Sorbitol is an alcohol sugar which, because it contains 25% less calories than sugar, is used in many of today's diet products found on the market. First discovered in the berries growing on an ash tree way back in 1872 by a French chemist, it has since then been found to also occur naturally in a variety of other fruits, such as berries, prunes, peaches, apples, and pears.
It is used in many products which are manufactured especially for diabetics, like sugar-free candies, for example, and is also used as a substitute for sugar to sweeten mints, ice cream, chewing gum, and diet drinks.
Sorbitol is also used in a variety ways for medical issues, one of which is as a treatment for constipation. Care should be taken when using this product as a laxative however, as consuming too much of it can lead to vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and other intestinal problems.