If you take sugar out of your diet, you may actually discover that you don’t miss it. But that’s not the only benefit of cutting sugar. Not only will you lose weight, but cutting out sugar can also reduce your risk of heart disease and some types of cancer.
Sweeteners are one of the most contentious food ingredients. Some believe they are chemicals that can be harmful to our health, while others believe that consuming them is a must for good health. When it comes to sweeteners, science may be of little help in determining which is better for you—artificial sweeteners or sugar.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the difference between sugar and artificial sweeteners like aspartame and Splenda. Most of the arguments center around whether or not artificial sweeteners are safe. Some even claim that the weight loss effect of artificial sweeteners is less than that of sugar. While you may not have the time or energy to read through all the studies yourself, we’re here to give you the gist.
Is Splenda really as bad as it’s made up to be? Is aspartame a carcinogen? Is stevia, an all-natural sweetener, a safe substitute for these artificial sweeteners? To reach a conclusion, this essay combines some research with common sense.
Every day, we get a lot of inquiries regarding sweeteners in general and artificial sweeteners in particular at PN’s headquarters. This is due in part to the natural connection that exists between sweets and food; today, sweeteners can be found in practically everything.
However, many people have observed that in our Gourmet Nutrition v1 and Gourmet Nutrition v2 products, we indicate the usage of sweeteners like stevia, Splenda, and aspartame.
People are curious whether Splenda is as dangerous as some say. Do you want to know whether aspartame may make you sick? They also want to know whether stevia, an all-natural sweetener, is a healthy substitute for these artificial sweeteners.
As a result, we’ll concentrate on this final point in this week’s email. Is stevia a good substitute for Splenda or Equal?
Yes, it’s natural: it’s a natural.
Think about it for a minute before you jump to the conclusion that stevia is always superior since it’s natural.
Just because Splenda and Equal are manufactured in a lab and stevia is a seemingly innocuous green plant does not imply stevia is healthy and the other two are pure food poisons.
Finally, ephedra sinica and poison hemlock, both hallucinogenic mushrooms, grow in the ground and are totally natural. And I don’t believe many of you would disagree that these natural organic elements are healthful.
So, rather of making a choice based on the natural vs. artificial argument, let’s look at this plant, stevia, and see what the science has to say.
Take a look at Stevia.
Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) is the proper name for this plant endemic to Paraguay and Brazil. It can reach the height of your three-year-old nephew (about 1.5 m). Unless, like Andre the Giant, that relative has acromegalia and is unusually tall.
Since the 16th century, stevia has been used as a sweetener. It was first employed as a sweetener in the nineteenth century and has grown in popularity in recent years. Here’s a quick rundown of stevia facts:
- Stevia has a sweetness that is 250 to 300 times that of sugar.
- Because stevia is heat resistant, it may be used in cooking.
- Stevia leaves generate stevosides, which give the leaves a sweet flavor.
- The isostevioli provide the majority of the sweetness.
- There are no calories in stevia.
- Stevia, unlike sugar, does not cause tooth decay.
So far, everything has gone well.
The stevia leaves are treated with water and alcohol after harvesting. The enzymes are then used to catalyze the reaction. Last but not least, there’s stevia extract.
These extracts are then marketed as sweeteners on the commercial market. This method has been utilized in Japan and Brazil for over 30 years.
Stevia as a flavor enhancer
Between 1918 and 1921, the US Department of Agriculture discovered stevia. Since then, they’ve greeted him with warm hugs.
Stevia does not need a patent since it grows naturally. This has led some to assume that its lack of approval as a dietary supplement in the United States and Canada is due to budgetary constraints.
As a result, in the United States and Canada, stevia is classified as a dietary supplement. This is not something to be taken lightly. Producers of food must determine whether or not they utilize it in their goods (see here).
In contrast to the United States and Canada, Japan authorized stevia extract as a sweetener in the 1970s. Chewing gum, cereals, toothpaste, mouthwash, soft drinks, and other products contain it.
During World War II, the British were already looking at the potential of economically extracting stevia as a replacement for the endangered sugar supply in 1941.
Stevia seems to be the next best thing for those who wish to sweeten their tea, coffee, and other beverages without using artificial sweeteners.
They, on the other hand, never accepted it…
What method do you employ?
A slang name for 1/8 ounce or 3.5 grams of methamphetamine or cocaine is “eight-ball.” In case you’re wondering, stevia isn’t referred to as “eight ball.”
