Effect of the natural sweetener xylitol on gut hormone secretion and gastric emptying in humans: A pilot dose-ranging study

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Sugar consumption is associated with a whole range of negative health effects and should be reduced and the natural sweetener xylitol might be helpful in achieving this goal. The present study was conducted as a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over trial. Twelve healthy, lean volunteers received intragastric solutions with 7, 17 or 35 g xylitol or tap water on four separate days. We examined effects on: gut hormones, glucose, insulin, glucagon, uric acid, lipid profile, as well as gastric emptying rates, appetite-related sensations and gastrointestinal symptoms. We found: (i) a dose-dependent stimulation of cholecystokinin (CCK), active glucagon-like peptide-1 (aGLP-1), peptide tyrosine tyrosine (PYY)-release, and decelerated gastric emptying rates, (ii) a dose-dependent increase in blood glucose and insulin, (iii) no effect on motilin, glucagon, or glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP)-release, (iv) no effect on blood lipids, but a rise in uric acid, and (v) increased bowel sounds as only side effects. In conclusion, low doses of xylitol stimulate the secretion of gut hormones and induce a deceleration in gastric emptying rates. There is no effect on blood lipids and only little effect on plasma glucose and insulin. This combination of properties (low-glycemic sweetener which stimulates satiation hormone release) makes xylitol an attractive candidate for sugar replacement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number174
Issue number1
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Appetite-related sensations, Blood lipids, Gastric emptying, Gastrointestinal symptoms, Gut hormones, Natural sweeteners, Uric acid, Xylitol

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