Could a DuPont sweetener be the next skin microbiome regulator?

By Julia Wray | Published: 30-Apr-2020

New study shows the company’s XIVIA Xylitol has a positive effect on skin microbial growth

DuPont has revealed research indicating that one of its sweetener ingredients can control the growth of skin microbes.

A recently published study in the Korean Journal of Microbiology titled ‘Evaluation of xylitol as an agent that controls the growth of skin microbes: Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Cutibacterium acnes’ showed that DuPont’s XIVIA Xylitol has a positive effect on skin microbial growth.

The naturally occurring, sustainable wood-based sweetener is widely used in food and oral hygiene products.

The researchers measured the growth of certain skin bacteria as pure cultures in the presence of xylitol.

The findings showed that while the growth of pure cultures of pathogenic S. aureus and C. acnes strains were inhibited by xylitol, the growth of skin commensal S. epidermidis was not affected.

“In Finland, we have a long history in the sustainable production of xylitol, as well as research into the health benefits of xylitol and, in particular, its caries-preventing activities. We have developed for instance, the Enteromix colon and oral simulators in our facilities to investigate these phenomena,” said Dr Kirsti Tiihonen, Senior Research & Development Manager, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences.

“DuPont’s xylitol manufacturing technology allows the use of a minimum amount of chemicals, water and energy, and thus shows a lower carbon footprint compared to conventional processes.”

Tiihonen’s colleague, Dr Heli Anglenius, added: “Xylitol is utilised due to its hydrating properties within skin care products, and the research is showing interesting abilities for xylitol to protect the skin barrier.

“The study results demonstrated that xylitol also has benefits not only to control oral pathogen Streptococcus mutans, but also to controlling skin microbes.

“The results are interesting, as xylitol could benefit in situations where there is a dysbiosis in the skin microbiota and how to balance it.”

DuPont says the data could help promote the use of XIVIA Xylitol outside of its traditional space of chewing gum and oral care applications.

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