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Maybe The Most Important Post Here
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Published: 11 years ago

Maybe The Most Important Post Here

Dont expect your fkn dentist to tell you about this.
Xylitol prevents cavities.
K2 is also important.

Sugar addicts of the world: time to breathe a sigh of relief - tooth-friendly xylitol has come to the rescue.

XylitolWhile it seems like an oxymoron (contradiction in terms) that Sugar should actually be good for your teeth - read on nevertheless. Whether you are fighting tooth decay, plaque build-up, bad breath, dry mouth or any combination thereof - products sweetened with the look- and taste-alike Sugar substitute xylitol frequently provide effective help and constitute easy preventive dental care par excellence.
Content copyright © 2009 - 2012 Healing Teeth Naturally

What is xylitol?

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweet substance which chemically belongs to the family of the so-called Sugar alcohols [aka polyols]. In its store-bought form, xylitol looks and tastes like regular sugar (but has c. 40% less calories and, at least currently, is more expensive). The name xylitol derives from the Greek “xylon” [hardwood], with the suffix -itol denoting sugar alcohols (other sugar alcohols are for instance erythritol, mannitol, sorbitol, maltitol etc., names which you may recognise from various sugarfree and/or diet food labels).

Xylitol in small amounts is found in many fruits and vegetables. The human liver also produces between 5 and 15 grams a day since xylitol forms an intermediate product in carbohydrate metabolism.
Xylitol's humble beginnings and rise to dental fame

Since its discovery in the late 19th century, xylitol was little used outside of laboratory settings due to the expense involved in its production. It only rose to greater significance when the former Finnish Sugar Company developed an economically viable procedure for xylitol manufacture in the 1960s (xylitol is extracted for instance from corn and birch wood). Things really started to "move" from the early 1970s when scientists at the Finnish Turku University set out researching and demonstrating xylitol's surprising dental health and caries-preventative benefits in a series of ground-breaking studies.
Xylitol's dental health benefits: anti-caries and caries-preventative

The following gives a simplified overview of what xylitol has been found to accomplish in the human dentition, dental plaque and oral flora via a number of clinical/prospective caries trials. Most of these studies have been carried out using chewing gums or large pastilles with high xylitol concentrations. (For greater details, the interested reader is referred to the published literature available online and offline [compare Xylitol studies].) So here are some of the virtues discovered in xylitol:
Xylitol effectively prevents caries.

Xylitol does not support the growth of cariogenic Streptococcus mutans (“caries bacteria”) due to S. mutans' inability to metabolize Xylitol.
Both after short- and long-term use, xylitol significantly reduces the amount of mutans streptococci in plaque and saliva.
The growth of lactobacilli is reduced during long-term use of xylitol chewing gums.
Xylitol shows effects which promote tooth remineralisation.

Xylitol beneficially affects oral plaque properties and oral flora, i.e. makes plaque less cariogenic, for instance in the following ways.

Xylitol is not transformed to harmful acids in dental plaque.
When consumed after eating fermentable food components (sugar, starch...), Xylitol actively prevents acid production in dental plaque (enamel dissolves when the pH decreases below 5.7).
Regular xylitol consumption reduces the adhesivity and amount of plaque, making it easier to brush off.

Xylitol protects children's teeth.

In toddlers, xylitol consumption during the emergence of their primary dentition provides long-term protection against tooth decay. Xylitol consumption is particularly beneficial if early signs of tooth decay/caries bacteria colonisation are present.
Impressive mother-and-child studies involving three groups under different treatment (xylitol/chlorhexidine/fluoride varnish): one group of mothers started chewing xylitol gum c. 3 months after childbirth and continued that program over a period of 21 months (while their children received no treatment). Results: the children of those mothers who had used xylitol were infected with mutans streptococci to a significantly lower degree than the children of mothers who had not chewed xylitol gum (but had been treated with chlorhexidine or fluoride varnish).
Since caries can also be an infectious (transmissible) disease, early colonisation of the child’s teeth with S. mutans can occur via the mother's or other caretaker's saliva. As has been shown, a mother regularly consuming xylitol when the child’s primary teeth are emerging decreases the risk of infecting her child with S. mutans 5-fold, which in turn significantly lowers subsequent caries incidence in her child.


Xylitol apparently improves the absorption of B vitamins and calcium. In animal experimentation (with rats)1, xylitol has been shown to have prophylactic effects re osteoporosis.
The temporary suppression of Streptococcus mutans resulting from oral chlorhexidine rinses is maintained if the chlorhexidine application is followed by xylitol consumption.
Xylitol enhances the effect of fluoridated toothpaste and other conventional caries prevention methods. Finnish professor Kauko K. Mäkinen, eminent xylitol researcher and author of the German-language book "Der Einsatz von Xylit in der Kariesprophylaxe" [The Use of Xylitol in Caries Prophylaxis], writes, "Clinical studies carried out under 'real-life' conditions have shown that the xylitol ingested was at least as effective or more effective than various fluoride programmes tested simultaneously.... It's obvious that the best results are from studies where xylitol and fluoride were applied concurrently. Xylitol and fluorides use different chemical mechanisms against caries. In other words the effects of xylitol and fluorides are largely cumulative, which suggests that both should be used simultaneously to obtain the most effective caries prophylaxis." (but compare Xylitol and/or fluoride?)"2
Xylitol also boasts a number of confirmed non-dental medicinal benefits, one of which is that regular consumption of xylitol-containing products prevents or reduces acute middle ear infection (otitis media) in children by inhibiting pathogens associated with this ailment. Additionally, Xylitol is antiketogenic (lowers the level of free fatty acids in serum) and has no known adverse effects on the central nervous system, hormone production and neurotransmitters.

