Is Erythritol Safe?

posted 2023 Feb by


  • A new study linked erythritol to increased risk of stroke and heart attack
  • The increased risk is from blood clotting, caused by erythritol
  • Atlas Bar DO NOT contain any erythritol

A recent study has linked erythritol, a common sugar replacement, to blood clotting, stroke, heart attack, and even death.

The study found that people with existing risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, were twice as likely to experience a heart attack or stroke if they had the highest levels of erythritol in their blood.

The study's lead author, Dr. Stanley Hazen, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Diagnostics and Prevention at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, says, "The degree of risk was not modest."

According to the research, if your blood level of erythritol was in the top 25% compared to the bottom 25%, there was about a two-fold higher risk for heart attack and stroke.

The study also found that erythritol appeared to be causing blood platelets to clot more readily, which can break off and travel to the heart, triggering a heart attack or to the brain, triggering a stroke.

Dr. Andrew Freeman, director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at National Jewish Health, a hospital in Denver, who was not involved in the research, said, "This certainly sounds an alarm...Obviously, more research is needed, but in an abundance of caution, it might make sense to limit erythritol in your diet for now."

The discovery of the connection between erythritol and cardiovascular issues was purely accidental, according to Dr. Hazen. His research had a simple goal: to find unknown chemicals or compounds in a person's blood that might predict their risk for a heart attack, stroke, or death in the next three years.

To do so, the team began analyzing 1,157 blood samples in people at risk for heart disease collected between 2004 and 2011. They found a substance that seemed to play a big role but didn't know what it was until they discovered it was erythritol, a sweetener.

While more research is needed, the study's findings suggest that people may want to limit their consumption of erythritol, especially if they have existing risk factors for heart disease. As Dr. Freeman stated, "In an abundance of caution, it might make sense to limit erythritol in your diet for now."

Bottom Line

One study isn't enough to draw firm conclusions but my perspective is "why take the risk?" Especially since there are other zero-calorie sweeteners that have little to no risks. Some zero-calorie sweeteners, like monk fruit, even have health benefits, which is why it's the only sweetener we use.

At Atlas, it costs us about 50x more to use monk fruit than other sweeteners like erythritol, but to us it's not even a decision. You can't put a price on health. Many other protein bars do use erythritol, so always be sure to read ingredients so you know what you're getting.


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