Stevia is mostly marketed as sachets, tinctures, and pills in North America.
- Normally, one sachet contains 85 milligrams of stevia extract.
- Normally, 4 drops of tincture contain approximately 40 milligrams of stevia.
- Normally, one stevia pill contains 50 milligrams of stevia.
Because brands differ, this should be taken into consideration. These numbers will come in useful as we continue our study.
Is it secure?
When determining the safety of a substance, scientists first conduct an LD50 test. If you need a pharmacology refresher, go here. The LD50 of a drug is the dosage needed to kill 50% of the test population.
These experiments are carried out on animals rather than people, for obvious reasons.
In the case of stevia, a 1975 research discovered that its LD50 is 15 grams per kilogram of body weight. If you have z. B. and weigh 100 kg, 1500 grams is all it takes to kill you. And if you’re 50 kg, 750 g is all it takes to kill you.
Wow, that’s a lot of information! In reality, 15,000 to 30,000 tablets are on the table.
It’s worth noting, though, that another research discovered that the LD50 for mice is just 2 grams per kilogram. Again, that’s just 200 grams at 220 pounds (or 4,000 pills). That’s just 100 grams at 110 pounds (or 2,000 pills).
When it comes to death, a difference of 2g versus 15g is a fairly broad range of possibilities. Let’s face it, no healthy individual who isn’t allergic to stevia is going to die from a stevia overdose.
The findings of the LD50 research are shown in the table below.
Species_____Pol_____LD50 (g/kg body weight)_____Link Mouse________M and F _______>15 grams per kilogram___________ Toskulkao 1997 Mouse________M___________>2 grams per kilogram______ Medon 1995 Rat___________M and F _______>15 grams per kilogram___________ Toskulkao 1995 Hamster______M and F _______>15 grams per kilogram___________ Toskulkao 1995
*In contrast, caffeine’s LD50 in rats is 192 mg/kg. For a 60 kg individual, this equates to about 11,500 mg or 11.5 grams of caffeine. As a result, caffeine is much more dangerous than stevia.
Finally, it seems like none of us will be stevia overdosing anytime soon. However, it is critical to examine the safety evidence regarding stevia from a different angle. To that aim, the researchers are looking at the extent to which detrimental consequences in rats have been examined.
Stevia’s no-effect dosage is about 794 mg/kg. This implies that 7.94 mg/kg/day is considered safe for people. This figure of 7.94 mg/kg/day is based on a very cautious 100-fold safety factor.
It is often referred to as the ADI in technical terms (or Acceptable Daily Intake). You could definitely do with a few more. But I’m not sure I’d volunteer to put this idea to the test.
A word of caution: For a 110 kg adult, this would equal to approximately 400 mg per day (or about 5 sachets) and for a 220 kg adult, this would equate to about 800 mg per day (or about 10 sachets).
By the way, the ADI in the Splenda/Sucralose trials is 15 mg/kg/day, which is important to know. When compared to stevia, which has an ADI of approximately 8 mg/kg/day, this implies that twice as much Splenda/sukraLose may be eaten without causing adverse effects.
DNA and steviol
Negative data has been released as well, but the majority of the data we’ve seen so far does not raise any concerns regarding the usage of stevia. Indeed, this data indicates that excessive stevia use may cause health issues, beginning with DNA damage.
These results, however, are contradictory and were found in rats and mice. Stevia does not cause DNA damage, according to a dozen studies.
Other instances, on the other hand, indicate that steviol, a natural stevia breakdown product, may harm our DNA.
This isn’t good. And this is definitely something to consider.
Overview of the research
Let’s have a look at the study on stevia.
- Rats were given 500, 1000, or 2000 mg/kg/day of rebaudioside A (a glycoside found in stevia leaves) for 90 days in a (recent) research. There were no harmful consequences found. A 90-day oral (dietary) toxicity study of rebaudioside A in Sprague-Dawley rats. Nikiforov A.I. and Eapen A.K. Int J Toxicol, 2008, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 65-80.
- At humans, stevia in doses up to 15 mg/kg/day for six weeks seems to be safe. These researchers sought to see how stevia affected blood pressure. When compared to a placebo, it showed no extra impact. L.A. Ferri et al. In individuals with mild essential hypertension, the antihypertensive impact of oral crude stevioside was investigated. Phytother Res., 2006, vol. 20, no. 7, pp. 732-736.
