Sorbitol has been known since ancient times with even less scientific enlightenment. Initially, it was part of the composition of fermented wine stored in containers made of lead-containing material. Over time, scientific discoveries have been made that shed light on the chemical components and sweetness of sorbitol. The many properties of sorbitol have led nutrition professionals to use it as a substitute for sucrose. It is recommended to compensate for a lack of much-needed nutrients in the body. It is commonly found in medicines with fewer calories, in cosmetics, and in food products.
What do we know about sorbitol so far?
Sorbitol is generally associated with a sweetener, which is a whitish substance that is soluble in water and gives a sweet taste to food without increasing the sugar content. This characteristic is of interest to individuals whose usual sugar intake is limited. Sorbitol has a lower sweetness than sucrose or table sugar, which are commonly used. This substance is thus found in the composition of foodstuffs, in the field of pharmacology, and also in cosmetics. Its chemical composition is complex. Moreover, this element is also produced by the human body, but it is poorly digested by the body. When the blood contains a high enough amount of this substance, this can lead to unpleasant effects that may affect eyesight. The nerves can also suffer disastrous consequences, resulting in neuropathy. Medical professionals are the only people able to prescribe the necessary dose for the comfort of the body and to ensure that it is not damaged.
The actual use of sorbitol
Despite the known characteristics of sorbitol, recommendations on its consumption are still in the background. However, it is known that it is used as a sugar substitute in the same way as medicines. Its calorie intake is not significant, if at all. Consumers are made aware of this situation. They are only informed of the stabilizing and sequestering effect of sorbitol when it is absorbed by the body. It easily retains water in the body and delays the crystallization of sugar in certain foods such as chocolate. It is therefore found in the food industry in the manufacture of so-called sugar-free food products. It is not advisable to consume it in abundance; otherwise, it may produce side effects that are difficult to treat. However, its fresh taste is essential for the production of chewing gum and good oral hygiene. Its use is not prescribed during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The baby may suffer effects that are not suitable for its growth. Excessive consumption of this product containing high doses of sweetener can lead to gastric disorders.
The benefits of consuming sorbitol
Diabetics are the first to benefit from the advantages of sorbitol because it does not raise blood sugar levels. This is of particular interest to patients who have to drink their coffee and tea with sweetened sugar. The taste is only sweet, it does not have a cariogenic property like sugar. It has a water-retaining capacity that evaporates with difficulty so as not to cause constipation. Its laxative effect is essential, the medicine can be supplied without a prescription. People on a strict diet are required to take the dose indicated by the nutritionist or the doctor treating them. This dose is calculated based on the patient’s needs in the required proportion and prescribed so as not to cause side effects. In addition, cattle feed for slaughter contains a solution of sweetened substances to give the meat a taste suitable for consumption. The pH or hydrogen potential, which is used to measure the acidity of meat intended for consumption, must be neutral and lower. The same applies to modern cosmetics. The product has the advantage of being moistening and thickening for better skin protection.
What are the risks of using sorbitol?
So far, the effects of sorbitol deficiency in the body have not been demonstrated. No problems have been raised to demonstrate that any deficiency is the cause of discomfort. However, the consequences are seen after overconsumption of the product leading to digestive problems even if the laxative effect is significant. Problems are also known to arise from overuse when cataracts threaten eyesight. Indeed, the accumulation of deposits of this product leads to the opacity of the lens of the eye. Excess consumption can also lead to other serious symptoms such as neuropathy. In addition, severe bloating and gas formation can lead to diarrhoea and painful gastroenteritis. If the problems persist, the accumulation of sorbitol in the intestines is not conducive to better digestion. Subsequently, the fermentation of ingested food happens gradually, resulting in frequent digestion problems. It is therefore essential to follow professional advice before taking a sweetener.