STEVIA good alternative non-toxic sweet WITH BENEFITS

Discussion in 'Lyme Disease Archives' started by victoria, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Thought this was interesting about stevia, since some of us use it as a sweetener - and Lyme like all bacteria loves sugar. I know some of it doesn't taste very good, and it may take some getting used to even if you try all the brands - each one is a bit different it seems as to its taste. Or at the very least, cut regular sugar with powdered stevia... it's not very noticeable this way and will save calories as well as the sugar carbs.

    I was ecstatic to see it combined here in Mexico right next to the artifical sweeteners and sugar on my first shopping trip to the supermarket, but have never seen it since at any supermarket, anywhere, even in the nearby city that has about 1 million in population... oh well!

    all the best,

    Also known as sweet leaf, Stevia rebaudiana is a perennial shrub with more than 150 species that is native to Paraguay. The leaves are so intensely flavored that Paraguayans have been using the herb as a sweetening agent for centuries.1,2 But regardless of this lengthy history in South America, stevia has met with intense resistance in the United States. The FDA banned the herb in 1991, citing what it called a lack of demonstrated safety. After years of public outcry, the FDA allowed stevia to be used as a dietary supplement but not as a food additive.

    Stevia has been shown to have benefits beyond sweet flavor, particularly for people who have diabetes or hypertension. Some data suggest that the glycosides stevioside and rebaudioside A may increase insulin production.2 Stevia delays glucose absorption from the intestine and possibly improves cellular-level insulin sensitivity. There is also evidence that the herb actually lowers blood-sugar levels in diabetics by improving carbohydrate metabolism and increasing insulin production.3

    Stevia seems to have a mild vasodilatory effect, probably by altering calcium and/or potassium in the arteries.3 This is usually considered beneficial because it can increase renal flow.1

    The herb can also help with hypertension. For example, in a two-year placebo-controlled trial involving 106 participants, those who used stevia three times a day saw an average BP reduction from 166/102 mm Hg to 153/90, while no significant change was observed among those on placebo.5

    The FDA's concerns include reproductive toxicity and carcinogenic potential.6 However, numerous studies in both animals and humans have failed to substantiate these fears, and there are no known harmful effects on people.2 In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) evaluated all recent experimental data on stevia. It concluded that "stevioside and rebaudioside A are not genotoxic in vitro or in vivo" and that "stevioside has shown some evidence of pharmacologic effects in patients with hypertension or with type 2 diabetes."1

    Study summaries published in the journal Phytochemistry confirmed that there were absolutely no indications of fertility impairment or teratogenicity from stevia. Metabolic effects were, if anything, positive, and people with such dietary impairments as phenylketonuria were able to use the herb.3

    The best carcinogenic studies are longitudinal and take years, but early data do not indicate a problem. In fact, the opposite is true. A study by Japanese researchers actually showed a tumor inhibitory effect on cancers in mice.7

    Stevia is also the object of scrutiny among dentists. Early studies indicate that because it is a non-glucose-based sweetener, tooth decay and dental caries formation may be reduced with the continued use of stevia products.2 Since tooth decay and gum disease have been strongly linked to such conditions as heart disease, this finding could have major implications for general wellness and health promotion across the population. Another safety concern seems to stem from the fact that stevia is a glycoside, a family of chemicals that can have direct effects on the heart. However, tests to date have not shown any cardiac impact.3

    All current data indicate that stevia is safe as an alternative sweetener, but people on medication regimens, particularly diabetics and hypertensives, should consult their health-care providers about possible changes to their prescriptions.

    entire article at:
  2. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Stevia has not helped my high blood pressure, though I guess it could have been even worse without it, but it has helped keep me from becoming diabetic all this time, and I was very close to it when I started using it.

    I love the Stevita brand and I get it online along with my monthy supplement order. It is a powder that is easy to shake into my decaf iced tea, which is the main thing I use sweetener for. There is no bitter aftertaste unless you use way too much.

    The only negatives I've found are the cost if you use an awful lot of it, and you need to watch out not to put your face too close when you are shaking it, because it is very light and floats up in the air where you can inhale it, which is not pleasant.

    I believe the powerful lobbies for lesion-causing sweeteners like Nutrasweet and diarrhea causing sweeteners like Splenda, and plain old immune-supressing sugar are the main reason why Stevia is not on grocery store shelves here, and in every item that is sweetened. Stevia has been used as table sugar in central and south America for eons. They grow sugar cane and ship it up here so we can get diabetes and immune supression, while they use Stevia in their own homes. the fact that most people have not heard of it is a bottom line issue, not a health one.

  3. Daisys

    Daisys Member

    I can get stevia in my supermarket. It's also in every health and supplement store I've ever walked into. If I couldn't, I know it's available on the internet.

    I use it mainly for tea also.