Erythritol is a kind of sweetener and although it belongs to the group of polyols, such as xylitol or maltitol, this is an exception, because it is considered as a low-FODMAP product, i.e. with a low tendency to ferment.
This alcoholic sugar is easily absorbed at the small intestine stage, which means that most people with IBS should tolerate it well.
However, studies show that erythritol may exacerbate existing problems in the absorption of fructose, which may be an additional difficulty for people with this problem.
What is Erythritol?
Erythritol is a four-carbon sugar alcohol, absorbed in the small intestine quite effectively, in contrast to other alcoholic sugars already included in the high FODMAP group, such as sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, xylitol.
Studies show that only about 1/10 of the adopted erythritol dose goes further, up to the large intestine, and the bacteria at this stage of the digestive tract don’t cause rapid degradation of erythritol.
Theoretically, erythritol shouldn’t intensify IBS symptoms, hence it is assumed that this product belongs to the FODMAP low group and can be used by people on the FODMAP dietary protocol.
However, the supplementation of erythritol can be a problem when fructose is intolerant. In the case of existing fructose intolerance, the presence of erythritol in the supply of fructose causes its absorption in the small intestine to decrease.
The unbounded fructose enters the large intestine where it begins to violently undergo fermentation processes, causing symptoms identical with IBS.
This means that erythritol itself, although included in the low FODMAP group, in combination with fructose, which is high in FODMAP, may enhance the effect of fermentation and thus digestive ailments.
Where we can find Erythritol?
Erythritol is naturally found in very small amounts (in the order of tenths of gram per serving) in certain fruits, fungi, and products resulting from yeast fermentation, such as wine or soy sauce.
Thus, from natural sources one doesn’t need to fear its supply, which could negatively affect the absorption of fructose.
Erythritol is also obtained by fermentation of glucose from wheat or maize starch using non-pathogenic yeast. Such erythritol can be purchased…
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