems, and allergies.)
Dr. Jones' patients control their asthma simply by rinsing away pollutants from the back of the nose on a regular basis. Dr. Jones says that for many of his patients no other asthma medications are needed. This unique nasal spray is available as a product called Xlear (pronounced Klear). Xlear may be available at your own natural food store or compounding pharmacy. It is also available from the Tahoma Clinic Dispensary. To read more from Dr. Jones, visit his web page at www.nasal-xylitol.com. He also writes a column for various newspapers called "Commonsense Medicine." You can read the archives of these columns by visiting www.commonsensemedicine.org.
Sink your teeth into this irony: A sugar alcohol prevents cavities!
I've grown rather annoyed with dentistry. Along with everyone else, I've brushed, flossed, and used "water-pressure" devices for my teeth and gums. I haven't knowingly consumed any refined sugar or refined carbohydrates for nearly 30 years. Yet every so often the dentist has informed me it's time to have another filling or two. Furthermore, to this day, no dentist has informed me-or anyone else-of the existence of a simple, safe, good-tasting way to significantly reduce the incidence of dental cavities. Not only does this method exist, but it first appeared in dental and other journals in the 1970s­­and there's now no question at all that it really works.
No, it's not that hazardous (but politically correct) toxic waste byproduct, fluoride. So what it is it? Believe it or not, it's a derivative of a natural, simple sugar.
Cavities are caused by the bacteria Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans). Short and long term use of xylitol results in fewer cavities.
Xylitol has been widely used in Finland since the sugar shortages of World War II. In the early '70s, Finnish researchers discovered that xylitol prevents tooth decay, so they started making chewing gum containing it. They found that the S. mutans causing tooth decay fed on the xylitol but could not break it down or successfully metabolize it. Eventually, so much xylitol accumulates in these bacteria they get "indigestion" and can't process other food sugars into the acids that destroy tooth enamel. (See the box, above right).
According to Dr. Luc Trahan, part of the faculty of dental medicine at Laval University in Quebec, as xylitol is used over time in the mouth, strains of "xylitol-resistant" S. mutans start to emerge. Their numbers increase from a very few to 40 percent or more of the total S. mutans population. But curiously, these "new" resistant strains aren't as bothersome, and cause much less trouble with cavities.1
Dental researchers wanted to find the best time to start children chewing xylitol gum. In a school setting in Belize, they gave six groups of children six different types of gum to chew four times a day for two years ­­with enough on Friday to last through the weekend. At the end of the two years, the children chewing the xylitol gum had the best results in terms of incidents of tooth decay.
Five years later, the researchers returned to do a follow-up study. The children who had chewed the xylitol gum had 90 percent fewer cavities than the other children-without any exposure to xylitol for the five years since the original study ended.
Xylitol's cavity-preventing effects are nothing short of amazing: A group of researchers led by Dr. Eva Soderling reported that when a "study group" of breast-feeding mothers chewed xylitol gum starting three months after giving birth, their children developed less growth of the S. mutans over time. The children themselves were never directly exposed to the xylitol.
Chewing gum containing xylitol is available through many natural food stores and compounding pharmacies, as well as through the Tahoma Clinic Dispensary or through Xlear co. (1-877-599-5327). For those whose dental work doesn't permit chewing gum, a variety of all-natural xylitol lozenges are also available.
Boost your immune system with polysaccharide power
Simple sugars transmit information, particularly to immune system cells that defend us against infection. When these simple sugars combine in chains along with uronic acid, they're called "polysaccharides." Polysaccharides cause the immune cells to be much more active and vigilant against bacteria and other germs. They help in both the prevention and the treatment of infection. Echinacea, aloe vera, and many types of mushrooms are all rich sources of polysaccharides.
Xylitol reduces tooth decay by 80 percent
Dr. John Peldyak, a dental researcher from the University of Michigan who has been involved in most of the dental research with xylitol in this country, has summed up the results of the past 25 years of clinical studies involving xylitol and tooth decay. Chewing xylitol gum once a day provides little protection. Twice a day reduces tooth decay by 40 percent. Three times a day, by 60 percent, and five times a day-80 percent.

A physician who has patented Xylitol's use for nasal spray
1. Xylitol in preventing acute otitis media.
Uhari M, Tapiainen T, Kontiokari T.
Vaccine. 2000 Dec 8;19 Suppl 1:S144-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&dopt=Abstract&db=PubMed&list_uids=11163479
2.A novel use of xylitol sugar in preventing acute otitis media.
Uhari M, Kontiokari T, Niemela M.
Pediatrics. 1998 Oct;102(4 Pt 1):879-84.


Our Xylitol Origins:
Xylitol is made from processing hemicellulose from birch trees and then cultured to extract the d-xylitol.
There is no corn, rice or other GMO sources or preservatives used.

Making Home-made Xylitol Products:
Oral use for antimicrobial: 2-3 heaping teaspoons in divided doses throughout the day
Ear/Nasal wash: .9% saline, 5% xylitol liquid(1 part Xylitol, 5 parts distilled water), MSS02 alkaline water. Mix and store in a container. 2 yr. shelf life.
Gargle: same as above without the saline.
Topical antimicrobial: 5% xylitol solution mixed into MSS02 1% solution and add 3-5 drops of LCO-7. Apply directly to affected area or soak bandage and apply.
Excellent to mix with amino acids for facials since xylitol is shown to protect proteins from degrading...Its molecular formula is C5H12O5. Its molecular weight is 152.15g. Xylitol's melting point is 95C and it has a pH of 6.5.

Other Research on Xylitol:
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