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Lactitol sources, health benefits and uses

Tuesday, October 03, 2017 by

Lactitol is a type of sugar alcohol that was first discovered in the 1920s. The compound is produced from lactose that was obtained from whey, a milk byproduct. According to the Sugar and Sweetener Guide website, lactitol contains very low glycemic index and can serve as a healthier substitute to sugar.

The World Health Organization (WHO)’s Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives has classified lactitol as safe for consumption. Likewise, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed the use of lactitol in various food products.

An entry published on the Nutrients Review website noted that lactitol is commonly used as a sweetening and texturing agent in many sugar-free foods such as candies, baked good, chocolates and ice cream. Likewise, the sugar alcohol is used in the production of pasta, frozen fish, chewing gums and infant formula.

The pharmaceutical industry also utilizes lactitol in manufacturing medical tablets. The compound is allowed for use in Canada, Australia, Japan, and other countries.

Medicinal uses for lactitol

Lactitol possesses relatively low sweetness and is particularly beneficial in people following a low-calorie diet. In fact, the compound is only 40 percent as sweet as sucrose or table sugar. It does not contain any carbohydrates and only has two calories per gram.

Lactitol is also known to significantly improve the digestive system’s overall health. Like any other sugar alcohol, lactitol is fermented and metabolized in the large intestines. This then provides beneficial effects on the good intestinal bacteria.

An entry posted on the Calorie Control Council website noted that lactitol helped reduce the pH of the large intestines. Likewise, the sugar alcohol acts as a prebiotic agent that promotes the proliferation of beneficial probiotic bacteria in the digestive tract. Lactitol also discourages the growth of potentially dangerous pathogens in the digestive tract.

The sugar alcohol greatly benefits the oral health as well. Lactitol is not metabolized by oral bacteria that help break down sugars and starches. This means that lactitol inhibits the release of acids that erode the enamel and cause oral cavities.

The American Dental Association has recognized the benefits of sugar alcohols such as lactitol as a healthier alternative to sugar and as an essential part of a comprehensive dental hygiene initiative. Likewise, the FDA has given companies the green light for sugar-free food labels claiming that lactitol does not cause tooth decay.

Lactitol’s mild sweetness and low glycemic index makes it an ideal sweetening ingredient for people suffering from diabetes. The compound is touted to prevent potentially dangerous spikes in blood sugar levels. Likewise, lactitol is known to keep insulin levels in check.

The sugar alcohol is found to enhance blood sugar control, lipid control, and weight management. Using lactitol as a substitute to sugar provides diabetes patients a wider array of food choices.

Body systems supported by lactitol

Lactitol is particularly beneficial in maintaining a healthy digestive tract. Likewise, its probiotic properties help mitigate potential pathogens and enhance the body’s overall immunity. The sugar alcohol is also useful in protecting the teeth against cavities.

Where to learn more


Lactitol helps stave off potentially harmful pathogens in the digestive tract.

Lactitol prevents enamel erosion and subsequent onset of dental cavities.

Lactitol maintains healthy blood sugar, blood lipid, and body weight in diabetes patients.

Lactitol is highly effectively in maintaining a healthy digestive tract.

Lactitol also supports oral health and the body’s overall immunity.

Sources include:


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