This All Natural Sweetener Has Been Found To Increase Heart Attack Risk

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Today I want to share a medical study that was just published in the European Heart Journal last month (June 2024) that suggests even natural sweeteners may not be that great for us.


All Natural Sugar: Xylitol


In this study, researchers found that increased concentrations of the all natural sweetener xylitol in the blood was significantly associated with increase incidents of major cardiovascular events, including heart attack and stroke.  In fact, they found that xylitol affected platelet response and increased clot formation after a single drink of a xylitol sweetened beverage.

It didn’t take much to significantly raise blood concentrations of xylitol — just 30 minutes after consuming a xylitol drink (with xylitol concentrations comparable to the amount of xylitol typically found in xylitol sweetened products like ice cream and candy) researchers found that xylitol concentrations in the blood raised to levels 1,000 times higher and took several hours to clear.



This is important to share as xylitol is added to so many products — and because it is a naturally occurring sugar it can be added even to products that are organic and all natural, so everything from ice cream and maple syrup to lip balm and even children’s toothpaste has xylitol in it.

If you have friends and family who try to select all natural products, you may want to forward this blog post to them, just so they have all the information they may need when selecting products.  For example, most all natural baby and toddler toothpastes that say “safe and all natural” right on the label is 40% (or more!) xylitol.

And if you have cardiovascular disease or cardiac risk factors, you may want to avoid xylitol until more research is done on the impacts of these types of natural sweeteners.   For more support on ways you can protect your heart health that are positive and uplifting, you may find this article I wrote for you here extremely helpful:


All Natural Sugars: Fructose and Sucrose


This, after this medical study published on January 2, 2013 in JAMA that revealed disturbing brain changes after consuming fructose and sucrose.  When study participants drank glucose, the brain blood flow increased in the centers of the brain that signal feeling full, satiated, satisfied and rewarded. Basically, the body was able to signal when in felt satisfied and gave the feedback naturally to stop consuming.

But… when study participants drank fructose, there was actually no effect to these areas of the brain, which tricks your brain into thinking that you haven’t even consumed anything.  No feeling full. No feeling quenched.  Meaning… no satisfaction and no urge to stop consuming.  Considering fructose is added the vast majority of the sugary drinks we drink on the market (sodas and fruit juices and sports drinks alike) it is yet another reason to put down those beverages if you are trying to lose weight, as it decreases your ability to feel full and stop eating.

Fructose has also been shown in previous studies to promote insulin resistance, insulin intolerance, and abnormal fatty deposits in the liver!  Yuck!  Sucrose is a 50/50 blend of glucose and fructose… so take care to avoid sucrose as well as any high-fructose corn syrups in an ingredient list.

For healthier ways to work with your brain, not against it, when trying to lose weight, hop over here to read this article I wrote for you a few weeks ago:



Artificial Sweeteners


And don’t switch to artificial sweeteners!  As I blogged about 7 years ago for you, artificial sweeteners increasing your risk for Type 2 Diabetes, causing an abnormal response to sugar, including significantly elevated blood glucose levels and decreased insulin response after just two weeks of introducing artificial sweeteners to the diet.  This was a double blinded, placebo based study that was very well designed with clear results.

More medical studies revealing the affect of artificial sweeteners on the human body include increased stroke, heart disease, headache and other neurological effects, and all cause mortality.  You can read these for yourself, below.  On a positive note, artificial sweeteners have not conclusively been linked to cancer risk, which may be a relief, although more studies are needed.



Help Reducing Sugar Cravings


Consuming less sweetened foods and beverages is hard, especially if you are used to eating sugary foods, as sugar is highly addictive.  It’s usually not as simple as just choosing other foods to eat, because those sugar cravings can be extremely powerful.  Resisting baked goods and sugar snacks and drinks is easier when you address sugar cravings in the first place.  And there is one key supplement that is a game changer in helping to reduce sugar cravings: L-glutamine.

Not only does l-glutamine help decrease sugar cravings, carb cravings, and even alcohol cravings, it also helps repair the gut lining too… win-win!  If you are wanting to decrease your sugar consumption and switch from simple carbs like wheat and sugar over to more nutrient dense foods like healthy fats and proteins, taking an L-glutamine supplement can make all the difference

I’ve included L-glutamine in my Blood Sugar Support Protocol — simply take it throughout the day for ongoing support to decrease sugar cravings, and for immediate support, open capsule and sprinkle L-glutamine directly under the tongue to decrease urgent cravings when they strike.

Blood Sugar Support Protocol



For more motivation to decrease our collective sugar addition, you might be interested to know that sugar consumption actually ages affects your skin health and ages you!  Read more about that (and what you can do to reverse it) here:



Here is a challenge for you — try drinking only water today.

Drink water every time you are thirsty, every time you are hungry, and throughout the day even when you are not hungry or thirsty.

For more tips on staying hydrated and fun, positive ways to use water to heal your body from head to toe, hop over to this blog post for instant motivation!!!

Step away from the sweetened beverages — even naturally sweetened drinks! — and step towards the water.


To your resilient, natural health!

xoxox, Laura Koniver MD