- This research backs up previous findings: stevia has no impact on blood pressure, yet it is well tolerated. LA Barriocanal et al. Steviol glycosides, which are employed as sweeteners, seem to have no pharmacological effects in humans. A pilot investigation of repeated exposure in type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients with selected normotensive and hypotensive individuals. Epub 2008 Mar 5 in Regul Toxicol Pharmacol.
- Stevia seems to help regulate blood pressure, according to one research. For two years, using 500 mg of stevioside powder three times a day lowered blood pressure substantially. There have been no documented negative effects. MH Hsieh, et al. A two-year randomized placebo-controlled trial looked at the efficacy and tolerability of oral stevioside in individuals with moderate essential hypertension. Clinical Ther. 2003;25:2797–2808.
- This research yielded similar findings. P. Chan et al. A placebo-controlled, double-blind trial evaluating the effectiveness and safety of oral stevioside in people with hypertension. Br J Clin Pharmacol, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 215-220, 2000.
- Stevia may reduce the levels of inflammatory mediators, according to one research. Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effect of stevioside and its metabolite steviol on THP-1 cells, Boonkaewwan C, et al. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol. 54, no. 7, pp. 785-789, 2006.
- This tiny research found that stevia may assist individuals with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. Antihyperglycemic effects of stevioside in individuals with type 2 diabetes, Gregersen S, et al. Metabolism, vol. 53, no. 1, pp. 73-76, 2004.
- Acute and subacute toxicity tests of stevia and stevioside revealed extremely minimal toxicity, according to a study published in the journal Phytochemistry. The impacts on the bioavailability of other nutrients in the diet, as well as studies on fertility and teratogenicity, are addressed. The researchers came to the conclusion that stevia and stevioside are safe to use as sweeteners. It’s good for diabetics and PKU sufferers, as well as overweight individuals who wish to reduce weight by cutting out additional sugars from their diet. This product does not seem to cause any allergic responses. Stevioside, Geuns JM, Phytochemistry 64:913-921, 2003.
- Stevia does not harm DNA, according to this research. Mutagenicity and chromosomal consequences of stevioside, a sweetener from Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, in humans, Suttajit M, et al. Environ Health Perspectives, vol. 101, no. 3, pp. 53-56, 1993.
- This study’s authors differ. The researchers discovered that rats acquired lesions after ingesting stevia. The authors come to the conclusion that stevia may be damaging to DNA. AP Nunes et al. The comet test was used to investigate the genotoxic potential of stevioside. Food Chem Toxicol 45:662-666, 2007.
- Stevia does not seem to harm mice’s DNA. Genotoxicity of stevia and steviol extract by comet test. Sekihashi K, et al. J Toxicol Sci, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 1-8, 2002.
- Stevioside at a dosage of 2.5 g/kg body weight per day had no impact on hamster development or reproduction, according to the findings. V. Yodyingyuad and colleagues Stevioside’s impact on growth and reproduction. 6:158-165 in Hum Reprod 1991.
- Humans and rats both metabolize stevia in the same manner, according to the research. Absorption and metabolism of the glycosidic sweetener stevia and its aglycone, steviol, in rats and humans, Koyama E, et al. Food Chem Toxicol 41:875-883, 2003.
- Stevia has been shown to decrease male rat fertility. Effects of prolonged Stevia rebaudiana treatment on fertility in rats, Melis MS. 67:157-161 in J Ethnopharmacol, 1999.
- Probably not, according to this research. RM Oliveira-Filho and colleagues Endocrine consequences of chronic consumption of an aqueous extract of Stevia rebaudiana (Bert.) Bertoni in rats. 187-191 in Gen Pharmacol, 1989.
We gathered a lot of information on stevia while writing this post. And the evidence indicates that stevia is unlikely to cause health issues in low and moderate dosages.
It should be noted, however, that some of the toxicity data is odd. And some of the knowledge regarding DNA damage raises more questions than it answers. As a result, we recommend that you do the following: Apply for a funding to continue your stevia research.
Excellent, excellent. If you don’t get it done right away, consider how you utilize stevia in general. You are generally in excellent health if it is mild. Higher dosages, like other sweets, may create difficulties.
Stevia isn’t a favorite of ours here at PN. The study, like that on Splenda, does not persuade us that there is any cause to be frightened or paranoid. The study also does not persuade us that stevia (or Splenda) is delicious, helpful, or essential.
