Is stevia extract an artificial sweetener
Stevia is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar and has no calories. It comes from a plant, so some consider it a "natural,"rather than an artificial, sweetener. (Aspartame and sucralose, by contrast, are wholly cooked up in a lab.)
Stevia is a plant-based sweetener—but is it bad for you? Our nutritionist has the verdict on this controversial ingredient.
The rainbow of sugar substitutes—in pink, blue, yellow, or green packets—has slowly expanded each decade. I’ve found that people tend to lump the different types together, especially when it comes to their purported health effects.
But the FDA actually classifies stevia (the green one) differently, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest gives it one of only two “safe” ratings in its substitute comparison. So is stevia a safe—or safer—option than sugar or other sugar substitutes? I dug into the latest research to find out.
Is stevia leaf extract bad for you
The FDATrusted Source says stevia glycosides, such as Reb-A, are “generally recognized as safe.” They haven’t approved whole-leaf stevia or crude stevia extract for use in processed foods and beverages due to a lack of safety information.
There’s concern that raw stevia herb may harm your kidneys, reproductive system, and cardiovascular system. It may also drop blood pressure too low or interact with medications that lower blood sugar.
Although stevia is considered safe for people with diabetes, brands that contain dextrose or maltodextrin should be treated with caution.
Dextrose is glucose, and maltodextrin is a starch. These ingredients add small amounts of carbs and calories. Sugar alcohols may also slightly tip the carb count.
If you use stevia now and then, it may not be enough to impact your blood sugar. But if you use it throughout the day, the carbs add up.
Stevia Artificial Sweetener Side Effects
1. May Cause Gastrointestinal Issues
Some believe that the intake of highly refined stevia may lead to nausea. The steviosides in stevia may irritate your stomach and cause bloating or reduce your appetite.Studies speculate the role of different artificial sweeteners in promoting gastrointestinal issues, although we need more research to establish the connection.It is also believed that the consumption of stevia may lead to diarrhea and potential gut damage. However, more research is needed in this regard.
2. Could Lead To Hypoglycemia
This is a benefit that may manifest into a side effect with overuse. Stevia can help lower blood sugar levels.
Though there is no direct research, heavy stevia intake (along with blood sugar medications) could lead hypoglycemia – a condition in which blood sugar levels can go dangerously low.Hence, we recommend you to stay away from stevia and take your doctor’s advice if you are already on diabetes medications.
3. May Lead To Endocrine Disruption
There is a possibility that the steviol glycosides can interfere with hormones controlled by the endocrine system. According to a 2016 study, sperm cells, when introduced to steviol, saw an increase in progesterone hormone (secreted by the female reproductive system).
4. May Cause Allergies
There is no scientific research to support this statement. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that stevia and other artificial sweeteners may cause allergies in some people.
Some believe that you could be allergic to stevia if you are allergic to ragweed. The theories state that your body may mistake the proteins in the food you eat as pollen and launch an immune response to react. Symptoms of the allergies may include swelling and itching of the lips, mouth, throat, and tongue, abdominal pain, and vomiting. As there is no research to support this, talk to your doctor before taking stevia (if you happen to be allergic to certain foods).
5. Stevia May Cause Numbness
Though there is very little information on this, some anecdotal evidence refers to individuals experiencing numbness in their hands and feet (and even on the tongue) after taking stevia.Watch out for these reactions. If you notice these symptoms, stop use and visit your doctor immediately.
6. May Lead To Sore Muscles
There is little research on this aspect. Certain sources state that taking stevia can lead to aching muscles and muscle soreness. In a study, the intake of a drug made of steviosides (the active components of stevia) was found to cause muscle tenderness and pain in certain patients. If you find your muscles are sore for no reason, stop stevia intake and check with your doctor.
The FDA approved only the purified form of stevia, called stevioside, as safe to use. Products considered safe contain words in their ingredient list such as stevia extract or Stevia rebaudiana. If you see whole stevia leaves or crude stevia extracts at your local natural foods store, don’t buy them. The FDA says it doesn’t have enough information about their potential impact on your health, including kidney and cardiovascular problems.
Is stevia safe
Stevia, also known as Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, is a bushy shrub that is part of the sunflower family. There are 150 species of stevia, all native to North and South America.
China is the current leading exporter of stevia products. However, stevia is now produced in many countries. The plant can often be purchased at garden centers for home growing.
As stevia is 200 to 300 times sweeter than table sugar. It typically requires about 20 percent of the land and far less water to provide the same amount of sweetness as other mainstream sweeteners.
In a joint statement, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) said that stevia and similar sweeteners can be beneficial for people with diabetes if they use them appropriately and do not compensate by eating extra calories at later meals.
In a 2018 study, researchers tested the effects of a stevia-sweetened coconut jelly on participants 30–120 minutes after consumption at half-hour intervals.The research found that blood glucose levels started to reduce 60–120 minutes after eating the jelly, even before the secretion of insulin.
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