Is maltitol safe on the gluten-free diet?

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Katarina Mollo MEd, RDN, LDN
Is maltitol safe on the gluten-free diet?

Answer


Yes, maltitol is safe on the gluten-free diet. It may sound suspect as it has the word “malt” in the name. However, maltitol is a type of sugar alcohol and is often used as a sweetener in foods, chewing gum and dental products. Maltitol is typically made from corn syrup. Sugar alcohols may rarely be made from glucose syrup derived from wheat starch or barley starch. However, even if derived from gluten-containing grains it is considered safe as gluten is removed in the processing.

One thing to note is that symptoms such as gas, bloating, cramping and loose stool can occur from the ingestion of large amounts of maltitol. However, these reactions do not have anything to do with gluten. Sugar alcohols can cause bloating and pain when they are fermented by bacteria in the large intestine. They also pull water into the intestine resulting in loose stool and diarrhea. Therefore, it is not recommended to consume large amounts of sugar alcohols.

Published February 6, 2023.

Note: This information is provided by NCA and Katarina Mollo, MEd, RDN, LDN, NCA's Director of Education. This information is meant for educational purposes and is not intended to substitute for personalized medical advice or replace any medical advice provided directly to you by your health care provider. No liability is assumed by the NCA or Katarina Mollo, MEd, RDN, LDN by providing this information.

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