Sugar substitute linked to heart attacks, stroke, death; ‘stay away,’ lead researcher advises

Erythritol, a popular zero-calorie sugar substitute, has been linked to blood clotting, stroke, heart attack, and death, according to a study published online in Nature Medicine journal Monday.

“The degree of risk was not modest,” lead study author Dr. Stanley Hazen, director of the center for cardiovascular diagnostics and prevention at the Cleveland ClinicLerner Research Institute told CNN.

“For people who are at risk for clotting, heart attack and stroke — like people with existing cardiac disease or people with diabetes — I think that there’s sufficient data here to say stay away from erythritol until more studies are done,” Hazen also said.

“This certainly sounds an alarm,” Dr. Andrew Freeman, director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at Denver’s National Jewish Health hospital told the outlet. Freeman was not involved in the research.

(See link for article)



Some Lyme/MSIDS doctors use erythritol and stevia for biofilm busters in part of an overall treatment.  Make sure you discuss this study with your doctor if you are using it.


  • The study involved those already at risk for cardiovascular problems making applicability to the general population unknown
  • It was found to be on par with the strongest of cardiac risk factors like diabetes
  • Those already at risk had double the likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke if they had the HIGHEST level of erythritol in their blood
  • The sugar substitute is found naturally in foods like grapes and mushrooms, is poorly metabolized and mostly excreted in urine which is why it is called “zero-calorie.”
  • The amount in food is low and therefore safe.  When incorporated in processed foods; however, it’s often added at levels 1,000 fold higher.
  • It is used in branded sweeteners like Truvia, products for Keto diets, and reduced sugar products for those with diabetes.  Go here for a list.
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