- A sweetener found in plants that is used as a substitute for sugar. Xylitol is considered a nutritive sweetener because it provides calories, just like sugar. (Saccharin is an example of a nonnutritive sweetener, one that has no calories.)
* * *An optically inactive sugar alcohol; often used as a sugar substitute in diabetic diets; the synthesis of x. from l-xylulose is blocked in individuals with idiopathic pentosuria.
* * *xy·li·tol 'zī-lə-.tȯl, -.tōl n a crystalline alcohol C5H12O5 that is a derivative of xylose, is obtained esp. from birch bark, and is used as a sweetener
* * *xy·li·tol (ziґlĭ-tol) [NF] a five-carbon sugar alcohol derived from xylose by reduction of the carbonyl group; it is as sweet as sucrose and is used as a noncariogenic sweetener and also as a sugar substitute in diabetic diets.
Medical dictionary. 2011.