According to a new study conducted in Natural medicine.
The initial study found that people with risk factors for heart disease who had the most erythritol in their blood had a double risk of heart attack or stroke compared to the top 25% of participants. poor. The researchers then looked at a smaller group of individuals with no risk factors and found that erythritol still increased the risk.
“The study basically showed that erythritol causes blood to clot more than just your body’s natural ability to clot,” said Dan LeMoine, holistic nutritionist, author of Don’t be afraid of anythingand CEO of Revitalized Weight Loss and Wellness.
Blood clotting is a healthy thing, he said. For example, if you cut yourself, you want your body’s platelets to clot to stop the bleeding. But too much blood clotting isn’t such a good thing, especially if you already have risk factors.
“So what was most concerning in the study is that if you have a comorbidity or an existing risk factor like heart disease or diabetes, it looks like higher erythritol intake could potentially be correlated with an increased risk of heart attack or stroke,” LeMoine said in an interview with Delish.
But over the years, research on erythritol seems to have yielded different results. Calorie Control Council executive director Robert Rankin told CNN that “the results of this study are contrary to decades of scientific research showing that low-calorie sweeteners like erythritol are safe, as evidenced by global regulatory approvals for use in food and beverages.”
Rankin added that these results “should not be extrapolated to the general population, as intervention participants were already at increased risk for cardiovascular events.”
But LeMoine is skeptical of the food approval process in the United States. “The way the FDA and different regulatory agencies allow different foods and chemicals to get into our foods seems to be very different from other parts of the world,” he said. “In America, we have this innocent-until-proven-type mentality, even when it comes to chemicals and food ingredients and things like that. Whereas other parts of the world, like Europe, for example, you have to prove that you will do no harm before you are even in food or used by the general public.”
What is erythritol?
“Erythritol is like a lot of these other non-nutritive sweeteners in that it’s low-calorie or zero-calorie,” LeMoine said. Erythritol does not raise blood sugar, which is important for people with diabetes or following a keto diet. It also tastes like sugar and is heat stable, which makes it good for baking.
Are foods containing erythritol safe to eat?
Until there are larger studies, LeMoine said it would probably be advisable to withdraw or avoid erythritol if you eat a lot of foods with it or have existing risk factors. .
But keep in mind that the people in the study who had high levels of erythritol in their blood ate a lot foods containing erythritol. “I don’t think the people most at risk were the ‘every once in a while I had a few packets of erythritol in my coffee’ (erythritol consumer),” he said.
When advising his clients, he said: “A lot of these non-nutritive sweeteners can be really good in a pinch when you’re really craving something, but generally speaking they’re still highly processed and probably good to eat. eat as close to nature as possible.”
“Treat treats like treats, that’s what we like to say,” LeMoine said. “So whether you sweeten these treats with erythritol or sugar, treat them like a treat.”
He added that even things like stevia have been shown to disrupt the gut microbiome. “They are not the magic bullet that I think is sometimes attributed to them.”
He likes to think of this as a risk spectrum, where you look at your overall health, diet, and existing risk factors. And ultimately, he thinks more research on erythritol is needed.
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Allison Arnold is an associate SEO writer at Delish, where she writes about kitchen gadgets, food, and culture. She enjoys exercising almost as much as eating and has a comprehensive Google Maps ranking system for her favorite restaurants and bars. You can find her spitting out hot takes on the world of food and planning her next trip, all with multiple cans of seltzer open at once.