Important: 10 Side Effects of Sorbitol You Need To Know!

Side Effects of Sorbitol – The artificially produced sweetener sorbitol are in many foods. Especially ready-to-eat meals and baked goods are in use with sorbitol sweetener. However, not all people can tolerate sorbitol. You can find out what you need to know here.

Side Effects of Sorbitol – How dangerous is it?

Side Effects of Sorbitol
Side Effects of Sorbitol – How dangerous is it? / Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay

A small amount of sorbitol is not dangerous for your organism, and however, a more significant amount can lead to different symptoms. The issue here is the large amount of sorbitol that people passively ingest through various foods.

  1. Sorbitol enters the bloodstream through the wall of your intestine and gets broken down by the liver.
  2. If you get too much of the substance or suffer from an intolerance, this can lead to abdominal cramps, diarrhea, or flatulence.
  3. If you notice some symptoms after eating certain foods, it is best to consult a doctor. In this way, you can find out the reason for these symptoms.
  4. People who suffer from fructose intolerance should also avoid sorbitol. It is because sorbitol inhibits the absorption of fructose in the small intestine.
  5. Your doctor can best determine whether you suffer from an intolerance to sorbitol using a breath test.
  6. Sorbitol is in many medicines, such as infusion solutions; it is life-threatening, especially for fructose sorbitol intolerance. According to some medical journals, several deaths due to sorbitol infusions became known in the 1970s.
  7. Diabetics, in particular, can encounter increased health problems when consuming food containing sorbitol. It’s because sorbitol are in use as a sugar substitute.
  8. A much more tremendous amount of sorbitol is in use, which the human organism can’t tolerate preserving the sweetness of the products.
  9. Although the blood sugar level doesn’t affect in this case, people with sorbitol intolerance cant tolerate diabetic products.
  10. Since an increased intake of sorbitol already has a laxative effect on people without intolerance, you should avoid too many foods with sorbitol additives. Therefore always read the list of ingredients carefully. 

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Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol.

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol
Side Effects of Sorbitol – Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol. / Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Sorbitol can be getting found in many foods. Today, the sugar alcohol is artificial, although it also occurs naturally.

Ready-to-eat meals, baked goods, and diabetic products often contain sorbitol. Here the substance fulfills two functions.

Sorbitol replaces sugar in diabetic products. It is because the substitute tastes sweet, but it contains almost no calories and, according to studies, is also said to be gentle on the teeth.

It is why sorbitol is increasingly getting found in products considered sugar-free. These include, for example, chewing gum or various sweets.

Sorbitol is also getting used in mass-produced baked goods because materials not found in nature-produced substances can attract moisture. Baked goods, therefore, remain moist longer.

It includes, for example, baked goods from the freezer or baked goods that are getting baked in bakeshops or supermarkets.

But the substance is also added to mustard, chocolate fillings, ice cream, jam, even toothpaste, and medicines. In this way, food and hygiene products are getting protected from drying out on the one hand, and on the other hand, they acquire a sweetish taste.

You will not always find sorbitol in the list of ingredients under this name. Much more often, you will find the term E420 or sugar substitute.

On products that contain a lot of sorbitol, you will sometimes find the note like may it have a laxative effect if consumed in excess. 

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Fruit contains natural sorbitol.

Fruit contains natural sorbitol
Side Effects of Sorbitol – Fruit contains natural sorbitol. / Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

Sorbitol is also getting found as a natural substance in certain foods. These include many types of fruit, for example.

Sorbitol is primarily getting found in pome and stone fruit. If the fruits are dried, they contain an even higher sorbitol content.

Apples, pears, apricots, peaches, plums, and cherries contain the most elevated natural sorbitol.

See Also: Is Corn Syrup Bad For You?

FAQ Sorbitol

FAQ Sorbitol
Side Effects of Sorbitol – FAQ Sorbitol. / Photo by mali maeder from Pexels

Why does the consumption of sorbitol have a laxative effect?

Too much sorbitol has a laxative effect. So if we ingest much sorbitol, the absorption areas are effectively settled. Sorbitol continues to slide down into the colon, and there the bacteria metabolize and transform into gases that cause flatulence.

Is there sorbitol in xylitol?

What is the difference between sorbitol and fructose? Xylitol, or E 967, is a so-called sugar alcohol. Xylitol is a sugar substitute for sweetening food, similar to sorbitol. However, sorbitol production is far more often than xylitol because it is cheaper.

