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Xylitol is also called wood sugar and is a traditional sugar substitute. It was discovered almost simultaneously by German and French chemists at the end of the nineteenth century and it quickly became very popular in Europe as a sweetener suitable for diabetics because it does not impact insulin levels. The sweetening power of xylitol is very similar to that of sucrose, but it contains 40% less calories. Not only is it used as a sweetener, but it also helps prevent tooth decay as well.