Sorbitol is one of the artificial sweeteners commonly used in food or beverages. This artificial sweetener has lower calories than regular sugar. Not only low in calories, sorbitol also has several benefits for the health of the body.
Sorbitol is a type of sugar-sweetening type of alcohol. Although classified as alcohol sugar, this sweetener contains absolutely no ethanol alcohol compounds that cause the effects of hangovers. Sorbitol is water-soluble and is naturally contained in many fruits, such as apples, dates, berries, and peaches.
Compared to granulated sugar, the calories in sorbitol are relatively low, which is only about 60% of the number of calories in granulated sugar. Therefore, sorbitol is often used as an alternative to sugar in food or beverages. Not only that, sorbitol is also often used as a food additive and preservative.
Various Benefits of Sorbitol for Health
Not only as a sweetener, sorbitol also has good benefits for health. The following are some of the benefits of sorbitol:
Maintaining blood sugar levels
Sorbitol is often used as an alternative sugar substitute for diabetics. This is because sorbitol is low in calories and does not cause a high increase in blood sugar.
However, before choosing and using sorbitol as a sweetener for food and beverages, diabetics should first consult a doctor to find out the exact amount of sorbitol use.
Maintaining dental health
Sorbitol is often used as an alternative sweetener in sugar-free chewing gum and mouthwash. Unlike ordinary sugars that can damage teeth, sorbitol does not cause damage to the protective layer of teeth or dental emails, thus reducing the risk of plaque forming and holes in the teeth.
Overcoming difficulty defecating
Sorbitol can increase the absorption of water in the intestine, soften the stool, and stimulate bowel movement. Therefore, sorbitol is often used as a laxative to treat difficulty defecating.
Not only that, some research also shows that sorbitol has prebiotic properties. However, sorbitol can sometimes cause discomfort or even abdominal pain, if consumed excessively.
Things to Look For when Using Sorbitol
As mentioned earlier, sorbitol has a laxative effect. In some people, the consumption of sorbitol or sugar alcohol in large quantities can cause flatulence, nausea, vomiting, frequent farts, and diarrhea.
Although low in calories, sorbitol can still increase blood sugar, especially if consumed in excess. You may not realize you have consumed sorbitol because foods or beverages that include this compound often label “sugar-free” or “no added sugar” to the packaging.
However, it is worth remembering that foods or drinks labeled “sugar-free” do not mean really do not use sugar.