- A reduction product of glucose and sorbose found in the berries of the mountain ash, Sorbus aucuparia (family Rosaceae), and in many fruits and seaweeds. It has many industrial and pharmaceutical uses; medicinally, it is used as a laxative and as a sweetening agent, and is almost completely metabolized (to CO2 and H2O); accumulates in type I diabetes mellitus; elevated levels can cause osmotic damage. SYN: sorbite.
* * *sor·bi·tol 'sȯr-bə-.tȯl, -.tōl n a faintly sweet alcohol C6H14O6 that occurs esp. in fruits of the mountain ash (genus Sorbus), is made synthetically, and is used esp. as a humectant, a softener, and a sweetener and in making ascorbic acid
* * *n.a carbohydrate with a sweet taste, used by diabetics as a substitute for cane sugar. It is also used in disorders of carbohydrate metabolism and in drip feeding. It is administered by mouth or injection; large doses taken by mouth may cause digestive upsets.
* * *sor·bi·tol (sorґbĭ-tol) a six-carbon sugar alcohol formed by reduction of the carbonyl group of glucose and occurring naturally in a variety of fruits. It is a precursor of the fructose in seminal plasma and is also found in lens deposits in diabetes mellitus. [NF] an official preparation used in pharmaceutical preparations as a sweetening agent, tablet excipient, humectant, and stabilizer, in foods as a bulk sweetening agent, and as an osmotic laxative. Called also glucitol.
Medical dictionary. 2011.