Erythritol health dangers

Updated February 21, 2017

Erythritol is a sweetener made from sugar alcohols. Many people believe the benefits of erythritol significantly outweigh the health dangers posed by the substance. Erythritol health risks include common, non-harmful side effects that gradually disappear or require treatment with common over-the-counter medications, such as erythritol diarrhoea.

Side Effects

The erythritol health effects include diarrhoea, bloating, gas and a rumbling sound from the stomach and intestinal tract. These side effects disappear in a few days as the body gets used to erythritol. If desired, these erythritol health effects are treatable with over-the-counter stomach medications.


Erythritol is not recommended for use by patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or other stomach disorders. In such patients, erythritol and its own side effects increase and aggravate the symptoms and side effects of the stomach disorder. Erythritol is not dangerous for such patients, but it may cause more discomfort for these patients than patients without stomach disorders.

FDA Findings

The Food and Drug Administration declared erythritol as 100 per cent safe for use as a common tabletop sweetener. In FDA studies, no allergic reactions to erythritol were reported. Numerous benefits and beneficial properties of erythritol helped to persuade the FDA's decision to approve the substance without the inclusion of warning labels.


Erythritol is used in different foods as an artificial sweetener, and it is safe for consumption by diabetic patients because it does not raise insulin levels. Some bulk foods like diet sodas and sugar-free cereals, cakes and juices are sweetened with erythritol. Erythritol is not as sweet as sugar, requiring that more be used to sweeten foods. Even when it is used in foods, no erythritol health risks are present--only such benefits as longer freshness, softer dough and even the control of crystallisation.


Many doctors and nutritionists agree that erythritol is the healthiest, safest and lowest-calorie sugar alternative out of all sugar alcohols used as sweeteners. In 1999, erythritol was reviewed by the WHO/FAO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives and was given the highest food safety grading possible.


In addition to the lack of calories, safety for diabetic users and the freshness and softness benefits of use in baking, there are no erythritol health risks for the teeth. Dental studies by the FDA indicate that erythritol is safer for the teeth than sugar because it does not contribute to tooth decay and, in fact, reduces the acidity in dental plaque that causes cavities and tooth decay.

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About the Author

Stephanie Daniels is a freelance writer residing in Louisa, Kentucky. Daniels focuses on parenting, children, gardening and home-decor articles. She was the manager of Home Decor for Home Depot for 4 years. Daniels has written for many online publications and enjoys ghostwriting.