A sweetener used in low calorie foods, lactitol has approximately 40% of the sweetness of sugar. In medical applications, it also functions as a laxative. High stability even at increased temperatures make it a popular additive in sugar free baking, and it can be found in candies, cookies, chocolate, and ice cream. Lactitol is also known to promote colon health as a prebiotic, and due to its poorer rate of absorption it only has 2.4 calories per gram versus the typical 4 calories per gram found in most carbohydrates. As a sugar alcohol similar to sorbitol and xylitol, lactitol is an approved food additive that does not cause tooth decay or increase blood glucose levels. When lactitol is mixed with ispaghula husk, it is an approved combination for idiopathic constipation as a laxative, and is often used to treat or prevent constipation. Possible side effects of ingesting lactitol or foods containing lactitol include cramping, flatulence, and diarrhea.