Xylose is a monosaccharide of the aldopentose type consisted of five carbon atoms and an aldehyde functional group. Xylose is a sugar isolated from wood. D-Xylose is a sugar widely used as a diabetic sweetener in food and beverage. Xylose has also been used as a diagnostic agent to observe malabsorption. Reduction of xylose by catalytic hydrogenation produces the common food additive sweetener substitute xylitol [DB11195].

The dextrorotary form of xylose, D-xylose, refers usually to the endogenously occurring form of the sugar in living things. The levorotary form, L-xylose, can refer to the form that is synthesized. Nevertheless, xylose by itself may not necessarily serve many purposes immediately - but its metabolism results in a variety of substrates that can serve important nutritional and biological purposes.



The predominant everyday nutritional usage of xylose is as a parent sugar alcohol from which another sugar alcohol - xylitol- can be derived from and used as an extremely common food additive or sweetener to be used in place of regular sugars as a lower calorie alternative [ Read more


Xylose is often used as a parent sugar alcohol from which the commonly used food additive sweetener, xylitol, can be derived via the hydrogenation of xylose [ Read more

Mechanism of action

Xylose is metabolized into various chemical intermediates that can play critical functions in the biological homeostasis of the human body. Via the oxido-reductase metabolism pathway of xylose in eukaryotic organisms, xylose is ultimately catabolized into (D)-xylulose-5-phosphate, which functions as... Read more


When 12 normal healthy subjects were given an intravenous D-xylose dosing of 10 grams and then an oral dose of 25 grams a week later, the observed absorption percentage was about 69.4% (p < 0.002) and the observed absorption rate was approximately 1.03/hr (p< 0.05) [ Read more

Protein binding

Readily accessible data regarding the protein binding of xylose within the context of the human body is not available.

Volume of distribution

The volume of distribution observed for d-xylose in normal healthy subjects is 0.22 L/kg [6].


The renal clearance rate observed in healthy individuals is 89 ml/min [6]. The accompanying plasma and non-r... Read more

Half life

The elimination half-life observed in healthy individuals is 75 minutes [6].

Route of elimination

In patients with normal kidney function, renal excretion accounts for approximately half (50%) of their total D-xylose elimination [5]. Any non... Read more


Although many national health agencies like the FDA and Health Canada have concluded that the addition or use of food additive sweeteners like xylose is safe and effective for their intended purposes of use in food, it is also known that eating too much of these substances can also ultimately cause... Read more

Adverse Effects


Information currently not available.

Food Interactions

    Information currently not available.


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9 References
  1. 1 . Chattopadhyay S, Raychaudhuri U, Chakraborty R: Artificial sweeteners - a review. J Food Sci Technol. 2014 Apr;51(4):611-21. doi: 10.1007/s13197-011-0571-1. Epub 2011 Oct 21.PubMed: 24741154
  2. 2 . Lee SM, Jellison T, Alper HS: Directed evolution of xylose isomerase for improved xylose catabolism and fermentation in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Aug;78(16):5708-16. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01419-12. Epub 2012 Jun 8.PubMed: 22685138
  3. 3 . Iizuka K, Horikawa Y: ChREBP: a glucose-activated transcription factor involved in the development of metabolic syndrome. Endocr J. 2008 Aug;55(4):617-24. Epub 2008 May 19.PubMed: 18490833
  4. 4 . Craig RM, Murphy P, Gibson TP, Quintanilla A, Chao GC, Cochrane C, Patterson A, Atkinson AJ Jr: Kinetic analysis of D-xylose absorption in normal subjects and in patients with chronic renal failure. J Lab Clin Med. 1983 Mar;101(3):496-506.PubMed: 6827177
  5. 5 . Craig RM, Atkinson AJ Jr: D-xylose testing: a review. Gastroenterology. 1988 Jul;95(1):223-31.PubMed: 3286361
  6. 6 . Nancy B. Cummings, S. Klahr (2012). Chronic Renal Disease: Causes, Complications, and Treatment. Springer Science & Business Media.
  7. 7 . Sugar Alcohols (Polyols) and Polydextrose Used as Sweeteners in Foods - Food Safety - Health Canada Link
  8. 8 . U.S. Food & Drug Administration: High-Intensity Sweeteners Link
  9. 9 . MedlinePlus: D-xylose absorption Link