A current examine from the Cleveland Clinic raises questions concerning the security of erythritol, a pure non-caloric sweetener that I’ve included in a few of my recipes. This comes from the laboratory of Dr. Stan Hazen, who has–in my opinion—launched suspect proof in previous concerning the atherogenicity (atherosclerotic plaque-causing) and cardiovascular event-promoting results of trimethylamino oxide, TMAO. As a result of TMAO ranges enhance within the bloodstream with consumption of compounds akin to carnitine that originate with animal merchandise akin to hen, fish, and beef, the elevated TMAO ranges had been declared a purpose to keep away from all animal merchandise. The flaw on this argument is that TMAO is a product of microbes within the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome. Sadly, in these research, the GI microbiome was ignored, primarily being handled as a black field, although GI microbial composition is a significant determinant of TMAO ranges and can’t be ignored. When this most up-to-date examine was launched that questions the security of erythritol, I used to be due to this fact skeptical. Nonetheless, upon nearer examination, they’ve certainly raised some essential issues of safety.
This comes as a shock, since erythritol is a naturally-occurring sweetener present in small portions in fruit, in addition to a compound that the human physique produces in modest quantities. Naturally-occurring compounds are normally secure to make use of. Erythritol could due to this fact be an exception.
Notably, majority of the report is observational, i.e., merely observations amongst individuals however not an intervention of, say, erythritol consumption versus placebo. Observational information is almost at all times questionable, failing to yield cause-effect relationships. Nonetheless, on this case, observations that recommend a rise within the incidence of cardiovascular occasions is 1) dose-related (i.e., the larger the consumption or blood ranges, the larger the danger), 2) constant throughout completely different teams of individuals (cohorts), and three) probably defined by their potential demonstration of platelet activation (that underlies many cardiovascular occasions akin to stroke and coronary heart assault). Whereas not conclusive, it does elevate sufficient suspicion that, I consider, we must always restrict our publicity to essentially the most minimal quantities or exclude solely.
Notably, the rise in cardiovascular occasions appeared to happen in contributors with the best consumption (fourth quartile) of erythritol. The rise in platelet responsiveness/clotting was provoked with ingestion of 30 grams of erythritol, about 7.5 teaspoons or 2.5 tablespoons.
It’s due to this fact smart to restrict consumption of merchandise containing erythritol. This leaves us with stevia in its numerous varieties, monk fruit, and allulose as our sweeteners of selection. Additionally word that, in our wheat/grain-sugar-free way of life, our sensitivity to sweetness is heightened, permitting us to make use of far much less of any type of sweetener. And, after all, many people lose our “candy tooths” over time, making the selection of sweetener a non-issue.