Erythritol is a natural sweetener that is commonly used as a food additive and as an ingredient in beverages. Under the United States Food and Drug Administration's guidelines, erythritol is classified as generally recognized as safe, or GRAS, according to the Calorie Control Council.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that can be obtained from some fruits, such as melons, grapes and pears or from certain fermented products. This sweetener is a popular substitute to sugar due to its virtually zero caloric content. Erythritol is also known not to trigger adverse effects in blood sugar levels of diabetic patients nor cause dental cavities, unlike other sugars.
Although erythritol is labeled as having 0 calories per gram in most U.S. products, sugar alcohols actually contain calories, as claimed by Dr. Joseph Mercola. Increased concentrations of sugar alcohols, such as erythritol, in the body may cause intestinal gas and loose bowel movements.