General Warnings

Is Erythritol Safe For Kidneys?

Erythritol belongs to a class of compounds called sugar alcohols. Many different sugar alcohols are used by food producers. These include xylitol, sorbitol and maltitol. Most of them function as low-calorie sweeteners in sugar-free or low-sugar products. The World Health Organization (WHO) approved erythritol in 1999, and the FDA did the same in 2001.

Most sugar alcohols are found in small amounts in nature, especially in fruits and vegetables. The way these molecules are structured gives them the ability to stimulate the sweet taste receptors on your tongue. Erythritol appears to be quite different from the other sugar alcohols. With only 6% of the calories of sugar, it still contains 70% of the sweetness. In large-scale production, erythritol is created when a type of yeast ferments glucose from corn or wheat starch.

Is Erythritol safe for kidneys?

Yes, erythritol appears to be generally considered safe for people with healthy kidneys and there is no evidence to suggest that it is harmful to the kidneys when consumed in moderate amounts. In fact, erythritol is excreted unchanged by the kidneys and does not accumulate in the body, making it a safe sugar substitute for people with kidney disease.

Multiple studies on its toxicity and effects on metabolism have been performed in animals. Despite long-term feeding of high amounts of erythritol, no serious side effects have been detected.

Unlike other sugar alcohols, most of erythritol gets absorbed into the bloodstream before it reaches the colon. It circulates in the blood for a while, until it is eventually excreted unchanged in the urine. About 90% of erythritol is excreted this way.

Erythritol is also safe for people with diabetes because it has no effect on glucose or insulin levels. This makes it a safe sugar substitute if you have diabetes. Foods that contain erythritol may still contain carbohydrates, calories, and fat, so it’s important to check the label. Although erythritol doesn’t have any serious side effects, eating high amounts may cause digestive upset.

However, people with advanced kidney disease or those undergoing dialysis may need to limit their intake of erythritol, as their kidneys may not be able to handle the increased workload of processing this sweetener. In addition, data from studies suggest that the consumption of added sugars leads to kidney damage and related metabolic derangements that increase cardiovascular risk. Importantly, the consumption of added sugars has been found to induce insulin resistance and increase uric acid in humans, both of which increase the conversion of glucose to fructose.

 It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before making any dietary changes or adding new foods or supplements to your diet, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medication.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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