Effects of daily xylitol use on glucose metabolism in type 2 diabetes
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Type 2 diabetes is a devastating disease that has been rising in prevalence in the United States over the last 70 years, a rise which has paralleled the obesity epidemic and use of artificial sweeteners. This is especially concerning due to the many detrimental comorbid complications stemming from this potentially longstanding disease, including retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy. Xylitol is an alternative sweetener that has been gaining popularity due to its intense sweetening power, as well as reported antidiabetic effects. Studies on rats induced with type 2 diabetes have found that xylitol helps in reducing blood glucose and insulin secretion, as well as increase protein and fat metabolism, post prandial satiety, and oxygen free radical destruction. These promising results have provided ample evidence to test the effects of xylitol on humans. The proposed study will examine the results of daily xylitol intake (0%, 2.5%, 5%, and 10%) on blood sugar levels over 1 year in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics. Plasma samples will be taken 3 times during the study period to examine HbA1c, fasting blood glucose, Glucagon-Like Peptide 1, Cholecystokinin, and Superoxide Dismutase. At the end of 1 year of treatment, patient samples will be averaged into 6 month and 12 month results for each parameter and compared using ANOVA and student T-tests. We will test whether the results of this study mirror those seen in previous research on rats, that the antidiabetic effects of xylitol increase relative to concentration. This study hopes to provide further evidence on the need for xylitol supplementation in the diet of type 2 diabetics, either independently or to augment medical treatment, in helping to prevent progression of disease and reduce comorbid complications.