What Is Erythritol?
Erythritol is a type of carbohydrate known as a sugar alcohol, or polyol, and occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Food companies manufacture erythritol through fermentation of glucose.
Erythritol looks like sugar and tastes like sugar but is considered calorie-free. Many people on keto and low-carb diets eat products sweetened with erythritol as do people with diabetes who are looking for a substitute for regular table sugar that does not boost blood sugar levels.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved erythritol as an artificial sweetener in 2001.
While erythritol sweetener may seem like the answer for people looking to lose a few pounds or adhere to dietary restrictions, new research casts doubt on the artificial sweetener’s safety.
Study Finds Link Between Erythritol and Cardiovascular Event Risk
A study, published in the journal Nature Medicine by researchers from Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, found a connection between erythritol and higher rates of heart attack and stroke.
The researchers discovered that the artificial sweetener promoted clotting in the blood. When a blood clot breaks off, it can advance to the heart and cause a heart attack or to the brain and cause a stroke.
“Our studies show that when healthy volunteers consumed an artificially sweetened beverage with an amount of erythritol observed in many processed foods, markedly elevated levels in the blood are observed for days — levels well above those observed to enhance clotting risks.“
Dr. Stanley Hazen, M.D., PhD, lead researcher
They also found that people with certain health conditions like diabetes or existing heart disease were two times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke if they had the highest levels of erythritol in their blood.
Keep in mind that this is one study and that researchers continue to examine the health risks and long-term effects of erythritol and other artificial sweeteners.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a heart condition or had a heart attack or stroke after consuming the artificial sweetener erythritol, you may qualify for an erythritol lawsuit.
What Products Contain Erythritol?
Many food products marketed to people looking to lose weight or follow specific diets such as keto, low-carb, or diabetes friendly diets contain erythritol.
Products that may contain erythritol include:
- Artificial sweeteners such as monk fruit, Lakonta, Splenda, Swerve, and Truvia
- Baked goods
- Ice cream
- Soft drinks and sports drinks
- Toothpaste and mouthwash
This is not a complete list. Many products labeled as “keto,” “low calorie,” “zero calorie,” or “zero sugar” often contain the sugar substitute erythritol.
Additionally, consumers can purchase pure erythritol — either granulated or powdered — to use as a sweetener.
It’s important to note that food manufacturers are not required to list sugar alcohols like erythritol on nutrition labels.
This is not the first time that erythritol has been the subject of legal scrutiny.
In 2014, food corporation Cargill Inc. paid $6.1 million to settle four class-action lawsuits alleging that it misled consumers by marketing the sugar substitute Truvia as “natural.” Truvia contains stevia extract Reb-A and erythritol.
Erythritol Side Effects
People who consume too much erythritol may experience gastrointestinal problems such as an upset stomach, bloating, or diarrhea.
Additionally, researchers have linked erythritol artificial sweetener to cardiovascular issues, including:
- Blood clotting
- Cardiac damage
- Heart attack
These health outcomes can be serious and result in permanent impairment or even death.
Do I Qualify for an Artificial Sweetener Lawsuit?
You may qualify for an artificial sweetener lawsuit if:
- You or a loved one consumed erythritol sweetener on a regular basis
- Later had a heart attack or stroke
An erythritol artificial sweetener lawsuit is a type of product liability lawsuit. People who have been harmed by dangerous products file product liability lawsuits to recover money for their damages and hold negligent product manufacturers accountable.
Damages available in an erythritol lawsuit may include:
- Emotional anguish
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages to punish corporate wrongdoers
Product manufacturers have a duty to test their products to ensure that they are safe for consumers and warn of any dangers or health risks on the label.
When they fail to do so, they can — and should — be held responsible for any injuries that they cause.
FAQs About Erythritol Sweetener
Is erythritol bad for you?
Possibly, yes. A recent study found that the zero-calorie sweetener erythritol may lead to a higher risk of adverse cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes.
What does erythritol do to your body?
Erythritol promotes blood clotting in the body, which can lead to cardiovascular events like a heart attack or stroke, according to a recent study by researchers at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute.
The researchers also found that people with certain risk factors such as diabetes and existing cardiovascular disease — a consumer group that erythritol is marketed to — were twice as likely to experience a heart attack or stroke if they had the highest levels of erythritol in their blood.
What are the side effects and dangers of erythritol?
People who consume too much erythritol may experience unpleasant side effects such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea.
In addition, a new study has connected the artificial sweetener to cardiovascular issues, including blood clotting, heart attacks, and strokes. These potential dangers of erythritol were most pronounced in people with underlying health conditions such as diabetes.
What is the truth about erythritol?
A new study suggests that the consumption of erythritol can boost blood clot formation and, as result, increase a person’s risk of heart attack and stroke. The study was conducted by researchers at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute and published in the journal Nature Medicine on February 27, 2023.
While the FDA and other health authorities have deemed erythritol as safe, the results of the study indicate the need for more research to determine the potential health risks and long-term effects of this artificial sweetener.