As a sugar-replacement sweetener, sugar alcohol erythritol is commonly used in low-calorie foods and in a new study, the researchers have associated it with weight gain and increase in fat mass in young adults. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Elevated levels of erythritol was found in college freshers
Naturally, erythritol – a metabolite – is found in pears and watermelons. As a food additive, the use of erythritol is increasing and it may be metabolised by and produced in the human body. The researchers found that elevated levels of erythritol was found in college freshers, at the beginning of the year, who went on to gain weight, fat and abdominal fat compared with their peers with stable weight. At the start of the year, these college freshers showed a 15-fold higher blood erythritol than their counterparts who were stable or lost weight and fat mass over the academic year.