Xylitol — Dr. Rawls’ Ratings
Efficacy: 2 stars
Safety: 3.5 stars
Cost: 1 out of 5 dollar signs
Ways to Administer: Oral
Bottom Line: Xylitol has a place when it comes to promoting oral health but lacks efficacy for Lyme disease.


Xylitol is a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener; it’s primarily found in toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gum, nasal sprays, and some food products. It contains fewer calories than standard table sugar, so it’s often used as a sugar substitute. Research indicates xylitol has antibacterial benefits to promote oral health, especially reducing cavities. But it hasn’t shown the same efficacy with treating of systemic infections like Lyme disease.


Xylitol has documented efficacy for reducing cavities, and it’s an excellent nasal rinse for chronic sinusitis. But increasing consumption of xylitol hasn’t been shown to improve systemic infections.


In small quantities, xylitol works well for oral health or as a sugar substitute in your food. However, if you try to consume the amount of xylitol required to achieve high concentrations in your system, you’re likely to experience significant gastrointestinal issues, such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea, and wind up feeling miserable.


Xylitol is more expensive than standard table sugar (about $10 to $40 per bag) but costs about the same as other natural sugar substitutes like stevia.

Dr. Bill Rawls Treatment Guide

Dr. Bill Rawls’ Treatment Guide

Want to see more Lyme disease treatment ratings? See What Dr. Rawls has to say about popular treatments and therapies in his Lyme Disease Treatment Guide.

Dr. Rawls is a physician who overcame Lyme disease through natural herbal therapy. You can learn more about Lyme disease in Dr. Rawls’ new best selling book, Unlocking Lyme.
You can also learn about Dr. Rawls’ personal journey in overcoming Lyme disease and fibromyalgia in his popular blog post, My Chronic Lyme Journey.

1. Salli K, Lehtinen MJ, Tiihonen K, Ouwehand AC. Xylitol’s Health Benefits beyond Dental Health: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients. 2019;11(8):1813. Published 2019 Aug 6. doi: 10.3390/nu11081813