Natasha Marsland, Diabetes UK Clinical Advisor, said: "This is a very small study carried out only in rats. We would need to see the same effects in humans before drawing any conclusions as to potential benefits to people with Type 2 diabetes, or those trying to avoid weight gain.
"On its own this sweetener, a polyol, will not prevent obesity or Type 2 diabetes as the authors suggest. Furthermore, xylitol tends to be found in processed foods which are high in fat and saturated fat, and therefore very calorific.
"By replacing sugar with xylitol you will only making a small calorie saving and, on top of this, excessive consumption of polyols such as xylitol have a laxative effect."
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