Glycerin is NOT a Sugar! The Sticky Situation of Glycerin in Lubes

By: IDLubeMaster">IDLubeMaster - July 5, 2012 - 8 comments

Many people have the belief that glycerin in lubricant (a major ingredient in many of them including several of I-D’s best selling ones), can cause or exacerbate yeast infections. This simply is not true. The popular belief is that yeast feeds on sugar, and that’s what glycerin is. But here’s the truth: Glycerin in and of itself is NOT a sugar but a sugar ALCOHOL and does NOT contain the components that actively feed yeast or other bacteria. Again, it is a sugar alcohol and has the chemical make up similar to both of those.

In fact, according to Wikipedia, Glycerol (or glycerineglycerin) is a simple polyol compound. It is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations. Glycerol has three hydroxyl groups that are responsible for its solubility in water and its hygroscopic nature. The glycerol backbone is central to all lipids known as triglycerides. Glycerol is sweet-tasting and of low toxicity and click on the link here if you want to read a lot of chemical compounding mumbo-jumbo about the actual make up of glycerin and polyols. Ah, chemistry… see, you shouldn’t have slept through it in high school.

Glycerin is constantly being confused with sugar because it has a sweet taste and is used as a sweetener in many different low-carb and dietary foods. During metabolization, which is what the body does to break down food in its digestive system, glycerin can be converted to glucose by the LIVER. However, glycerin cannot be converted to glucose in the vagina. For yeast to thrive they need a sugar such as glucose, NOT an alcohol as glycerin is.

So that’s basically what is going on. DIGESTED glycerin WILL change into a sugar in the body when it’s digested through the system but not when it’s smeared in and around the genitals before and during sexual activity. Glycerin based lube will NOT go through the metabolization process and will NOT turn into that pesky sugar everyone falsely blames on reoccurring yeast infections.

 There you have it. According to hard science, glycerin lubricants will NOT cause or add to yeast infections.  If anyone can send me proof that glycerin IS a sugar and nothing else, please let me know. Thanks for reading!

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  • Pandwhora

    Thanks for the great info! I will be referring to this article in the future. So my question is….What about parabens? Would those be the yeast infection causers? Because something is…

    • Kim

      Thanks for your compliment and question about other ingredients in lubricants. We’ll be answering that in an upcoming blog soon!

    • KimFromIDLube

      Thanks for your compliment and question about other ingredients in lubricants. We’ll be answering that in an upcoming blog soon!

  • Kenzie Allaway

    I will still avoid lubes with glycerin, i’ve never ended up with a yeast infection from, but i experience irritation.

  • GP

    Is it possible that another organism is “digesting” the glycerin in much the same way as the liver does and the resultant sugar is the cause of the problem?

    All I know is the second glycerine based lubes come anywhere near me i end up with a yeast infection. We switched out to a glycerine free one and i was able to get rid fo the infection in no time. Something in that product caused me a nasty problem. I just wish we could figure out exactly what.

  • Ratsyte Rats

    Thank you for informing, because I was among these people, who thought, that glycerin can cause yeast infections. I usually buy the lubricants for us here: lubrikantai. Maybe you could check, if they are quite suitable? Or maybe I should buy somewhere else?

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  • FinnishGuy

    Study: “Glyceron metabolism in yeasts (C.Gancedo, J.M.Gancedo,and A.Sols) 1968″
    First chapter: “Glycerol can be utilized as a source of carbon and energy by a number of yeasts.”

    This is not anything new, but still valid and confirmed with further studies.