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1.  Xylitol gummy bear snacks: a school-based randomized clinical trial 
BMC Oral Health  2008;8:20.
Habitual consumption of xylitol reduces mutans streptococci (MS) levels but the effect on Lactobacillus spp. is less clear. Reduction is dependent on daily dose and frequency of consumption. For xylitol to be successfully used in prevention programs to reduce MS and prevent caries, effective xylitol delivery methods must be identified. This study examines the response of MS, specifically S. mutans/sobrinus and Lactobacillus spp., levels to xylitol delivered via gummy bears at optimal exposures.
Children, first to fifth grade (n = 154), from two elementary schools in rural Washington State, USA, were randomized to xylitol 15.6 g/day (X16, n = 53) or 11.7 g/day (X12, n = 49), or maltitol 44.7 g/day (M45, n = 52). Gummy bear snacks were pre-packaged in unit-doses, labeled with ID numbers, and distributed three times/day during school hours. No snacks were sent home. Plaque was sampled at baseline and six weeks and cultured on modified Mitis Salivarius agar for S. mutans/sobrinus and Rogosa SL agar for Lactobacillus spp. enumeration.
There were no differences in S. mutans/sobrinus and Lactobacillus spp. levels in plaque between the groups at baseline. At six weeks, log10 S. mutans/sobrinus levels showed significant reductions for all groups (p = 0.0001): X16 = 1.13 (SD = 1.65); X12 = 0.89 (SD = 1.11); M45 = 0.91 (SD = 1.46). Reductions were not statistically different between groups. Results for Lactobacillus spp. were mixed. Group X16 and M45 showed 0.31 (SD = 2.35), and 0.52 (SD = 2.41) log10 reductions, respectively, while X12 showed a 0.11 (SD = 2.26) log10 increase. These changes were not significant. Post-study discussions with school staff indicated that it is feasible to implement an in-classroom gummy bear snack program. Parents are accepting and children willing to consume gummy bear snacks daily.
Reductions in S. mutans/sobrinus levels were observed after six weeks of gummy bear snack consumption containing xylitol at 11.7 or 15.6 g/day or maltitol at 44.7 g/day divided in three exposures. Lactobacillus spp. levels were essentially unchanged in all groups. These results suggest that a xylitol gummy bear snack may be an alternative to xylitol chewing gum for dental caries prevention. Positive results with high dose maltitol limit the validity of xylitol findings. A larger clinical trial is needed to confirm the xylitol results.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC2527560  PMID: 18657266
2.  A surrogate method for comparison analysis of salivary concentrations of Xylitol-containing products 
BMC Oral Health  2008;8:5.
Xylitol chewing gum has been shown to reduce Streptococcus mutans levels and decay. Two studies examined the presence and time course of salivary xylitol concentrations delivered via xylitol-containing pellet gum and compared them to other xylitol-containing products.
A within-subjects design was used for both studies. Study 1, adults (N = 15) received three xylitol-containing products (pellet gum (2.6 g), gummy bears (2.6 g), and commercially available stick gum (Koolerz, 3.0 g)); Study 2, a second group of adults (N = 15) received three xylitol-containing products (pellet gum, gummy bears, and a 33% xylitol syrup (2.67 g). For both studies subjects consumed one xylitol product per visit with a 7-day washout between each product. A standardized protocol was followed for each product visit. Product order was randomly determined at the initial visit. Saliva samples (0.5 mL to 1.0 mL) were collected at baseline and up to 10 time points (~16 min in length) after product consumption initiated. Concentration of xylitol in saliva samples was analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography. Area under the curve (AUC) for determining the average xylitol concentration in saliva over the total sampling period was calculated for each product.
In both studies all three xylitol products (Study 1: pellet gum, gummy bears, and stick gum; Study 2: pellet gum, gummy bears, and syrup) had similar time curves with two xylitol concentration peaks during the sampling period. Study 1 had its highest mean peaks at the 4 min sampling point while Study 2 had its highest mean peaks between 13 to 16 minutes. Salivary xylitol levels returned to baseline at about 18 minutes for all forms tested. Additionally, for both studies the total AUC for the xylitol products were similar compared to the pellet gum (Study 1: pellet gum – 51.3 μg.min/mL, gummy bears – 59.6 μg.min/mL, and stick gum – 46.4 μg.min/mL; Study 2: pellet gum – 63.0 μg.min/mL, gummy bears – 55.9 μg.min/mL, and syrup – 59.0 μg.min/mL).
The comparison method demonstrated high reliability and validity. In both studies other xylitol-containing products had time curves and mean xylitol concentration peaks similar to xylitol pellet gum suggesting this test may be a surrogate for longer studies comparing various products.
PMCID: PMC2267452  PMID: 18267030
3.  Linear response of mutans streptococci to increasing frequency of xylitol chewing gum use: a randomized controlled trial [ISRCTN43479664] 
BMC Oral Health  2006;6:6.
Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar substitute that has been shown to reduce the level of mutans streptococci in plaque and saliva and to reduce tooth decay. It has been suggested that the degree of reduction is dependent on both the amount and the frequency of xylitol consumption. For xylitol to be successfully and cost-effectively used in public health prevention strategies dosing and frequency guidelines should be established. This study determined the reduction in mutans streptococci levels in plaque and unstimulated saliva to increasing frequency of xylitol gum use at a fixed total daily dose of 10.32 g over five weeks.
Participants (n = 132) were randomized to either active groups (10.32 g xylitol/day) or a placebo control (9.828 g sorbitol and 0.7 g maltitol/day). All groups chewed 12 pieces of gum per day. The control group chewed 4 times/day and active groups chewed xylitol gum at a frequency of 2 times/day, 3 times/day, or 4 times/day. The 12 gum pieces were evenly divided into the frequency assigned to each group. Plaque and unstimulated saliva samples were taken at baseline and five-weeks and were cultured on modified Mitis Salivarius agar for mutans streptococci enumeration.
There were no significant differences in mutans streptococci level among the groups at baseline. At five-weeks, mutans streptococci levels in plaque and unstimulated saliva showed a linear reduction with increasing frequency of xylitol chewing gum use at the constant daily dose. Although the difference observed for the group that chewed xylitol 2 times/day was consistent with the linear model, the difference was not significant.
There was a linear reduction in mutans streptococci levels in plaque and saliva with increasing frequency of xylitol gum use at a constant daily dose. Reduction at a consumption frequency of 2 times per day was small and consistent with the linear-response line but was not statistically significant.
PMCID: PMC1482697  PMID: 16556326

Results 1-3 (3)