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Dog Owners Warned About Xylitol

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posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 06:05 AM
One popular sugar alternative is found to have dangerous, and potentialy lethal side effect in dogs.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Keep those sugarless treats out of Fido's reach. Veterinarians warned on Friday that a commonly used sweetener might cause liver failure in dogs, and perhaps even kill them.

Their report in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association appears to strengthen the suspected link between the sugar substitute xylitol, thought to make dogs sick, and possible liver failure.

Xylitol, a naturally occurring product, is found in many sugar-free chewing gums, candies, baked goods and toothpastes.

Researchers Sharon Gwaltney-Brant and Eric Dunayer with staff at a poison unit of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Urbana, Illinois, gathered information on eight dogs treated between 2003 and 2005 after eating products containing xylitol.

Each dog became ill, and five died or had to be put down because of liver failure, possibly from ingesting xylitol.

One dog who had to be euthanized had eaten four large, chocolate-frosted muffins containing about 1 pound (0.45 kg) of xylitol.

"People don't think sugar-free gum can kill their dog. I didn't before I got into this. But this is something people should be aware of," Gwaltney-Brant, who co-authored the study with Dunayer, said in a statement.

Gwaltney-Brant said for dogs, ingesting even a small amount of xylitol can trigger significant insulin release, which drops their blood sugar and can be fatal.

"A 22-pound (10-kg) dog who consumes one gram (0.03 ounces) of xylitol should be treated," she said, adding that further studies were needed to definitely establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

In our zest and zeal for newer, bigger, better, for results now, we often produce chemicals that while not harmful to us in the long run, may prove toxic to our closest friends, our home envirionments, as well as our ecosystems.
Though it states that Xylitol is not harmful to humans, we have been told over the years that many substances that are not harmful to us, really are are harmful, or MAY BE harmful, which is a nice way to say, for now, we are pretty sure it won't kill you, but here is our vaguely worded disclaimer.
Articles such as this cause me to consider that many of our rising heath problems may very well be linked to the rise in the addition of artificial foods in our daily diets.
Though Xylitol is considered a "natural" sweetener, as one of the chemically produced/manufactured food stuffs widely available, and now a proven danger to some creatures, I think it may fall into the above catagory, and like so many others bears watching.

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posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 11:54 AM
it is worth pointing out at this juncture that chocolate , esp. premium 80% coaco solids is highly toxic to canines .

as litle as 50 grams will kill a lapdog , i am told it all depends on the toxicity of the chemical - measured in milligrams of toxin / kg of body mass required to be fatal

an "average " 75kg adult human would , so i am told have to consume over 10kg of chocalate to be at any risk of this manner of poisoning

i would have to look it up , but it is possible that eating several kilograms of this sweetnener would be lethal to humans too

posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 11:54 AM
Xylitol is wood sugar, it's not a 'sweetener' in the usual sense. You will find that toxicity of any given material varies between species, silver, for example, while completely harmless to humans is toxic to fish. if i had to choose between saccharine or even aspartame (do an ATS search on aspartame, plenty of material here) and xylitol, i know what i'd use, because non-toxicty to humans of these industrial sweeteners is not a given.

btw: why would anyone feed a carnivore with sugar? the whole issue smells a lot like the pets-in-microwaves nonsense a few years ago.

posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 10:45 AM
Why would anyone feed a carnivore a vegetarian diet?
I don't know, but there are such diets available, and there are those who fed their dogs and CATS (which is VERY bad, because cats need taurine in their diets, and cant synthisize it) vegetarian diets as well.
If you go to your local PetSmart stores, they have cookies that are edible for people and dogs. Their oreo type cookies taste just like the real deal, I haven't thought to ask, but I think I will now, what kind of sweetener is used in the production of these dual ediable cookies.
I know that it is a wood sugar and more or less natural, but the process for obtaining it it involves the use of chemicals to refine it to where it can be obtained in amounts that are commercially viable.
My concern would be how much chemical residue parts per million is allowed, if any, what are the chemicals used to obtain xylitol, and what if any human toxitity is there in these chemicals?
Also will these chemical residues excrete/secrete, or are they held in the body, and if so, to what ppm would these chemicals potentially cause problems, if any.
These are questions that this artical raised for me.
As per the ammount that is concidered "safe"

The average American eats more than 40 teaspoons of added sugar every day, according to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. That's 305 cups of sugar a year. During one recent year, the world consumed over 92 million metric tons of sugar. The present per capita consumption of sugar in the United States is about 120 pounds per year; 77 pounds of refined sugar from the sugar bowl and another 45 pounds by way of corn sugar sweeteners added to processed foods and drinks. This is equivalent to an average of 5 ounces, or 30 teaspoons of sugar per day for every U.S. resident! Most persons now eat their body weight in sugar every year.

I have looked, but I cannot find statistics that tell of American usage of artifical sweeteners. Though the information I have found is bad enough.
With the above questions that I have concerning xylitol, and should it become readily available in other foods than gum, candies, breath mints, ect here, and concidering the excesses Americans are prone to, especially reguarding their foods, IF there IS a chemical residue, IF there is a build up of those chemicals, and IF those chemicals COULD possible cause harm, than Xylitol COULD potentially cause say renal failure, like in dogs.. Or other problems..
My opinion at this point, is that it bears watching.

Edited for gross and egregious typos.. though I probably missed a few.

[edit on 10/3/2006 by FalseParadigm]

posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 12:29 PM

posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 05:11 PM
I do believe that is the link I already provided, and it STILL doesn't answer my questions, or the reason I made this submission.

In the manufacturing process of xylitol (2), the xylan molecules are first hydrolyzed into D-xylose. The latter is chemically reduced to xylitol which can be separated by large-scale column chromatography. Xylitol is finally crystallized. The entire process is complicated and demands great engineering skills and experience

So far, with only 15 minutes of actually LOOKING I have found that corncobs are pretreated with sulphuric acid in the xylan extraction process. Or rather one of the extration processes.
In the extraction is a chemical compound called furfural.. Furfural is an aromatic aldehyde. An aromatic compound contains a set of covalently-bound atoms with specific characteristics. Aromatic molecules typically display enhanced chemical stability.
An aldehyde is an organic compound containing a terminal carbonyl group. Some examples of aldehydes are Methanal (Formaldehyde), Ethanal (Acetaldehyde), Propanal, Butanal, Pentanal, Glucose, Benzaldehyde, and Cinnamaldehyde. The first four are pretty malevollent. The 5th indifferent, it can go either way it seems. The last benign, for the most part.
Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction or process in which a molecule is split into two parts by reacting with a molecule of water.
However, in xyliton production, enzematic hydrolysis is usually used.
And I cannot find what chemical is used to reduce D-xylose into xylitol.
What chemical is it? Why is this information not readily found?
If you can answer my questions, or provide a meaningful debate on the points I brought up, that would be great. But thus far feeding me my own source hasn't answered those questions, or provided anything in the form of the meaningful debate I just mentioned.

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