Recently media reported that a new study found that higher blood levels of the “artificial sweetener” eythritol are associated with an increased risk of blood clotting, stroke, heart attack and death. Wow, pretty alarming news, but is this accurate? Erythritol is used by many people with diabetes and also practicing a keto diet so this finding could potentially affect many people.
The first thing to note is that erythritol, which occurs naturally, is labeled “artificial” both by the study and the press. However, it is a natural sugar found in many foods, including pears, grapes, watermelon, mushrooms, cheese, soy sauce, beer, sake, and wine. It’s also worth noting that erythritol has long been considered as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the World Health Organization, and the EFSA (the European version of the FDA).
While the headlines are screaming that erythritol increases these risks, in actuality that is not what the study found at all. It determined that people with higher blood levels of erythritol have a greater risk of cardiac events and death. What was not explained is this:
The human body actually makes erythritol. This is called endogenous erythritol, and the amount produced lines up with metabolic disease. The sicker the patient, the greater the quantity of erythritol in their blood. The body produces it in response to excess sugar, and it is a marker of cardiometabolic disease. So, the levels of erythritol found in these patients may not be from consuming erythritol but from consuming sugar instead.
There are several problems with the way the study was done. First of all, it doesn’t say how much erythritol the participants consumed. Another part of the study looked at what happens to the blood of test participants after consuming 30 grams of erythritol within two minutes. There were only eight people involved in this part of the study. Additionally, 30 grams is a lot of erythritol to ingest at once, more than the average consumer uses in an entire day and there were no control groups.
So until follow-up studies are done, you might want to keep your consumption of erythritol below 30 grams at one sitting, and use other safe, naturral sweeteners like stevia or allulose as well to ensure you don’t get too much of any one of them. The dosage is what matters and these natural sugar substitutes have been used for decades with great results for people trying to reduce their blood sugar.
Do you typically just believe media headlines or delve a bit deeper into whether you are being told the whole truth?
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Wow! What a study.
I don’t believe anything, unfortunately. But I believe headlines on social media are how most people stay “informed”. Kind of scary.
Love how you broke this down!
Thank you Holly. Sadly I totally agree with you.
I’ve found a lot of political headlines are like that too. You read the article and find out it contradicts the conclusion the title seemed to lead you to.
Unfortunately all too true Debbie. That’s why it’s hard to believe anything you see or read these days.
As I was reading your post, my mind screamed out words like “Yellow Journalism”, “subjective truth”, and “blind.” I suspect that a great many people have already thrown away their Nativo sweetener packets. Is Monfruit sweetener next? Thank you for sharing truth about the study. Sometimes what isn’t disclosed is more useful than what is.
Exactly my friend. These are all natural sweeteners that have been used safely for many years. What really ticked me off was them
calling erythritol an “artificial” sweetener. They know aspartame and sucralose, which are artificial sweeteners, are dangerous but no one says anything about that. Thank you for your kind words as always.