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The Sweetness of Stevia

Aug 17, 2007
You may not believe it, but stevia's main extract, stevioside is about 300 times as sweet as mess mouth- to-mouth. Even its dried leaves are at initial 30 times sweeter than sugar. What is extremely surprising is that Stevia has no calories, no carbs, no synthetic sweeteners like saccharin or aspartame ( better known as Equal and NutraSweet ) and no adverse effects on diabetics. More than that, many claim that it possessed several beneficial medicinal properties, although technical studies have yet to confirm and evaluate such claims.

Stevia is a native of two South American countries Paraguay and Brazil. For hundreds of years, people there used it to sweeten their beverages. Now several countries in the Far East, Asia and South East Asia are cultivating and using it for similar uses. China is presently its largest producer and Japan is using it extensively in its pickles and in various other food products for sweetening. Japanese diet coke has stevia sweetening it. Several diverse countries like Thailand, Malaysia and India are also cultivating the herb and using it.

Use of Stevia in the US However, the Food and Drug Administration of the United States has approved it only as a dietary supplement and not yet as a food additive. It does not allow any mention of the sweetening aspect of Stevia on the padding label or in ads. There is a lot of controversy on the FDA stance. Stevia is safe because FDA has approved it as a dietary supplement. Do FDA authorities consider it unsafe when it comes to approving Stevia as a keep additive? What is their logic? Does it have anything to do with the lobbying of the powerful sugar industry against Stevia? Logic or no logic, Canada and the European Union are sole with the US in not allowing Stevia as a food additive. Australia and Singapore are no different.

In all these countries, while you will not hear much about many of the proven toxic effects or other known side effects of the widespread use of artificial sweeteners, you will find a lot of discrepancy to stevia, although based on insufficient data. Toxicologists and other scientists have many unresolved concerns regarding Stevia. There are some studies on animals, which indicate that stevia inhibits sperm - production in males and, because of it, females produce smaller babies. There are worries about the cancer - producing properties of some stevia - derivatives. And, ace are suspicions that the herb adversely affects metabolism. Nevertheless, in all these cases, you cannot get any conclusive proof. Most of these claims are based on hearsay and are really meaningless. For years scientists claimed that Nutrasweet could was carcinogenic, however, what they didn't tell you was that test were done on lab rats by injecting them with the equivalent of dozens of servings of it per day.

Waiting for comp In the meantime, attending at the several benefits that the people using stevia have been enjoying. This natural herb, they say, is safe beyond any doubt whatsoever. It is non - toxic. Its utility does not add calories to your body. On the contrary, they believe it reduces obesity / weight, as it lowers their precise of mania for sweets. It prevents tooth - decay. Both diabetics and hypoglycemics contend that stevia balances their blood - sugar levels. It improves metabolism. More than any mechanism else, stevia beats artificial sweeteners hands down in that it does not carry portion of their many known risks or side effects that those in power retain conveniently ignored.
About the Author
Garland Choate (GR) is a retired Airline Captain who now publishes articles from the USVI. Find many great articles on herbal remedies at http://www.chocolate.WAHWarriors.com
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