Dietary xylitol, sorbitol and D-mannitol but not erythritol retard bone resorption in rats

J Nutr. 1996 Jul;126(7):1865-70. doi: 10.1093/jn/126.7.1865.


The aim of the present study was to compare the ability of four dietary polyols to reduce bone resorption. Urinary excretion of 3H radioactivity from [3H]tetracycline-prelabeled rats was used as a marker of bone resorption. After prelabeling, the rats were divided randomly into five groups of 10, and fed for 1 mo a nonpurified diet that was supplemented in four groups with either xylitol, sorbitol, D-mannitol or erythritol, respectively, to give a polyol concentration of 1 mol/kg. Xylitol (42%), sorbitol (44%) and to a lesser degree D-mannitol (23%) decreased the excretion of 3H relative to the basal diet. The erythritol group, however, did not differ from the controls. Sorbitol caused continuous diarrhea, whereas in the other groups, intestinal adaptation took place during the 1st wk of polyol feeding. In conclusion, dietary xylitol, sorbitol and to a lesser degree D-mannitol supplementations in rats retard bone resorption, whereas dietary erythritol has no effect.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Resorption / physiopathology*
  • Bone Resorption / prevention & control
  • Diet
  • Erythritol / administration & dosage
  • Erythritol / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mannitol / administration & dosage
  • Mannitol / pharmacology
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sorbitol / administration & dosage
  • Sorbitol / pharmacology
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Sugar Alcohols / administration & dosage
  • Sugar Alcohols / pharmacology*
  • Tritium / urine
  • Weight Gain / drug effects
  • Xylitol / administration & dosage
  • Xylitol / pharmacology


  • Sugar Alcohols
  • Tritium
  • Mannitol
  • Sorbitol
  • Erythritol
  • Xylitol