Have you heard the recent claims that erythritol, a common sugar substitute, is linked to heart disease and heart failure? It's easy to be alarmed by sensationalist headlines, but it's important to examine the evidence before jumping to conclusions.
First, let's take a closer look at what erythritol is. Erythritol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol found in fruits and vegetables, and is even produced in our own bodies as part of the food digestion process. It's also worth noting that erythritol has been approved by both the European Food Safety Authority and the FDA for human consumption, with a limit of up to 1 gram per kilogram of body weight. Even at concentrations of up to 20%, erythritol has shown no toxicity.
But what about the study that supposedly linked erythritol to heart disease and heart failure? It's important to note that the study was associative, meaning it found a correlation between erythritol consumption and heart disease, but not causation. Furthermore, the cohort used in the study consisted of 4000 people who had high rates of heart disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and hypertension. This means that there were other factors at play besides erythritol consumption.
Not only that, but the human study that was conducted was actually quite shady. The trial was registered for 40 participants, but only 8 completed it. Even worse, there was no outcome data published despite citing six primary outcomes. This should raise red flags for anyone who is serious about scientific research.
On the other hand, studies have shown that erythritol can have a number of benefits. For example, it can reduce dental plaque, doesn't impact glucose and insulin levels, slows down gastric emptying and glucose absorption, enhances satiety, and may have potential anti-oxidant properties. It has also been suggested that erythritol could have positive implications in fatty liver disease. And let's not forget that erythritol makes food palatable and tasty!
So what's the real issue here? It's possible that some people want to take away something good from you and your loved ones for their own financial gain. They're using poor ideology and narratives to scare you into believing that erythritol is harmful. But we need to be smart about this. We need to stop taking media at face value when it comes to nutrition, and we need to ignore and replace those influencers, scientists, or doctors who don't read studies and simply retweet something because it fits a narrative.
In conclusion, don't fall for fear-mongering about erythritol. It has been approved for human consumption and has shown no toxicity even at concentrations of up to 20%. It can also have a number of benefits for your health and wellbeing. Instead of letting sensationalist claims control your decisions, make informed choices about your health and wellbeing.