What is Erythritol?

what is Erythritol

What is Erythritol? It’s basically “nothing”.  No, really.  Erythritol provides you with very few calories and doesn’t really give you any nutrition at all.  What it DOES provide is flavor; a sweetness that you would normally get from sugar.  Erythritol is used in many diet drinks and even some diet friendly foods.  As a natural, organic sweetener, erythritol is a keto-friendly method of improving the taste of keto foods.  As we’ve made plain before, we aren’t bashful when it comes to erythritol.  We use it in KETO-1, Vaxxen’s increasingly popular keto diet supplement!

How is Erythritol Made?

Being a polyol, or sugar alcohol, erythritol is manufactured in mass quantities as a biproduct of corn starch.  Rather than just being discarded, we’ve learned to harness the waste created when manufacturing corn starch.  One of the wasted bi products is turned into erythritol through enzymatic hydrolysis.  The most common way to create erythritol from this corn starch leftover is by adding yeast and promoting fermentation.  It can smell pretty bad during the actually manufacturing process, but the result is an almost alarmingly sweet syrup/paste that we call erythritol [1].

Corn production has increased world wide.  Obviously we use corn in a lot of the different foods that we eat.  This has allowed all sorts of exploration when it comes to the biproducts generated through the manufacturing process.  Erythritol popularity has seen such an uptick that certain manufacturers around the world are making strides to improve corn at its core, allowing for more potent and large quantities of corn starch and, transitively, erythritol.

Are We Positive it is Safe?

We are as certain as we can be at this point in time.  Erythritol supplementation has been approved by the FDA for use as a food additive in the United States.  Being one of the most strict government coalitions, the FDA approval means erythritol has been proven to be safe for human consumption.  There are studies available for your review showing that there are no unsafe effects when consuming moderate levels of erythritol [1].

Side Effects of Erythritol

So, there are a few side effects but that doesn’t make it unsafe.  The side effects are pretty darn mild and most hardcore keto dieters will say they’re definitely worth the reward.  Let’s review the side effects that indulging in erythritol can cause…

  • Slower metabolic rate – It’s true, substituting sure with erythritol can actually slow your metabolism. This doesn’t lead to weight gain if you’re supplementing during a keto diet though [2]!  It just means that things that you eat will taste better!  Who cares if your metabolism is a little slower?  You’re still going to be burning fat deposits for energy…
  • Gas – You might get the toots. So what?  Everybody farts!
  • Stomach Pain – The gastrointestinal issues can sometimes progress beyond being gassy. Unfortunately, people who are extremely sensitive can struggle with serious uncomfortability when it comes to sugar substitution.  Digesting erythritol can cause the stomach gases to expand the stomach walls, leading to some uncomfortable feelings [3].  This is the rarest of the three side effects and will subside after a couple of hours.  If the feelings of discomfort are unbearable for you, simply don’t substitute using erythritol!


  1. K. Regnat, R. L. Mach, and A. R. Mach-Aignercorresponding author
    Erythritol as sweetener—wherefrom and whereto?
    Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2018; 102(2): 587–595.
    Published online 2017 Dec 1. doi: 10.1007/s00253-017-8654-1
  2. Hiele M1, Ghoos Y, Rutgeerts P, Vantrappen G.
    Metabolism of erythritol in humans: comparison with glucose and lactitol.
    Br J Nutr. 1993 Jan;69(1):169-76.
  3. Kauko K. Mäkinen *
    Gastrointestinal Disturbances Associated with the Consumption of Sugar Alcohols with Special Consideration of Xylitol: Scientific Review and Instructions for Dentists and Other Health-Care Professionals
    Int J Dent. 2016; 2016: 5967907.
    Published online 2016 Oct 20. doi: 10.1155/2016/5967907
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