Stevia is a genus of about 150 species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family (native to subtropical and tropical South America and
With its extracts having up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar, stevia has garnered attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternatives. Stevia also has shown promise in medical research for treating such conditions as obesity and high blood pressure. Stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose, even enhancing glucose tolerance; therefore, it is attractive as a natural sweetener to diabetics and others on carbohydrate-controlled diets.
Rebiana is the trade name for a stevia-derived sweetener being developed jointly by The Coca-Cola Company and Cargill with the intent of marketing in several countries and gaining regulatory approval in the US and EU. You can find stevia in most health-food stores and some supermarkets.
Safety Concerns. Stevia is sold in the U.S. as a dietary supplement and not as a food or food additive. In 1994 the USDA gave permission to manufacturers to market stevia as a food supplement. SOme foreign studies have found decreased sperm production in mice after being administered stevia, however there is no evidence that stevia is harmful to humans.
- ^ PubMed research articles related to treatments of obesity
- ^ PubMed research articles on stevia's effects on blood pressure
- ^ PubMed articles on stevia's use in treating hypertension
- ^ Curi, R; Alvarez M, Bazotte RB, Botion LM, Godoy JL, Bracht A (1986). "Effect of Stevia rabaudiana on glucose tolerance in normal adult humans". Braz J Med Biol Res 19 (6): 771-4.
- ^ Gregersen, S; Jeppesen PB, Holst JJ, Hermansen K (January 2004). "Antihyperglycemic effects of stevioside in type 2 diabetic subjects". Metabolism 53 (1): 73-76.