People are limiting their carbohydrate intake due to health concerns as carbohydrate is considered to be the main culprit behind weight gain, diabetes and heart problems. The high intake of carbohydrates, results in high blood sugar level which can lead to other health problems. Therefore, a substitute for carbohydrates is devised by the scientists which is known as sugar alcohol. The sugar alcohols are sugar free sweeteners which are low in calories and are considered to be beneficial for health-conscious people who are keen on cutting down on calories. Sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol, lactitol etc are some of the common examples of sugar alcohols of which Sorbitol is the most commonly used sugar alcohols because of its benefits on your health and body. Here, in this article we are going to elucidate on the health and beauty benefits of Sorbitol.
What Is Sorbitol?
Sorbitol which is also known as glucitol is a sugar alcohol which acts as a sugar free sweetener and which is low in calories. Sorbitol is commonly derived from corn syrup, though naturally it is found in various fruits and vegetables including apple, plum, cherries, raspberries, peaches, prune, blackberries, apricots. Its sweetness profile is close to glucose as compared of sucrose. It is 60% sweeter than sugar and almost 60-66% lower in calorie count than sugar.
What Is Sorbitol Used For?
Sorbitol is commonly used as a sweetener and as a food additive in bakery products, confectionery, dairy products, soft drinks and in medicines.
Sorbitol acts as a mild laxative and is considered to be beneficial in maintaining oral hygiene.
Due to its moisturizing, protective and healing properties, Sorbitol has become a key ingredient in many hair care and skin care products. Gradually Sorbitol is securing a prominent space in the cosmetic industry.
How Does Sorbitol Work?
When Sorbitol is ingested, it produces an enzyme which is known as sorbitol dehydrogenase which breaks down Sorbitol into fructose. Fructose stimulates the liver to produce chemicals which further break down it into simpler sugar such as glucose, glycogen, lactate and carbon dioxide which is easily absorbed by your body. Glucose is considered to be the simplest form of sugar which breaks down to release energy. The excess of glucose is stored in the body in the form of glycogen which is broken down to glucose to release energy when sugar supply is low in the body.
Benefits Of Sorbitol
Sorbitol is artificially synthesized from glucose. It is a white, crystalline powder which is hygroscopic in nature. Sorbitol which is commonly used as a low cal sweetener and as a food additive has many health and beauty benefits as well. Let’s find out more about its beneficial properties.
1. Controls Blood Sugar Level And Diabetes
People suffering from diabetes should limit their sugar intake as their body is not able to readily break down the sugar, thereby increasing the blood sugar level. But if you have a sweet tooth and want to enjoy your favourite sweet dishes guilt-free, then you can use Sorbitol as an artificial sweetener which is also known to be low on calorie. Sorbitol is especially beneficial for people with diabetes as it helps to keep the blood sugar level in control. Sorbitol is partially absorbed by the intestine and gets converted into glycogen which is stored in the liver. Thus, Sorbitol does not shoot up the blood sugar level and is considered safe for people with diabetes.
2. Relieves From Constipation
Sorbitol is known to be a mild laxative and is known to relieve constipation in children and elderly people. Sorbitol helps to ease bowel movement as it is an osmotic laxative which draws water into large intestine and colon and aids in loosening the stool. Sorbitol is generally considered as a safer and much cheaper option to treat constipation. But be mindful about its use as excessive use of Sorbitol in large amount can lead to diarrhoea.
3. Moisturizes Your Skin
Sorbitol acts as an excellent moisturizer which helps to keep your skin soft and smooth. Sorbitol has a calming and soothing effect on the irritated and dry skin as it is broken down into beta-glucan by certain probiotics. The healing property of Sorbitol is known to be beneficial for people with severe skin conditions. It forms a protective layer on over your skin, protecting it from the harsh climate and other environmental aggressors. Sorbitol is powerful humectant and helps to absorb and retain moisture on your skin thereby making it look more youthful in appearance.
4. Oral Care
Sorbitol is known to be a substitute for sugar and is considered to be a safer option for your teeth as well. Excessive sugar is not only harmful to your body but also to your teeth. Sugar can lead to several tooth issues like tooth decay, cavities in the tooth. The bacteria present in plaque break down the sugar to release acids which are known to erode the enamel of your teeth resulting in tooth decay and cavities. It also reduces the strength of your tooth. But the bacteria present in the mouth is not able to break down Sorbitol and it is metabolized slowly in the mouth, thus preventing tooth decay and cavities. Due to this reason, Sorbitol is found in many toothpastes and chewing gums.
5. Hydrates And Cleanses Your Scalp
The smoke, dirt, dust and grime have a detrimental effect on your scalp, which leads to various hair care issues. The Sorbitol in shampoos is known to bind with dirt and grime of your scalp and makes it water-soluble which gets washed away easily while shampooing your hair. Sorbitol acts as a perfect surfactant and hence used in many clarifying shampoos. Sorbitol is also known to be an excellent humectant as it absorbs moisture from the surrounding and helps to retain the moisture in your strands thereby making it well hydrated and well-nourished.
Common Uses Of Sorbitol
Because of the incredible properties of Sorbitol, it is increasingly being used in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. In fact, you can find Sorbitol everywhere as it is known to enhance your health as well as beauty. Let’s have a look at some of the common uses of Sorbitol.
- Sorbitol is used as an artificial sweetener in many bakery and confectionery products, soft drinks and milk products.
- Sorbitol is used in certain medicines such as cough syrup as a sweetener.
- Unlike sugar, Sorbitol metabolizes slowly in mouth, thereby preventing tooth decay hence, commonly used in toothpastes and chewing gums.
- Sorbitol is also used as a mild laxative to treat constipation in children and the elderly people.
- Sorbitol is used in the manufacture of soft gel capsules for storing single doses of liquid medicine.
- Sorbitol is a powerful humectant and hence, used in many skin care products such as creams, moisturizers, body lotion, facial serums etc.
- It also acts as an excellent surfactant which binds dirt and grime of the scalp and makes it water-soluble, hence used extensively in fortifying shampoos, conditioners.
Side Effects Of Sorbitol
Sorbitol is generally considered to be safe if taken in moderation. Too much of anything is bad for your health and so is Sorbitol. An overdose of Sorbitol can cause diarrhoea and bloating. Other side effects of Sorbitol include vomiting, nausea, dehydration, dry mouth, dizziness and stomach cramps. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should also avoid taking Sorbitol. If you are under any medication, then consult a doctor before taking Sorbitol as it is known to interfere with other medicines. Some people are intolerant to Sorbitol, so before using it make sure that you are not intolerant to Sorbitol. People suffering from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) then you should totally avoid Sorbitol as it can worsen the condition. Use it in moderation and don’t make it a habit to use it regularly in your daily routine as in the long run, it can cause gut issues.
One should be mindful about using Sorbitol and utilize it efficiently for enhancing your health and resolving all your beauty concerns.
Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol which is used as a low cal artificial sweetener which acts as a substitute for sugar and is commonly used in bakery and confectionery products. It acts as a mild laxative and helps in maintaining oral hygiene. Sorbitol is used in beauty industry because of its moisturizing and cleansing properties. Sorbitol is generally considered to be safe, but an overdose of it can be hazardous to your health. Sorbitol should not be considered as a medication to treat your health issues, consult and seek your doctors advice before taking any Sorbitol supplement.
Written By - Akhila Menon
Disclaimer: All the content on anveya.com/blogs is solely for information. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified health care provider. The information, suggestion or remedies mentioned on this site are provided without warranty of any kind, whether express or implied.