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The Science Behind Stevia

How Safe is This Trendy Sweetener?

62 Comments




 
3/22/2010 5:37:12 AM

SV6MILE's SparkPage
I don't believe a word the FDA has to say about sweetners after the aspartame debacle. If you want to read about aspartame and other reasons why we should protest the FDA, try the book Skinny Bitch. Really disgraceful.
3/22/2010 4:41:06 AM

GIRLQUILTER1's SparkPage
My cousin in Ohio got a plant and just puts a leaf in her teacup. works great.
Try to find the plant. It is pretty too and easy to grow. I just suspect that there
isn't big corporate $$ in stevia, so it got a bad rating in that one study. Who paid
who to do that one. Unless weight loss makes money for big corps, no one pays
attention. Sweating everyday is good for you, but no one can make $$ out it, so
no one tells you that. Clean out your system everyday with sweating & see how good
you feel. Try it. Don't be a lemming for the corps.
3/22/2010 12:30:09 AM

SCENTEDLILACS's SparkPage
This article is the first negative thing I have ever heard about stevia. I personally don't like the taste of it, but I think it is far better then artificial sweeteners. We need to be focusing on how bad refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup is for us.
MICHELE7777
2/13/2010 9:49:13 AM

I buy Stevia in the raw. It seems to be more pure than the others mentioned in this article. I get it right a my grocery store. I try not to use any artificial sweetener to often though. Lately I have used honey instead.
LORDROCK
1/27/2010 9:37:08 PM

I cant delete comments but was probably a little hasty in my response. Better read that new report Becky mentioned. Apologies.
LORDROCK
1/27/2010 8:15:17 PM

Some more info

http://tinyurl.com/yb43tqn (pubmed link)

"A number of studies have suggested that, beside sweetness, stevioside along with related compounds, which include rebaudioside A (second most abundant component of S. rebaudiana leaf), steviol and isosteviol (metabolic components of stevioside) may also offer therapeutic benefits, as they have anti-hyperglycemic, anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-diarrheal, diuretic, and immunomodulatory actions. It is of interest to note that their effects on plasma glucose level and blood pressure are only observed when these parameters are higher than normal."

In short there are indications (yet to be studied) that Stevia is not just another sweetener. Studies in rats have shown decreased insulin resistance etc. (Granted we are not rats!)

Another http://tinyurl.com/y8utskd

"The major glycoside, stevioside, diterpenoid glycoside--is used in oriental countries as a food sweetener. Its medical use is also reported as a heart tonic. Besides, it is used against obesity, hypertension, and stomach burn and to lower uric acid levels. "

"Here in this study, ... (on mice) Stevioside was found effective in increasing phagocytic activity, haemagglutination antibody titre and delayed type hypersensitivity."
In short - seen to improve immune system of mice again.

There are also other studies in the works relating to many things that may affect us here at SparkPeople, and it was given surprisingly short shrift in this article.

Yes everything in moderation though.

LORDROCK
1/27/2010 7:55:46 PM

I think the article was sublty and unfairly biased against Stevia.
Its also interesting a lot of the comments here still call it an artifical sweetener.
Also there are some indications it doesnt play havoc with insulin levels like other sweetners and may even improve theme.
Also, in response to the Food industry "leaping at the chance to market it", the natural substance (actual leaves) I think is still banned as a food in US, despite being generally accepted as a food in many parts of the world for many generations, which went against the FDA's normal guidlines for natural substances.
There is no mention that it has been used as a NATURAL sweetner for many years in many parts of the world.
And no mention that the FDA was initially lobbied by the ARTIFICAL sweetner industry to keep it of the shelves.
And no doubt before that, the sugar industry would have had something to say. (Being a major commodity).
A natural sweetner with no calories. Who is to can it cannot allow creation of a lot of sweet dishses that also have healthy ingredients. Remember it is naturally about 20 times sweeter than sugar, and the extract is like 200 time sweeter, so no there is no issue with Stevia's bulk replacing healthy ingredients.
And that is not withstanding current research looking at the *possibility* of it HELPING, with Type II diabetes, blood pressure , metabolic syndrome and obesity. (ie not just by replacing sugar but as an active agent).
All of this was glossed over, and the article implied its BAD based on research that has largely been overturned or not proven. For naturally occurring substances, this does not normally lead to a ban.
12/11/2009 1:58:51 PM

LEAN-N-LEXY's SparkPage
PureVia and Truvia are blended with erythritol, so I don't really count these as very good stevia products. SweetLeaf is just stevia extract as the sweetener. I AM interested in the new Sun Crystals that blend cane sugar with stevia extract. There are many more off-brand Stevia products out there if you continue to shop the supplement aisles.
The thing I've found with stevia extract is that it is such an intense sweet, that it's very easy to practice moderation. One packet can last me for a week's worth of tea /coffee.
FINDINGMYWAY09
12/11/2009 1:30:01 AM

arte I agree with you I use regular sugar sometimes I get organic sugar (one that isn't bleached like white) I don't use a lot of sugar anyways I use honey in my tea not a coffee drinker there is no reason for me to use any type of artifical sweetner. I am trying to get my parents away from it but they don't want the empty calories that they say sugar has in it.
11/22/2009 9:38:48 AM

WARMSPRINGDAY's SparkPage
I have Stevia on hand, but use it very sparingly. My father is diabetic and my mother uses a great deal of it. She has always used an abundance of artificial sweeteners and they are both in their 80's with no problems from them that I am aware of.

Stevia is the only artificial sweetener that I keep on hand, but I do indulge in a sugar free soda maybe once a week and eat the occasional sugar free Jell-O or pudding.
10/26/2009 9:14:46 PM

ARTEMISR's SparkPage
I'm not a big fan of artificial sweeteners. I considered trying stevia but after reading this, I don't think I will. Honestly, it's just not worth losing a few calories over.
I prefer to just use real sugar, minimally. I trust sugar. I know I like the taste. I know it doesn't give me headaches (unlike nutrisweet). Et cetera.
10/7/2009 9:28:36 PM

LINDY-LOO's SparkPage
I am realy glad I took the time to read this article. I always thought Stevia was better than some of the other sweeteners out there. I think we should go back about 45 years and eat like we used to. Especially where there were no fast food restuarants (at least there were none in my town) and I never ate cold cuts. Lindy-loo
10/6/2009 11:46:24 AM

WHOLENEWME79's SparkPage
I think this article was great and unbiased, as are all the Becky articles I have read. Personally, I think Stevia is the most horrible tasting sweetener on the planet (just disgusting, overly sweet no matter how much you use and an awful after taste) and I very much prefer honey since it actually has trace minerals and vitamins and is not an "empty calories" sweetener as are sugar, corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.
9/23/2009 3:13:32 PM

STEVIECAT4's SparkPage
Very scary.
BWEHMER
9/17/2009 8:03:43 AM

This article was very well written and informative. It covers every aspect of Stevia that you would want to know in an easy to understand format. Links are provided for source information or more detail for those who are interested. This is another fine example of the quality and effectiveness of SparkPeople. Good job!

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