Stevia

How does Stevia work?

Stevia is a plant that contains natural sweeteners that are used in foods. Researchers have also evaluated the effect of chemicals in stevia on blood pressure and blood sugar levels. However, research results have been mixed.

Are there safety concerns?

Stevia and chemicals contained in stevia, including stevioside and rebaudioside A, are LIKELY SAFE when used as a sweetener in foods. Rebaudioside A has generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status in the U.S. for use as a sweetener for foods. Stevioside has been safely used in research in doses of up to 1500 mg per day for 2 years.

Some people who take stevia or stevioside can experience bloating or nausea. Other people have reported feelings of dizziness, muscle pain, and numbness.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of stevia during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Stevia is in the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family. This family includes ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many other plants. In theory, people who are sensitive to ragweed and related plants may also be sensitive to stevia.

Diabetes: Some developing research suggests that some of the chemicals contained in stevia might lower blood sugar levels and could interfere with blood sugar control. However, other research disagrees. If you have diabetes and take stevia or any of the sweeteners it contains, monitor your blood sugar closely and report your findings to your healthcare provider.

Low blood pressure: There is some evidence, though not conclusive, that some of the chemicals in stevia can lower blood pressure. There is a concern that these chemicals might cause blood pressure to drop too low in people who have low blood pressure. Get your healthcare provider's advice before taking stevia or the sweeteners it contains, if you have low blood pressure.


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