Saturday, August 09, 2008

Cavity-Fighting Candy? Give Me a Gummy Bear!

By Theresa Tamkins
I admit I was a bit skeptical when I read the news that gummy bears could fight kids’ cavities. In a new study, researchers fed kids candy at school and found that the chewy little critters cut down on cavity-causing bacteria.
Granted, the bears were sugar-free. But in place of the sugar was low-calorie xylitol, a sugar alcohol sweetener, which can cause diarrhea if consumed in large quantities (our diabetes blogger Sean Kelley found that out the hard way after scarfing down a box of sugar-free Christmas candy).
I had another potential objection: What message does this send to kids? First we tell them candy is bad for their teeth, but now it’s good—eat up! So I took my concerns to Kiet A. Ly, MD, the lead researcher on the study published in BMC Oral Health. Read More

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