Stevia: A boon for diabetes

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Stevia: A boon for diabetes

stevia herb

Stevia herb

What is Stevia?

Stevia is a plant that is native to South America. It is probably best known as a source of natural sweeteners. In fact, native people in South America have used stevia as a sweetener for hundreds of years. But the leaves are also used to make medicine.

In December 2008, the Food and Drug Administration declared a natural zero-calorie sweetener derived from the herb stevia safe for use in foods and beverages, clearing a path for Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and other companies to market it in a variety of products. A long time favorite of natural food lovers, stevia is 30–45 times the sweetness of ordinary table sugar. Widely available for years in Brazil, China and Japan (they use it in their version of Coke).


Scientific Evidence: Stevia, Diabetes and other health parameters.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the scientific evidence on stevia, including expert opinion, folkloric precedent, history, pharmacology, kinetics/dynamics, interactions, adverse effects, toxicology, and dosing. Evaluation of two long-term studies (1 and 2 years in length, respectively) indicated that stevia may be effective in lowering blood pressure in hypertensive patients, although data from shorter studies (1-3 months) did not support these findings. A pair of small studies also reported positive results with respect to glucose tolerance and response, although the relatively low methodological rigor of these experiments limited the strength of these findings. Further investigation was warranted in both indications.Summary: Stevia showed to have positive effects on lowering blood pressure in hypertensive patients, but this was a review research.


The Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada state that up to 10% of daily calories can be derived from sugars, but people with diabetes may still choose to use sugar substitutes for the following reasons: 1) To displace sugar and energy content of their diet, 2) to promote increased fluid intake, 3) to replace sugar in foods that may promote dental caries, 4) to facilitate use of additional carbohydrate choices in their meal plan for nutrient dense foods such as fruits and high fiber breads. Due to limited studies done on children and adolescents, the research couldn't conclude on efficiency and effectiveness.



A compound Stevioside from Stevia has shown to improve Insulin sensitivity : A research done on mice using 3T3 Adipocytes (cell line derived from (mouse) 3T3 cells that is used in biological research on adipose tissue) Stevioside from Stevia rebaudiana has been reported to exert antihyperglycemic effects in both rat and human subjects. It was seen that there was an increase in glucose uptake and enhanced expression of proteins involved in insulin-signalling pathway.Summary: Improvement in the Insulin Sensitivity improves overall health of diabetic persons as well as non-diabetic persons. Thus there is better uptake and utilization of glucose by the cells


The 5th Stevia Global Summit 2013 that happened in Delhi announced approval of use of Stevia in food by FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority). With FSSAI Approval Of Stevia for use in various food products in India, there open a wide spectrum for national and international companies to market their products in a country of 1.3 Billion people.


Let’s take a look at the video to know why Stevia is given priority as a sugar substitute by Nutritionists, Health Counselors and Dietitian’s.

People who have been using it have mixed reviews:

Like anything else in life it’s “moderation” when using sweeteners. I use stevia in my baking and lemonades. The flavor is great and I have had no side effects. I am sure you can find someone who would be unhappy with rutabagas, for me it’s lima beans. Anyway I like the product.

After one week of use, I developed terrible sores in my mouth and was experiencing extreme dizziness. I was very concerned and when I did research, I found that my symptoms were not uncommon. After about 4 days off stevia, my mouth began to heal and the dizziness completely went away. I would not recommend anyone use this product.

My son was diagnosed with Diabetes three years ago and as a result, I got afraid as well because I was border line for years. Anyway, I got off of sugar in anything used at home.It is awesome. I have never been one to do the artificial (killers) sweetners so I stuck with sugar. After I first stopped using sugar I lost 45 lbs. over the next year or so. I didn’t even realize right away that the weight was coming off. I have managed to keep it off.I realize about the ragweed allergies being connected so don’t take it. But if one is looking to be healthy this IS the way to go.

I have been using Stevia in the Raw as a sugar replacement for a couple of years. I have lost a lot of weight quite easily and no longer suffer the stomach upset, heartburn and cravings that plagued me on a daily basis when my diet consisted of processed and high sugar foods. I look better, feel better and with no side effects like I had with nutra sweet and splenda.

Please share your experiences with us, we will be happy to help you.

By #Sportsnutritionistkrupali

View Krupali Shah's profile on LinkedIn

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