What are the erythritol side effects?

In this short article, we will answer the question “What are the erythritol side effects?”. We will also explain to you what is erythritol, how to use it and learn about its safety.

What are the erythritol side effects?

The potential for stomach pain from this sweetener is one of its potential negative effects. This is not a generalisation, though, as the occurrence of side effects will depend on several variables, including the sensitivity of the organism eating it and the dosage taken. 

When the sweetener is used by individuals who are not used to intake, possible side effects include gas, indigestion, diarrhoea, and bloating.

Vomiting and diarrhoea may happen in the rarest and most severe cases. It is crucial to note that not everyone will experience these side effects; rather, they will only affect individuals with greater gastrointestinal sensitivity. 

In most situations, the body adapts to the chemical, and the amount consumed may progressively grow over time.

The origin of erythritol has also come under scrutiny because it is frequently derived from corn starch, and at the moment, most corn used for commercial purposes is genetically engineered.

However, there are numerous alternative viewpoints and ardent proponents of this issue. 

There are ongoing studies on the issues brought on by eating cereals and other genetically modified foods, but there is still no clear consensus that would allow us to categorically determine whether or not erythritol is damaging to health.

What is Erythritol?

A sugar alcohol called erythritol can be found in fruits and vegetables. Due to the chemical nature of the sweetener, which is 68% sweeter than sucrose and has a molecular structure halfway between an alcohol molecule and a sugar molecule, it is known as polyalcohol. 

This particular natural sweetener is soluble and made for commercial use, thus it comes from the fermentation of dextrose, which is itself made from corn, and simple sugar molecules.

Erythritol is used in diets to replace the calories and negative effects of sucrose and is present in some processed foods and beverages because it aids in moisture retention.

The high-calorie content of this polyalcohol is one of the primary causes of its use. Erythritol has about 0.24 calories per gramme compared to sucrose’s 4 calories. Another polyalcohol is xylitol, which has 2.4 calories per gramme.

How is erythritol used?

Natural sources of erythritol include fermented foods including cheeses, beers, wines, and soy sauces as well as fruits like peaches, watermelons, grapes, pears, and mushrooms.

A refined or crystal form of the sweetener is also available in supermarkets, health food stores, and even big-box pharmacies, and it can be used in place of conventional sugar.

The sweetening power of this food is less than that of sucrose, thus more must be needed to achieve the same effect. 

However, it is advised that individuals who are not accustomed to swallowing this polyalcohol begin doing so in small amounts until their bodies become accustomed to it.

Erythritol can be used to sweeten cakes, coffee, tea, candies, and other sweets in general because it does not, like sucrose, leave behind a harsh aftertaste.

Additionally, this polyalcohol can be used with other low-calorie sweeteners like aspartame and stevia, both of which have a more bitter aftertaste. The food will taste better when all of the aforementioned sweeteners are used together, providing a financial advantage.

Erythritol: harmful or safe?

Since erythritol is a polyalcohol and has a distinct molecular structure from sucrose, many people worry if it is dangerous. The safety of consuming it has been proven by numerous organisations and institutes through studies.

The sweetener was first available for use in Japanese food in 1990. The World Health Organization (WHO) certified its safety in 2002, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published tests in 2001 that claimed it was safe to consume.

This is a contentious topic, though, as frequent intake and high levels of polyalcohol can lead to digestive pain. 

It is significant to remember that, unlike other forms of polyalcohol, erythritol has a rapid absorption from the small intestine and rapid evacuation through the urine, which means that the amount that reaches the colon is insufficient to have laxative effects.

It is advised that people start drinking erythritol gradually and in modest amounts, then gradually increase their consumption if they have any reservations about introducing it to their diet or want to know if it is dangerous.

Erythritol continues to be a less unhealthy option than sucrose as a sweetener.


In this short article, we answered the question “What are the erythritol side effects?”. We have also explained to you what is erythritol, how to use it and learn about its safety.



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