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I will not have products with xylitol in my house. It is fatal to animals even in small doses. While it is naturally occurring the process of extracting it from plant material involves caustic agents and the majority of source material these days for xylitol is corn from China. It is far far from a perfect sweetener.
Price-Pottenger recently shared an article on Facebook discussing the health risks of toothpastes containing fluoride, “Toothpaste with a Warning Label.” Two of the alternative toothpaste recommendations include the sweetener xylitol. A fan posted a comment expressing concern for using xylitol-containing products in a home with pets.
We asked Price-Pottenger Vice-President, Naturopath, and Clinical Nutritionist to share his thoughts on xylitol:
There are no perfect sweeteners. Xylitol is one of the natural sweeteners. When manufactured in the U.S.A. from birch, not corn, it is a sweetener I have recommended for many years.
My favorite sweeteners are organic water-process stevia from stevia leaves that were not grown in China. This is why I recommend the Stevita Brand. Yacón syrup is another favorite. Also luo han extract (also known as luo han guo, or monk fruit) which must come from China as that is where the plant grows naturally.
My second choices are erythritol, and xylitol from U.S. birch.
I am personally owned by two loving Tonkinese cats, so I understand your concern for your feline friends’ safety. No one should consume a food which they react to. If you need to avoid strawberries, peanuts, shellfish, wheat and gluten, or xylitol due to a sensitivity, then by all means avoid them. We must carefully safeguard any foods, sweeteners, drugs, and supplements that our pets, or even our children, must not have access to.
Dogs are very sensitive to xylitol and can be poisoned by it, whether in toothpaste, gum, or even baked goods. Cats can be poisoned easily by Tylenol (acetaminophen). The fantastic nutrient called Alpha Lipoic Acid has saved the lives of many people with liver poisoning from both alcohol and poisonous mushrooms. It is also a fabulous nutrient for general nerve and liver protection in humans and helps chelate mercury. I take it daily. It can also kill your cat. That does not stop me from using it with many hundreds of my patients including those with cats. A safe general practice would be to keep pets from getting into any sweeteners, drugs, and supplements, and only give food you know to be safe for them.
I expect that most of us have many substances in our homes which could kill our pets and even kill us. The best we can do is to learn which they are and keep them away from whomever should not have access to them.
— David Getoff, CCN, CTN, FAAIM
Want to read more, or join in the discussion?
Here is our original article, “Toothpaste with a Warning Label.”
You can join in the discussion on Facebook here.