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Xylitol is a multifunctional ingredient. It imparts sweetness, releases a cooling sensation when it
dissolves and does not promote tooth decay because it is non-fermentable by oral plaque bacteria, and at some
levels is known as a plaque acid reducer.
Although there are other ingredients that could impart some of the same properties, we have chosen to
use xylitol in several of our oral care products because of its natural source and possibly additional dental
Xylitol has no known toxicity or carcinogenicity. It is listed by the US Food and Drug Administration
as an ingredient that is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). It has a long history of use in food dating back
to the 1960's and is included in such products as chewing gum, syrup, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and
pharmaceuticals. However, xylitol, like chocolate, should never be given to dogs! Canine ingestion of xylitol
promotes the release of insulin and wreaks havoc with a dog's normal glucose levels, causing hypoglycemia—in
other words, a sugar crash. The dose of xylitol will affect the severity of the response, but that dose is
also affected by the animal's own ability to produce insulin and its sugar metabolism rates. For more
information, see the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Xylitol is a naturally occurring substance that can be found in plants, fruits, and vegetables and is
even produced in the human body by normal metabolism. The xylitol used in our toothpaste is produced either
from birch tree pulp or corn. Though there is some processing involved in extracting the ingredient, the end
result is the same as the xylitol found naturally in plants and the same whether from birch trees or from
corn. Although manufacturing from birch trees is more sustainable and we are committed to using that source
whenever available, shortages in the supply of xylitol from birch trees has required us to maintain an
alternate source from corn.
We've set high standards in defining "natural", "sustainable", and "responsible". Stewardship Model
A second opinion is always a good idea.
Visit the American Botanical Council for the latest research on our herbal ingredients. Read the expert research