A little quantity in tea, coffee, cereal, or a protein drink once or twice a day should enough. However, we would not accept another recipe book using stevia.
I’m not sure what to do with my cookies.
But what if you really want a cookie that is sweet? Make some genuine cookies, we say. And he only eats them on rare occasions.
Use whole wheat flour, unprocessed sweetener (such as date sugar or cane sugar), and other organic components that are healthful. Then eat them when eating PW after your exercise.
You order something sweet and high-quality cuisine without questioning the usage of artificial sweeteners. The books Gourmet Nutrition and Gourmet Nutrition Desserts provide a wealth of information.
However, like with stevia, Splenda, and other sweeteners, ALL sweeteners should be used with caution. Natural sugars, such as date sugar and cane sugar, are also available. Excessive intake may result in weight gain, blood sugar increases, and insulin sensitivity issues.
Controlling your sugar appetite is the best way out.
No, you don’t have to completely give up munching. Controlling your sugar and sweetener consumption, on the other hand, is a certain method to enhance your health and appearance.
To view the sources of information used in this article, go here.
Structural study of isosteviol and similar compounds as DNA polymerase and DNA topoisomerase inhibitors, Mizushina Y, et al. Life Science 77:2127-2140, 2005. C. Gardana et al. Human microflora metabolism of stevioside and rebaudioside A from Stevia rebaudiana extracts. J Agric Food Chem., 51, 6618-6622, 2003. M. Suttajit et al. On humans, mutagenicity and chromosomal consequences of stevioside, a sweetener derived from Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni. Environ Health Perspectives, vol. 101, no. 3, pp. 53-56, 1993.
USDA Economic Research Service, 2003.
Stevia: Genus Stevia, A.D. Kinghorn, A.D. Kinghorn, A.D. Kinghorn, A.D. Kinghorn, A.D
Factors influencing caffeine toxicity: A review of the literature, Peters JM. 7:131-141 in Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Journal of New Medicines in 1967.
http://www.inchem.org/documents/jecf…o/v042je07.htm WHO food additive series
A subchronic oral toxicity study of stevioside in F344 rats, Aze Y, et al. 109:48-54 in Bull Natl Inst Hyg Sci, 1991.
Kreijci ME & Koechel DA. Acute effects of carboxyatractyloside and stevioside, inhibitors of mitochondrial ADP/ATP translocation, on renal function and ultrastructure in dogs injected with pentobarbital. Toxicology 1992;72:299-313.
Acute toxicity of the natural sweetener stevioside and its metabolite steviol in different animal species, Toskulkao C, et al. Drug Chem Toxicol 20:31-44, 1997.
Effect of stevioside and steviol on glucose absorption in the hamster gut, Toskulkao C, et al. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol, vol. 41, no. 1, 1995, pp. 105-113.
C. Toskulkao et al. Steviol, a stevioside metabolite, has an inhibitory impact on glucose absorption in the hamster stomach in vitro. Toxicol Lett., vol. 80, no. 1, pp. 153-159, 1995.
Safety study of several Stevia rebaudiana sweeteners, Medon PJ, et al. Fed Proc 41:1568, 1982.
A chronic oral toxicity and carcinogenicity investigation of stevioside in rats, Xili L, et al. Food Chem Toxicol 30:957-965, 1992.
Do you want to become in the greatest form of your life and keep it for the rest of your life? Check out the 5-day body transformation programs below.
Is it the best? They’re totally costless.
Click on one of the links below to read the free courses.
Did you know that one pound of sugar equals 3,500 calories? That’s a lot of energy to be wasted on a simple sweetener like sugar. In fact, if you look at it the other way, it’s a lot of calories to be wasted on something as un-nutritious as sugar. In short, sugar is an unneeded and unnecessary source of calories.. Read more about natural sweeteners definition and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whats wrong with sweeteners?
Sweeteners are a type of artificial sweetener, and they have been shown to cause health problems in some people.
Why was Stevia banned?
Stevia was banned because it is a plant-based sweetener that is not approved by the FDA.
What is the truth about artificial sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners are not as healthy as they seem. They can cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin levels, which can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
This article broadly covered the following related topics:
- artificial sweeteners list
- natural sweeteners
- healthiest natural sweetener
- natural sweeteners definition
- sweetener brands