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Sugar alcohols and chocolate as medicine?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Adlyfrost, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. Adlyfrost

    Adlyfrost Senior Member

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    I know this sounds crazy, but I have been getting tremendous benefits to eating large doses of sugar-free chocolate (sweetened with sugar alcohol) . At first they were a guilty pleasure that I thought would make me worse; but I found that they really reduced the malaise felt after meals. Now I take them all the time as a preventative.

    My theory is that bacteria in the GI bind with sugar alcohols- to rid the body of them because they are artificial and body doesn't recognize them. Dr. Oz explains it here:

    http://www.wellbuzz.com/dr-oz-diet/dr-oz-sorbitol-xylitol-mannitol-maltitol-artificial-sweeteners/

    " When you eat a sugar alternative, intestinal bacteria try to absorb these foreign substances, taking in a lot of fluid along the way. Water and gas combine and could have similar effects to a laxative." Dr. OZ

    Yes I get gas and bloating from sugar alcohols but it is better than body aches and 'hit by a truck' flu symptoms when I don't take them. I also supplement with plenty of fluids and magnesium when I take them.

    Perhaps this laxative effect, along with the stimulant effect of the chocolate rids the body of SIBO (small intestinal bacteria), giving the immune system in the GI a little boost?

    I have known for a long time the anti-bacterial and anti-cavity properties of the sugar-alcohol, xylitol, but never got a boost from it like I do from the chocolates. These chocolates along with a primarily chicken broth diet is really helping. Not much science here- it just plain works and wanted to share.

    A note: my CFS/ME is in remission for the most part- just have periodic crashes, that is all. Last year I had chronic fevers, flus, etc- in bed a lot! I take the chocolate and chicken broth now as a preventative. In other words, my viral symptoms are mild and chronic right now- when they were acute I had to take anti-viral supplements and medicines.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
  2. South

    South Senior Member

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    Which sugar alcohol are you eating? Sorbitol, erythritol, mannitol...or another one? I think there are something like 6 ingredients classified as sugar alcohols.
  3. Adlyfrost

    Adlyfrost Senior Member

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    Maltitol in Herseys sugar-free dark chocolate.
    Iquitos likes this.
  4. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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  5. Adlyfrost

    Adlyfrost Senior Member

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    Side note: I have tried non-chocolate sugar-free candies with maltitol and they did not have the same medicinal effect as the chocolate- in fact, I got panic attacks from them. My theory is that the chocolate helps stimulate the muscles of the GI to rid it of bacteria that has bound with maltitol.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
  6. Adlyfrost

    Adlyfrost Senior Member

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    COOL! I was worried that taking a laxative would deplete calcium and minerals- not enhance it!!!!! That is a bonus. This is an awesome study - thanks!!!!

    But to answer your question, yes I believe I am getting enough calcium. Well, I could always use more but I don't believe I am deficient.

    I don't think feeling better has to do with calcium though and everything with the cleansing effect of the maltitol sweetened chocolates. I felt the same way with cleansing herbs- only with the chocolates the good effects are felt with in hours instead of weeks, and with very little side effects- unlike cleansing herbs.
  7. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Note that the cocoa from chocolate has been shown to benefit ME/CFS patients:

    High cocoa polyphenol rich chocolate may reduce the burden of the symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome

    So that I would think is the most likely reason you are experiencing benefits from gobbling all those bars of Hersey's sugar-free dark chocolate.

    I am a big fan of dark chocolate myself. If I don't eat a good portion of chocolate each day, I find certain ME/CFS symptoms worsen, particularly my ability to focus my mind.

    However, I have personally found that around 1000 mg of acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) daily provides similar ME/CFS benefits to dark chocolate. In fact, on days when I take ALC, I never get my normal feeling that I need to eat some chocolate. But on days that I don't take ALC, then I find myself searching for the chocolate, because I sense my brain needs it.

    So there's something about ALC and cocoa polyphenols that is similar, at least in the way they both work in the same way for me. They are both good antioxidants, for one thing.

    ALC is a good option if you want to lose weight, but chocolate undoubtedly tastes better.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
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  8. Adlyfrost

    Adlyfrost Senior Member

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    @Hip : I will definitely give the ALC a go and see how I feel and update this thread with the results. The mental focus, anti-oxidants and endorphins are definitely a bonus from the chocolate. The problem with daily chocolate is there is always a slight crash after it wears off, and it can develop into an addiction. So the ALC could be a great alternative. Thanks!

    However, before starting the sugar-free chocolates, I was chronically constipated and nauseous: I think relief from these two symptoms might be from the laxative/bacteria binding effects of the maltitol.
  9. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I does sound like maltitol is a useful treatment for constipation, and that there are benefits from that.
  10. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I wish that would help for me. I eat a lot sugar free chocolate.. with xylitol and maltitol and have never found a benefit with it (other then the carb avoidence).

    For the malititol benefits for constipation.. I have to eat a whole 250g block in a sitting..

    Some find dark chocolate helps them but I have no luck there either. I do drink cocoa daily but unfortunately I dont find that any help either.
  11. Adlyfrost

    Adlyfrost Senior Member

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    @taniaaust1 Wow- 250g is a lot! Sorry it hasn't helped you. I'm eating around 60g 1-2x a day for the anti-constipating effects- but I eat a mostly liquid diet already so it doesn't take that much. I take it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach too with my daily chicken broth, unless I have the energy to exercise- then I refrain because it will make my heart race.

    A lot of my CFS friends have problems with binding/constipation, esp. if candida is a factor. I find the chocolate/matitol has also helped keep my tongue pink (instead of white) and I don't need to take as much anti-fungal meds.

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