Xylitol absorption from the human intestinal tract was studied directly, by aspiration and analysis of ileul contents after ingestion of xylitol (5 to 30 gm.) mixed with glucose anda nonabsorbable marker, polyethylene glycol. Studies in five healthy subjects showed that xylitolabsorption ranged from 49 to 95 per cent. Chronic xylitol administration (30 gm, daily for two tothree weeks) did not alter significantly the rate of xylitol absorption. Neither symptoms nor laboratory abnormalities were observed following chronic xylitol ingestion.
Nearly complete intestinal absorption must be taken into account in considering the usefulness of xylitol in the diet, since untoward responses to intravenous xylitol infusions have been reported.