Xylitol safety issues

Long-term clinical studies have confirmed the safety (non-toxicity to humans) of xylitol, with reportedly even daily intakes of 200 and 430 g being tolerated by some people. Xylitol like most sugar alcohols has a laxative effect (due to the fact that sugar alcohols are not completely broken down during digestion) but thankfully, the effect is less harsh than for instance with its "cousin" sorbitol and the human body is able to gradually adapt. A slow increase in consumption is recommended (speaking from personal experience here ;-). The amounts considered sufficient for daily dental care (5-10 g) in any case are too low to cause such effects.3

The safety of xylitol is reflected in numerous "official" approvals in dozens of countries concerning its use in food (particularly oral hygiene or dietary products), pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. In fact the WHO itself has carried out xylitol studies in Thailand, Polynesia and Hungary.
Xylitol and diabetics

Since Xylitol's initial metabolism doesn't require insulin, is low glycemic and only slowly converted and absorbed (i.e. has a limited impact on blood sugar levels), it's also suitable for diabetics. In the later stages of xylitol metabolism, the xylitol molecule does become part of glucose and glycogen molecules, i.e. the glucose thus created does require insulin to be handled. For this reason, one author recommends limiting the daily xylitose intake of diabetics to 60 grams to avoid high blood sugar and related complications.
Xylitol for children

(Following up from Xylitol protects children's teeth)
Xylitol products have been given to small children from two years upwards, with small children using small products and school children being able to also use products designed for adults (in fact, Finland has entire xylitol programs in place for its young generation). Due to xylitol's above-mentioned mild laxative effect, it is recommended to introduce it gradually until the effective dose is attained.
Xylitol for adults with special needs

People wearing orthodontic braces, suffering from dry mouth (xerostomia)5, (mechanically or otherwise) unable to brush their teeth properly as well as mentally retarded patients may find it difficult to keep dental plaque at bay. Thanks to its unique action on plaque and easy applicability, xylitol can help in these cases (more under Other helpful xylitol applications).
Xylitol and dogs (as well as other animals)

To be on the safe side, Xylitol is best not used with dogs and other non-humans. While there are conflicting observations and studies, the "negative" reports re hypoglycemic (insulin-increasing) effects on dogs are concerning enough to warrant total xylitol "abstinence" at least for your canine friend(s).

Using high-Activator-X butter as the key element of his dietary anti-caries protocol, Dr. Price was able to stop tooth decay in its tracks and completely reverse it. Previously active caries lesions started to grow new dentin and remineralize, glazing the formerly carious tooth with a new finish and making all dental work superfluous. One dramatic case history involved a 14-year-old girl who after taking Activator X concentrate and high-vitamin cod liver oil capsules three times daily during the space of seven months experienced the complete healing of the whopping 42 cavities she had in 24 teeth.

Price found great variations in the Activator X concentration among butters from various sources. Butter made from the milk of cows grazing on vitamin-K-rich pastures (particularly rapidly growing wheat grass and alfalfa) yielded the highest amounts of Activator X. The soil quality also strongly influenced Activator X concentrations (interestingly and in line with other observations regarding the nutritional quality of foods grown on rich vs. depleted soils, Activator X concentrations in butter were found to be lowest in US-American states with the longest history of agricultural use of its soils [the East and the Far West], while they were shown to be highest in Deaf Smith County (Texas), the very county dentist George W. Heard found to be "free of toothache" (see A dentist who proved the vital importance of mineral-rich nutrition to dental health).

As has now been virtually established, the sought-for true identity of Price's Activator X is vitamin K2. All the characteristics Dr. Price detected in Activator X are indeed exhibited by vitamin K2. Here are some of the facts Dr. Price discovered:

Activator X is synthesized by animals from a precursor found in rapidly growing grass. (Vitamin K2 is synthesized from vitamin K1 found in green plants.)
Activator X is found in the fatty portions of milk and in animal organs and fats (so is vitamin K2 ).
Activator X acts in synergy with vitamin A and vitamin D. (Vitamins A and D signal cells to make proteins such as osteocalcin, vitamin K2 subsequently activates these proteins.)
Activator X plays a crucial part in the utilization of minerals and is a required element for the control of tooth decay. (Vitamin K2 activates the proteins which deposit and organize calcium and phosphorus in bones and teeth and keeps that same calcium from being deposited in the soft tissues of blood vessels, kidneys etc.)
The intake of Activator X is inversely related to the incidence of heart disease. (Vitamin K2 helps prevent abnormal calcification or accumulation of atherosclerotic plaque in the heart and kidneys, blood vessel inflammation etc. by maintaining calcium in the bones and discouraging calcium deposits from forming in arteries.)

Supplementing with vitamin K2

There are two types of vitamin K2 supplements available, one is synthetic vitamin K2 (menaquinone-4 or MK-4) and the other is natural MK-7 (menaquinone-7) derived from natto.

Synthetic MK-4 is considered equivalent to the natural vitamin K2 (MK-4) present in animal fats and has been used in osteoporosis studies performed in Japan which established the link between K2 and bone health as well as in the majority of animal experiments5 performed with similar purposes.

When taking vitamin K2 in pill form, you may wish to combine their ingestion with fat since this has been found to increase its uptake by the body ("bioavailability"). No toxic effects have been observed from high doses of vitamin K2.

A look on the internet shows that there are numerous sellers offering various vitamin K2 supplements of various qualities. If you go for supplementation, choose wisely :-).

Caveat: patients taking oral anticoagulants (warfarin and the like) should ask their physician before taking vitamin K2 supplements since the latter interfere with the former's activity.

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