Note: See also Economical Alternatives.
Xylose is an essential saccharide of the pentose class and vital to cellular communication.
Xylose is absorbed from the jejunum area of the small intestine by a mechanism that is different than the transporter for glucose. Although absorption appears to be slower in children when given orally, it does not appear to be age-dependent in adults since other factors are more likely to be involved in absorption rates. Once Xylose enters the bloodstream, it is quickly distributed to the liver where it is metabolized. Xylose also travels to other tissues where it is required, including the kidneys, fat, and muscles.
About one-quarter of a Xylose dose appears to be excreted in the urine within five hours of ingestion but increases following the consumption of fruits and vegetables, known to be high in pentose sugars. This suggests that Xylose may compete with aldopentoses (monosaccharides each with five carbon atoms) for reabsorptive transport in the kidney. However, there are other factors that influence its secretion including overall renal function, any liver disease present, intestinal bacteria, and how effectively it can be utilized in tissues.
- Xylose is an antibacterial and antifungal, particularly with gram negative organisms and Candida.
- It is proving to help prevent cancer of the digestive tract.
- Absorption rate of Xylose is decreased in some patients with intestinal disorders, including those with colitis and diabetes, suggesting that when absorption problems are corrected, these conditions might also reverse themselves.
- Unlike sucrose or artificial sweeteners, Xylose promotes the growth of “friendly flora” in the intestines, thus increasing the manufacture and absorption of all nutrients. This aspect is necessary in strengthening the immune system to help fight off any type of illness.
According to scientific studies, Xylose is safely consumed in daily amounts as great as 35 grams for a 150-pound adult. A minimum amount has not yet been determined; but it is recommended that, because Xylose is easily eliminated from the bloodstream, doses should be at least twice a day. As with all things, amounts taken should be small to begin with, increasing to what is tolerable and functional.
Guava, Pears, Blackberries, Loganberries, Raspberries, Aloe Vera gel, Kelp, Echinacea, Boswellia, Psyllium, Broccoli, Spinach, Eggplant, Peas, Green Beans, Okra, Cabbage, Corn.
- Mondoa, Emil I. MD and Mindy Kitei. Sugars that Heal. Ballantine Publishing, 2001.
- Elkins, Rita MH. Miracle Sugars. Woodland Publishing, 2003.
- Glycoscience website (This site prohibits direct linkage.)
- A former glyconutrient site by Dr David Bird MbChB, Dip Clinical Nutrition, FACNEM [Fellow of the Australian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine].
Xylose Absorption Tests
- Medline Plus
- WebMD Health
(Updated June 2011)