What is the role of xylitol in the prevention of acute otitis media (AOM)?

Updated: Sep 25, 2019
  • Author: John D Donaldson, MD, FRCSC, FACS; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

A potential preventative measure is the natural sugar substitute, xylitol. Studies indicate that xylitol chewing gum, lozenges or syrup may reduce the occurrence of AOM by as much as 25%. [35] However, a study by Danhauer et al suggested that most parents are unaware that xylitol can prevent AOM and would be unlikely to use it in their preschool- and kindergarten-aged children. Nonetheless, the investigators, who employed an Internet questionnaire, did find that parents who were previously aware of xylitol as a preventive and who had children with a history of AOM would be more likely to give it to their youngsters. [36]


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