Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Xylitol vs. Sugar: the Battle for Heart Health

When concerned about heart disease, most people will have their cholesterol levels checked, and then closely manage and monitor them with the help of expensive prescription medication - all certainly worth it when you’re talking about a health issue as serious and dangerous as heart disease.  But did you know there is another health indicator that may be just as effective as predicting coronary artery disease as cholesterol levels?

A Strong Connection


As incredible as it sounds, instances of periodontal (gum) disease have been shown to be strong indicators of risk of heart disease.  Respected medical associations have shown that patients with gum disease are nearly twice as likely to have heart disease, and the fact that there’s a connection between the two health issues is commonly accepted to be true, although how the connection works is not fully known.  Since experts know that the bacteria in the mouth can make its way into the bloodstream, one theory is that those bacteria contribute to the hardening of arteries, or help to build blockages inside arteries.


Simple Changes with Big Impacts


In any case, a new focus and emphasis has been placed on oral health.  Fortunately, this is an area where some small - and very inexpensive - lifestyle changes can have a significant impact.  Brushing twice daily, with a fluoride toothpaste, along with flossing and rinsing regularly, are the obvious places to start, but many people are already doing these basics.

The next step is decreasing sugar intake, particularly the kind that might coat or stick on your teeth: soda pop, hard candies, and chewy sweets.  Naturally, decreasing or eliminating sugary carbonated drinks is a healthy choice for many reasons; in regards to oral health it removes daily instances of essentially rinsing the mouth and gums with sugar.


Candy That Promotes Dental Health (Therefore Artery Health?)


When it comes to addressing hard candies, caramels, or taffy, you can actually go one better than eliminating them: you can replace them with treats that actually promote dental health.  Dr. John’s Simply Xylitol candies are made with xylitol, a natural sweetener derived from the birch tree. 

Unlike sugars - even natural sugars - xylitol is not converted into acid in the mouth which then begins the decay process.  In fact, xylitol has been shown to inhibit the growth of harmful oral bacteria - what if switching to Simply Xylitol Pomegranate Hard Candy or Natural Caramels could keep both the dentist AND the cardiologist away?

While oral hygiene has always been regarded as important in terms of strong, healthy teeth, healthy gums is becoming more important than ever before in much more important areas of health down the road.



Shop www.drjohns.com for great tasting xylitol treats and use Dr. John's Simply Xylitol Plan for maximum oral health benefits.

Resources:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131202105301.htm
http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/features/periodontal-disease-heart-health

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