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What happens in the body when I have sorbitol tolerance?

In the case of sorbitol intolerance, we need to stop the sugar alcohol used in the small intestine or partially. Instead, bacteria in the large gut metabolize it, and it can cause stomach aches, flatulence, and diarrhea.

What does sorbitol mean?

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol (polyol), and it occurs naturally in various foods. Because of its ability to attract water, sorbitol is in by industrially produced baked goods. On the list of ingredients, sorbitol shows up as E 420.

How do I recognize sorbitol in food?

How do I recognize sorbitol in food
Side Effects of Sorbitol – How do I recognize sorbitol in food? / Photo by Tom Coates from Flickr

How can I recognize foods containing sorbitol? Sorbitol hides in many foods on ingredients behind the E-number E420. The numbers E432, E433, E434, E435, and E436 contain sorbitol.

Which foods has sorbitol?

In some foods, sorbitol is naturally present, mainly in fruits or vegetables. However, sorbitol is in many products because of its excellent chemical and technological properties as a sugar substitute, carrier, or humectant.

Which sweeteners should I use in the case of sorbitol intolerance?

We can use artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and saccharin, without hesitation in sorbitol intolerance. These include erythritol E 968, isomalt E 954, and lactitol E 966.

Is sorbitol fructose?

Sorbitol is the sugar alcohol of fructose, which tastes similar to the household sugar sucrose; however, it is only a bit about half as sweet. Sorbitol is naturally present in many fruits, especially stone fruit, such as plums, apricots, and cherries.

Is sorbitol suitable for people with diabetes?

That’s why you hardly save any calories by using sorbitol instead of sugar. The great advantage of sorbitol lies elsewhere: its metabolism in the body is insulin-independent, which is also suitable for people with diabetes.

Is sorbitol in alcohol?

Beer or wine also contains small amounts of sorbitol. If you are tolerant of sorbitol, you should avoid alcoholic beverages.

Do tomatoes contain sorbitol?

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol naturally in fruit and vegetables such as apples, pears, and tomatoes. Especially chewing gums, many finished products, and even beer sometimes contain large amounts of sorbitol.

Have chocolate sorbitol?

Limit the consumption of beer and wine because there is a small amount of sorbitol in it. Many chocolates and sweets contain sorbitol. Chocolate and sweets for children usually don’t contain sorbitol.

Is there sorbitol in bread?

Since sorbitol binds water and acts as a humectant – this is common in baked goods, chocolate, and praline fillings and sauces. Even bread from the bakery around the corner can add sorbitol in the baking mixtures.

Which foods do not contain sorbitol?

Fruits such as bananas (small quantities), lychee, avocado, and rhubarb have low sorbitol content. Seeds and nuts are sorbitol-free. Dairy products without added fruit or fructose are also sorbitol-free foods.

Which vegetable has sorbitol?

For fruits: apricots, apples, pears, blackberries, cranberries, dates, including dried dates, peaches, currants, cherries, plums, grapes, and raisins. Dried fruits and fresh stone fruits contain large amounts of sorbitol. For vegetables: eggplant, broccoli, fennel, prepared salads, peppers, Brussels sprouts.

What contains the most sorbitol?

Sorbitol is in natural products. Here, especially in dried fruits, rowan berries, pears, plums, apples, apricots, peaches, grapes, and raisins. Wine and beer contain sorbitol in varying amounts (red and white wine around 2 to 6 mg per 100 ml, lager beer 2 mg per 100 ml).

Can sorbitol intolerance disappear?

We cannot cure sorbitol tolerance. As a sufferer, you should avoid foods containing sorbitol or severely limit their consumption. If you manage to consume less sorbitol in your diet, the symptoms usually disappear as well.

What are the uses of sorbitol in cosmetics?

In cosmetics, sorbitol serves primarily as a humectant (similar to glycerin, which is chemically related) and moisturizer, often combined with other moisture-binding substances such as urea, sodium lactate, sodium PCA, or hyaluronic acid.


Side effects of sorbitol are infrequent when used as directed.

Adverse effects usually manifest themselves in gastrointestinal complaints, and long-term use alters the mineral balance and leads to heart problems or muscle weakness.

In the case of infusion therapy with sorbitol, gastrointestinal complaints, nausea, or heart pain sometimes occur.

It is crucial to reduce the risk of side effects from sorbitol by using it cautiously and monitoring how much we take.

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Last Updated on 09/03/2022 by Buzz This Viral