Xylitol: Should We Stop Calling It Natural?

The name should’ve tipped me off.


It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue like “meadowlark” or “chamomile” or “cottonwood.” Not particularly authentic-sounding, that xylitol.

But my box of xylitol sweetener said “natural” all over it. And each individual packet told me “safer than sugar.” Not to mention, the brand I had is made right here in good old Colorado. Where even the car exhaust takes itself to be recycled.

So I pulled out a packet. One tiny packet. And I put it in my cup of coffee, completely oblivious to the nightmare that was about to ensue.

To save you the gory details, let me just give you a few key concepts and you can put it all together: