Sugar alcohols and polyols
This is just to reiterate what I keep saying to people about polyols, with the addition of a statistic:
More than 30 per cent of healthy adults in India and the USA developed abdominal symptoms after ingestion of sorbitol. Researchers commented ‘our results indicate that sorbitol intolerance is a potential clinical problem in a substantial number
of healthy adults’. Although sugar alcohols are chemically related to sugars, they are not as sweet, don’t cause tooth decay and are poorly absorbed into the blood stream. This poor absorption means they can work their way through the digestive tract, causing bloating, abdominal pain and severe diarrhoea. Children and especially babies are considered to be at greater risk, yet most parents are unaware of this. Sorbitol and other sugar alcohols or polyols are used in sugar-free chewing gum and confectionery, low joule or carbohydrate modified food including icecreams, jams and medications. Since ‘sugar-free’ is associated with ‘healthy’ a growing number of health foods and supplements contain these sweeteners. Reference: Jain NK, Patel VP, Pitchumoni CS. Sorbitol intolerance in adults. Prevalence and pathogenesis on two continents. J Clin Gastroenterol 1987;9(3):317-9; New factsheet: Sugar-free sweeteners. Failsafe Newsletter #47
Atkinsers beware: don’t go blaming diarrhoea on low-carbing when the problem is the artificial sweeteners you’ve started chowing down on.