Dr. Carolyn Chambers Clark, Award-Winning Author and Wellness Nurse Practitioner

Stevia - A Safe & Useful Sweetener

What is Stevia?
 
Stevia is a widely used, very potent sweetener. It is 250-300 times sweeter than sugar, has no calories, and does not promote tooth cavities.
 
Unlike sugar, stevia is helpful to body processes and can help with blood pressure, skin, circulation, diabetes, and may even protect against infection.
 
Stevia delays glucose absorption from the intestine and may improve insulin sensitivity. There is also evidence that the herb actually lowers blood-sugar levels in people with diabetes because it improves carbohydrate metabolism and increasing insulin production.
 
Stevia also alters calcium and potassium in the arteries, which is beneficial because it can increase flow to the kidneys (renal flow).
 
This herb can also help with high blood pressure (hypertension). In one study, people who used stevia three times a day saw an average BP reduction from 166/102 to 153/90, while no significant change was observed with those who used a placebo.
 
Stevia may also protect against viruses and other infections.
 
Stevia is Safe
 
In 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) evaluated all recent experimental data on stevia. It concluded that stevia is safe and may help with hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Study summaries published in the journal Phytochemistry confirmed the safety of stevia. The article also stated that people with dietary impairments such as phenylketonuria can use the herb.
 
All current data indicate stevia is safe as an alternative sweetener, but those on medication, especially if diagnosed with diabetes or hypertension, should consult with their health-care provider about possible changes to their prescriptions.
 
Where to find stevia
 
Stevia is sold in a concentrated liquid or powder form. Individual packets are also avalable online* or at health food stores.
 
*For a $5 discount on your first order at I-herb, click on www.carolynchambersclark.com/id125.html
 
Sources:
 
Genuns, JMC. Stevioside. Phytochemistry, 2003, volume 64, number 9, 913-921.
 
Smith, J. Stevia: a new player in the artificial sweetener game. Diabetes Health. 2006. Available at
 
Agriculture information. Medicinal properties of stevia. Available at www.agricultureinformation.com/forums/stevia/8089-medical-properties-stevia.html
 
Tomita, T., et al. “Bactericidal activity of a fermented hot-water extract from Stevia rebaudiana bertoni towards enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli 0157:h7 and other food-borne pathogenic bacteria.” Microbiol. Immunol. 1997; 41(12): 1005–9. 
 
Takahashi, K., et al. “Analysis of anti-rotavirus activity of extract from Stevia rebaudiana.” Antiviral Res. 2001; 49(1): 15–24.

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