Stevia Dangers?

Quotes and comments

“According to the Herb Research Foundation, numerous scientists, and tens of millions of consumers throughout the world, especially in Japan, the herb is safe and intensely sweet, which could make it a popular noncaloric sweetener.”
Rob McCaleb, president, Herb Research Foundation, Boulder, Colo., USA

“…as a scientist with over 15 years researching the safety of stevia and of many other plants used as food or food ingredients, I can assure that our conclusions in these various studies indicate that stevia is safe for human consumption as per intended usage, that is, as a sweetener.”
Mauro Alvarez, Ph.D., Brazil

“The petition cites over 120 articles about stevia written before 1958, and over 900 articles published to date. In this well-chronicled history of stevia, no author has ever reported any adverse human health consequences associated with consumption of stevia leaf.”
Supplement to GRAS affirmation petition no. 4G0406, submitted by the Thomas J. Lipton Company February 3, 1995

“Stevia leaf is a natural product that has been used for at least 400 years as a food product, principally as a sweetener or other flavoring agent. None of this common usage in foods has indicated any evidence of a safety problem. There are no reports of any government agency in any of the above countries indicating any public health concern whatsoever in connection with the use of stevia in foods.”
Gras affirmation petition submitted on behalf of the American Herbal Products Association, April 23, 1992

“…various extract forms of stevia have been extensively studied and tested. These tests include acute, sub-acute, carcinogenic evaluation and mutagenicity studies. These scientific data, while not directly relevant or required for exemption under the common use in food proviso, nevertheless demonstrate cumulatively that there is no safety problem associated with the use of an extract of stevia. It appear to be extraordinarily safe.”
Introduction to GRAS affirmation petition submitted by the American Herbal Products Association, April 23, 1992

“My government is trying to cause the farms of my country to cease growing marijuana and replace these crops with stevia. This idea is strongly supported by the Drug Enforcement Agency because stevia is an excellent cash crop, grows well in Paraguay…finally and most important, stevia is a completely safe health-promoting herb. This has been well-demonstrated by its extensive use in Paraguay and Japan, where its refined product known as stevioside, enjoys 41% of the sweetener market.”
Juan Esteban Aguirre, Paraguayan Ambassador to the United States, in a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, September 23, 1993

“There are more than 2,000 folders in my office, each with a collection of facts and fables about various medicinal plants. In one of these folders there’s an old wrinkled envelope dated 5/19/45. In it are old leaves of Paraguay’s…”sweet herb,” Stevia rebaudiana. More than 40 years old, one leaf of the Stevia will still sweeten a cup of coffee or tea enough to satisfy my sweet tooth….I predict rough sailing with our FDA for this non-nutritive sweetener. I hope it will make it.”
James A. Duke, former chief of Medicinal Plant Research of the USDA; The Business of Herbs, November/December, 1986

“[The FDA action on stevia is] a restraint of trade to benefit the artificial sweetener industry.”
Jon Kyl (R), AZ in a 1993 letter to former FDA Commissioner David Kessler about the 1991 stevia “import alert.”

“Stevia has a political problem.”
Rob McCaleb, president Herb Research Foundation

“I had one guy from the FDA tell me ‘if we wanted to make carrots [be] against the law, we could do it.'”
Kerry Nielson, former director of operations at Sunrider International, discussing the 1985 FDA seizure of his company’s stevia.

“Even if they have reviewed these studies, the only possible way to report that the results showed detrimental effects is by taking information out of context. If this is the case, one concludes that these FDA scientists are incompetent and irresponsible, or if not, they must belong to some sort of conspiracy group to carry on a sinister agenda against this plant with the objective to keep it away from American consumers by attributing to it safety issues that do not exist.”
Mauro Alvarez, Ph.D., responding in a 1998 letter to the fact that the FDA cited stevia studies he conducted as evidence that stevia is unsafe.

We’ve selected a few examples from the hundreds of studies attesting to the safety of the stevia leaf and its extracts.

Contraceptive concerns? The FDA frequently cites a 32-year-old study about stevia and fertility. Read about the study at issue and what its author has to say.

Stevioside and two generations of hamsters

In 1991 a study was done by researchers at the Chulalongkorn University Primate Research Center in Bangkok, Thailand (Yodyingyuad, 1991). The researchers’ objective was to study the consequences of daily ingestion of stevioside — the main active sweetening agent in the stevia plant — in hamsters and its effects on two subsequent generations.

This study involved four groups of 20 hamsters (10 males and 10 females) who were one month old. The first group was fed a daily stevioside dosage of 500 mg/kg; the second group received a higher dose at 1,000 mg/kg; and the third group dosage was the highest at 2,500 mg/kg. The fourth group, which served as the control, received no stevioside. (Chinese researchers have estimated that the daily human consumption of stevioside is about 2 mg/kg; Xili, 1992).

The study showed no significant difference in the average growth of the first generation of hamsters in the groups receiving stevioside — no matter what dosage they were given. Even the third generation of hamsters, at 120 days of age, showed no significant differences in body weight — no matter which group they were in.

As to the mating performance, all three generations performed the same, no matter which dose of stevioside they received. Their performance was equal to the controls.

In summary, no growth or fertility abnormalities were found in hamsters of either sex. Mating was efficient and successful.

The researchers agreed, “The results of this study are astonishing. Stevioside at a dose as high as 2,500 mg/kg did not do any harm to these animals. We conclude that stevioside at a dose as high as 2.5 grams per kilogram of body weight affects neither the growth nor reproduction in hamsters.”

Assessment of the Carcinogenicity of Stevioside in Rats

published in Food and Chemical Toxicology 1997

This study was performed by Dr. K. Toyoda and colleagues, from the Division of Pathology, National Institute of Health Sciences in Tokyo, Japan. For a period of 104 weeks (two years), three groups of lab rats — 50 males and 50 females — were tested. One group received stevioside in a concentration that constituted 2.5 percent of its daily diet; the second group received a concentration that constituted 5 percent of its diet. The third group, which served as the control, received no stevoiside.

The rats who received the stevioside weighed less than those in the control group. Considering stevioside has no calories, this makes sense. When the organs and tissues of the rats were examined under a microscope, there was almost no difference between those who were given stevia and those who were not. One interesting difference, however, was that the females who took stevioside had a decreased incidence of breast tumors, while the males displayed a lesser incidence of kidney damage. The researchers state, “It is concluded that stevioside is not carcinogenic in rats under the experimental conditions described.”

Excerpted from: “The Stevia Cookbook,” copyright 1999 by Ray Sahelian, MD and Donna Gates

Additional studies and citations

A. Yamada, S. Ohgaki, T. Noda, and M. Shimizu. 1985. Chronic toxicity study of dietary stevia extracts in F344 rats. Journal of the Food Science and Hygiene Society of Japan 26, 169-183. (in English).

“As a result of this protracted and extensive investigation, it was concluded that no significant dose-related changes were found in the growth, general appearance, hematological and blood biochemical findings, organ weights, and macroscopic or microscopic observations, as a result of feeding male and female F344 rats with S. rebaudiana extracts at levels up to 1% of their feed for about two years. This…study…(involved) nearly 500 test animals that were treated for up to two years..the highest dose level administered to the animals represented some 100 times the estimated daily intake of this sweet material in the human diet. The results obtained are supportive of the safety of S. rebaudiana extracts, stevioside and rebaudioside A when consumed as sucrose substitutes by human populations.”1

1Food Ingredient Safety Review: Stevia rebaudiana leaves by A. Douglas Kinghorn, Ph.D.

Acute Toxicity

“Crude and purified extracts of Stevia rebaudiana have been subjected to acute toxicity tests in rats and mice, the results of which endorse the use of these materials for human consumption.

In a study performed in the United States, no evidence of acute toxicity was observed when separate 2 g/kg doses of the S. rebaudiana sweet glycoside constituents, stevioside, rebaudiosides A-C, dulcoside A, and steviolbioside were administered to mice…The results of these acute toxicity studies in rodents do not predict any potential risk for human populations by the ingestion of S. rebaudiana extracts and constituents.”2

2Ibid. at 1.

“Acute toxicity was not demonstrated when separate 2 g/kg doses were administered to mice by oral intubation, indicating that a concentrated extract of stevia is less than 1/10 as toxic (acute) as caffeine.”3

3Gras Affirmation Petition, Stevia leaves, presented on behalf of the American Herbal Products Association, April 23, 1992

Subacute Toxicity

4“It has been concluded by Akashi and Yokoyama (H. Asaki and Y. Yokoyama. 1975. Dried-leaf extracts of stevia. Toxicological tests. Shokuhin Kogyo 18(20), 34-43. In Japanese, partial English translation provided), that laboratory chow containing up to 7.0% w/w stevioside produced no untoward toxic effects, when fed to male and female rats for nearly two months.”

4Ibid. at 1.

5“A subacute toxicity study was carried out on rats using an aqueous extract of S. rebaudiana containing about 50% w/w stevioside. Two levels of extract were mixed with laboratory chow for feeding studies, allowing each animal to receive either 0.25 g or 0.5 g stevioside in 15 g of feed per day. Animals were fed the experimental diets for 56 days…There were no abnormalities relative to controls reported that were dose-related, except for a significant decrease in serum lactic dehydrogenase levels.

Neither of these two subacute toxicity studies would predict any potential harm on ingestion of S. rebaudiana extracts by humans.”

5Ibid. at 1.

Contraceptive concerns?

In 1968 Professor Joseph Kuc, then a member of Purdue University’s department of biochemistry, performed a study on rats to see if stevia had any contraceptive effect. Undertaken with a faculty member at the University of the Republic in Montevideo, the study was prompted by a rumor that Indian women in South America used the herb for contraceptive purposes. It should be noted that researchers have been unable to duplicate the conclusions of this study.

While the results of the Kuc study might appear at first glance to bear out such rumors, closer examination raises doubts about the methods that were used, and how they apply to the typical way in which stevia is consumed. In fact, Kuc himself, although still standing by his findings of marked, relatively long-term reductions in the numbers of offspring born to female rats administered his stevia solution, acknowledges that those results aren’t necessarily applicable to human consumption.

The Kuc study involved a very high concentration — ten milliliters of a dosage administered in about 20 minutes — of a concoction derived by drying to a powder and boiling not just the leaves, but material from the stevia plant that would not ordinarily be consumed. This liquid replaced the animals’ drinking water, and was given at such a rate as to equate with a person drinking 2.5 quarts of liquid in less than half an hour.

The study also only utilized one dosage level. Typically, a biological effect (such as what Kuc reported) would be demonstrated by using a variety of doses to establish what is known as a dose-response relationship.

Kuc acknowledges that the study “absolutely needs to be redone” (just as all research, in his view, needs to be “checked and rechecked” to determine whether it “stands the test of time”). He further concedes that this finding, in itself does not constitute an important reason for keeping stevia off the U.S. market.

Kuc also notes something else: that effects in rats aren’t necessarily experienced by people — as illustrated by the apparent lack of any correlation between the results of his rat research and birth rates among regular stevia consumers. As pointed out in the Lipton petition to the FDA, “…if this reproductive effect in rats is real and can be extrapolated to humans, then one might suspect that there would be very few children in some regions of Paraguay.”

Scraping the bottom of the research barrel

A second study dealing with stevia’s supposed contraceptive effect was performed on female mice and published in a Brazilian pharmacological journal in 1988. It was later informally translated by an FDA employee familiar with Portuguese. The only problem is that, outside of the FDA, no one in the scientific community gives it credence.

The research at issue, according to one authority who analyzed it (Professor Mauro Alvarez of Brazil’s State University of Maringa Foundation) “caused surprise with regard to the lack of information about the quantities that were administered and the preparation of the infusions, because mice, due to their low body weight, cannot receive high volumes intragastrically without suffering major stress.” What’s more, the study involved a small number of test animals and was “highly susceptible to external influences,” he observed.

The same study was characterized by Mark Blumenthal, editor of Herbalgram — a newsletter published jointly by the American Botanical Council and Herb Research Foundation — as “the kind of research which FDA would never accept if a petitioner was using it (as a basis for) his or her arguments.” In his opinion, “The FDA would laugh them out of the room.”

What’s perhaps most interesting about the FDA’s citation of these two studies, however, is that what it regards as a possibly harmful effect is just as apt to be viewed as a beneficial one. As the authors of the Lipton petition put it, “One would think that this effect would make stevia extract the perfect contraceptive agent — easy to consume… and effective long-term — and would be intensely pursued by pharmaceutical companies, the World Health Organization, etc. Obviously this has not happened (or if it has, then there was no effect), which casts further doubt on the validity of the data.”

Excerpted from “The Stevia Story: A tale of incredible sweetness & intrigue, copyright 2000, by Donna Gates

{ 99 comments… read them below or add one }

benjamin c. jr. October 1, 2014 at 4:16 am

used stevia for approx. 5 yrs. with occasional use of sucralose. paying close attention ingredients in labels. I intend to stop entirely the use of sucralose & fructose products. i have had a negative effect from trial usage of TRUVIANA in which i developed a cankcore type sore in side my mouth. researched on internet & found a list of persons with complaints of health problems in use of truviana. ceased using & threw out remaining truviana & cankcore disappeared. will continue use of STEVIA (of which my retired pharmacist brother Anthony recomended initially). for healthy people i would recomend Blue Aguavy sweetner which is said to not cause energy spikes in usage. ps: Tequilla is a derivative of Blue Aguavy. i wish everyone an abondance of good health, happyness.

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Lynn Hunt September 18, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Has anybody out there experienced throat irritation and coughing using Stevia? I have had dry throat and coughing issues for over three years using this product one in the morning for coffee and once at night with tea. I have seen numerous doctors and had all kinds of tests and they could not find anything wrong with my lungs or throat. I stopped using Stevia three days ago and all symptoms are pretty much gone. I was concerned I had some exotic disease that nobody could diagnose. My father had ragweed allergies. I did not think I had any. Could this be the cause of my intense throat irritation? I thought I had throat or thyroid cancer. All negative.

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Lily Julian September 28, 2014 at 11:39 pm

This sounds like an allergic reaction. Allergies can come and go with different stages of your life and with exposure to different things. If I was you, I would get tested for a stevia allergy and avoid it in the future.

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salena September 10, 2014 at 7:08 pm

I’m on a very strict diet because I am a fitness competitor. I know exactly every ingredient that goes into my body and when every day. These past two days I’ve switched from normal coffee creamer to using a bit of stevia in my coffee and have had cramps in my upper stomach all day long. I’m not a fan of artificial anything and have been eating clean for 10 weeks now so I can only attribute it to the stevia. Pretty scary. Definitely throwing it out tonight.

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Leon September 24, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Salena – I am similar about knowing what I take in, and usually avoiding what I consider synthetics and any other elements I deem harmful or questionable. I recently got Stevia for the first time, however, without knowing it. For a very long time I’ve used only Sierra Mist as a soda, because of the “natural sugar” and lack of caffeine – but they changed the ingredients without saying so. My throat was on fire even as I drank a can of this ‘new’ drink. I feel certain it was the stevia. I’m gonna dump it all and be on the watch for stevia everywhere now.

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Richard H. October 5, 2014 at 6:05 am

Stevia is not artificial. It is from a plant. I am afraid of the artificial sweeteners but Stevia is not artificial. It is all natural. I like to drink ice coffee a couple of days a week. I use Stevia, rather than sugar. And I use dairy free coconut milk creamer instead of milk. I have hadn’t any problems.

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Debora August 22, 2014 at 9:40 am

Please ALLOW people like ME to SEARCH for RECIPES here on your WEBSITE Please? it makes a Diabetics life a whole lot easier, let me know what you think of this idea. Please post Video’s with Recipes on YOUR WEBSITE. Thanks in advance

ALSO Please go to the DIET RITE COMPANY the makers of diet pop, and pleeeeease ask them IF they would like to add your Estivia to their diet pop, when you get your answer pleeease let me know, as it was the only diet Pop that I lost weight on. Thanks in advance.

Mrs.Debora Herlein
Friday August 22nd, 2014

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Ramana Rao KV July 15, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Psoriasis is the most severe skin disease. Treatment in allopathy and other alternate medicines are time taking, costly and not so sure of cure. But by taking one tea spoonful of stevia green powder in a glass of water thrice a day on empty stomache cures psoriasis in about a month or two at the maximum. The beauty is that the patient notices relief right in the very first week and so confidence leads further. The relief is observed in every case without any bearing with length of suffering or age.

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Jerry Barnett July 10, 2014 at 9:44 pm

If food and drink manufacturers would advertise and use stevia . I believe their sales would increase to the point that stevia would be used by more people . Creating jobs to produce and or import stevia . Which in turn would would turn the U.S. population into less obese and healthier people . Which would save billions of dollars in health care. Does anyone have the courage to take on such a challenge? How about it Mr President ?

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Leon September 24, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Please… leave the feds out of it. Besides, you would be forcing the hand of those who do react badly to stevia. Why don’t you just buy stevia and add it yourself? My first and only use of stevia came from a soda and that’s when I learned I have bad reaction to it.

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Sharon Miller January 25, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Is it safe for those with allergies (ragweed)?

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Grace O. January 25, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Thanks to stevia, sweet tea. pls. can i buy from UK. pharmacy shops .

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Ruel Rico Arcillas September 21, 2014 at 2:12 am

Hello there… contact us for more infos! thanks!

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Angel January 13, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Not sure if this will help anyone…..but during my journey of getting rid of my cancer 100% all natural (which I did)…..I have used Stevia everyday for over 6 years. I drink 4 to 8 cups of herb/green teas a day sweetened with Stevia and also use it in baking and the famous Budwig diet. I would consider I use it in high doses daily and I am in the best health I have ever been in. I use it in it’s purest form but being in a rural area sometimes I have bought it with additives. I also grow it and use it’s leaves when I can. In my opinion it is 100% safe and yummy!!

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Amy Guse November 16, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Is Stevia safe for my dogs?

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pwicca January 25, 2014 at 2:32 pm

I wouldn’t chance it unless you are sure that it is completely pure, sometimes it is mixed with erythritol or xylitol. One of those two (xylitol, I think) is potent enough that the amount in a pack of gum will kill a medium sized dog in less than 30 minutes after consuming it.

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Jeanette Elkin February 22, 2014 at 2:52 am

So, in other words, you have tested stevia on dogs, also, correct?

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Staci February 22, 2014 at 12:57 pm

They did not say there had been testing on dogs; they are just saying it sometimes has an ingredient that has been shown to be harmful to dogs when used in other things.

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Michelle April 30, 2014 at 7:00 am

Xylitol isn’t dangerous in any way.
The worst that can happen if you eat too much is that the bowel loosens but this can happen with any sweetener. In fact it’s very helpful in reducing gut dysbiosis (Colonies of unhealthy bacteria).

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Nate May 11, 2014 at 4:21 am

Xylitol is extremely dangerous for dogs. http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/xylitol.asp

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Keaton Y. July 11, 2014 at 7:39 pm

You don’t understand the difference between Humans and Dogs. Xylitol will kill a small rodent instantly after consuming merely a couple grams of it, dogs only slightly more. While Humans can consume much larger quantities, Xylitol is still VERY harmful in excess. Whomever told you otherwise (I assume you told yourself these “facts”) was quite wrong.

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dogphood June 24, 2014 at 8:06 am

?????….. Only morons, idiots & vegans try to feed their dogs salad……!!!!! Dogs eat meat …. Any herbal topups they might need , they will find for themselves in the garden …without your help…,…….. If you don’t like the sight of meat, get a pet rabbit & teach it to bark ….!!!!!!!!

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Richard September 4, 2014 at 11:45 am

DogPhood.

My roommates, that are meat eaters, fead their dog meat free for years. She was healthy, happy & lived to be very old. Their vet has the recipe for costumers of the food bars that went with rice, green beans, carrots, other veggies she liked & low sodium vegetable broth. Only one not allowed was raw onions as they can hurt dogs.

Maybe you should rethink the morons, idiots & vegans comment until you have your vet diploma!

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Wolf October 15, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Does anyone know if Trader Joe’s Stevia Extract (white powder form) has fillers or anything else in it? I wasn’t sure about the processing of it?
It says vegan, gluten free, organic and Stevia Rebaudiana on the ingredient label. Nothing more. Wasn’t sure on Trader Joe’s source of where the product comes from. I like the taste of it, but was curious.

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Beaker July 22, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Trader Joe’s has 2 products, one in a small package about the size of a spice jar and has no bulking agents. The large bottle has a bulking agent but I don’t rem. which one.

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Franciers August 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm

I used a brand called organic stevia for the first time and I got a scare when I went to the bathroom and the poop was green, did this happen to anyone.

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Alan July 30, 2013 at 1:25 pm

If Stevia was bad for you I assure you the Japanese would not be cultivating it, selling it and eating it. I tried it and I liked it. The sugar companies have lobbyists these lobbies influence politicians. These politicians can influence government agencies like the FDA. That was years ago and still nothing conclusive on negative health effects. The human body does require a certain amount of sugars but lately people have been simply eating more sugar than any other time in human history. Stevia can help people reduce the amount of sugar intake. For some people this can benefit their health greatly. I eat Stevia regularly and I am very healthy. As far as the other sugar substitutes, I don’t think they are as safe and effective as Stevia. It certainly is one of my keys to good health.

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Leon September 24, 2014 at 6:33 pm

“If Stevia was bad for you I assure you the Japanese would not be cultivating it, selling it and eating it.”

You mean like tobacco (yeah), gold leaf in food as a delicacy, and really several other ‘healthy’ Japanese products? Sorry, but money runs things everywhere, so don’t assume those good intentions.

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giselle May 19, 2013 at 9:53 am

heres my question, iam starting this cleanser detox fot the colon, with cayenne peppers, lemonade and stevia( just one drop per day) how much does afect my body or mind if behind the stevia theres somethin bad( i dont think there is nothing, but just in case) iam having anxiety and panick atacks something and i dont wanna take something that may increase thoses syntoms, thanks

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spiro September 5, 2013 at 9:33 am

dear giselle,

keep in mind that master cleanser requires grade c maple syrup for a reason and that is calories/energy. if stevia has no calories i see you faint and not being able to cope with your daily stuff. just for your ref

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Laura Eryasa March 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm

I have a question. Was wondering can Stevia be canned with other veggies? EX: my family loves carrots sweetened with sugar when I cook. If I put a Stevia leaf in a jar of carrots to be canned, would it sweeten the carrrots?

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Stefan August 24, 2013 at 12:13 pm

i use stevia sweetener when i cook my carrots, and they are delicious. I don’t know about the leaves though but i think it will work…

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Dan February 3, 2013 at 12:43 am

When once an apple a day kept the doctor away, now “fructose-free” seems to be the new fad. Once more, extremes. Sugars are not bad consumed in natural source context, mainly fresh fruits with all their water and fiber. Neither cane/beet sugar or the infamous High Fructose Corn Syrup qualify. Blaming fructose for ill health that is actually caused by overconsumption of refined sugar is like blaming steel for car crashes. And stevia? It’s great consumed in moderation, to increase the sweetness of foods that are only mildly sweet. Anything could be overdone, even stevia.

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anita December 3, 2012 at 4:51 am

i have been on splenda for 6 yrs i have been really sick with chest pain, dizziness lips going numb,shortness of breath,lungs always feeling like there is fluid in them , bad pains in my stomach.and my heart racing and slowing down.i have been to the hopitals and doctors and everything is normal.i did notice ysterday when i got up i had coffee with splenda all a sudden my lungs and dizziness came on.i was told to go on stevia by a health store and that all my symtoms will go away. and that splenda is killing me.i am the 1st to say i am addicted to splenda and its hard switching over any advice.

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venyca December 22, 2012 at 5:26 am

Since you want to give up stevia, my first suggestion would be to choose drinks that are not necessarily sweetened, such as green tea, pitchers of water flavored with slices of lemon or chunks of fruit, hot water with star anise, in short, drinks that don’t make you crave Stevia, or other sweeteners. Taste different kinds of bottled water.
Also, to cut down on your craving and make it easier to not look for the sweetness of stevia, try naturally sweet foods, in small amounts. Sweet potatoes, for example, are great to experiment with.

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Pedroski December 29, 2012 at 2:59 pm

If you read the post carefully, you will see that Anita has a problem with Splenda, NOT with Stevia!

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Dave James March 30, 2013 at 5:59 pm

You don’t have to read the post carefully…..you just have to pay attention.

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Clem May 27, 2013 at 1:32 am

Amen!

tmbrtn December 26, 2012 at 7:40 am

My advice is research sucralose and aspartame. There is a book titled Sweet Poison by Dr. Janet Hull. Some of your conditions are listed in that book.

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rasunah February 8, 2013 at 9:42 pm

stevia can be difficult to get used to but best advice i have had on diets is not to subtract but to keep adding what you need (e.g. stevia to teas, coffees, unsweetened juices, eating more vegetables, etc.) & eventually you acquire a taste for the stevia. in the meantime you will keep grabbing for the splenda, sucralose or aspartime but you will recognize this is only ‘withdrawal’ & you will adjust through eventual decrease, especially if you are determined to find the effects of alternatives – which are guaranteed!

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karen johnstone May 20, 2013 at 11:03 pm

I’m not crazy about Stevia in my hot coffee, but I adore it in cold foods (including iced coffee). Just to avoid the problems of fooling mother nature in using 0 calorie sweeteners, I use a little agave nectar to sweeten slightly and Stevia to finish

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charles October 15, 2013 at 4:52 pm

have you looked up splendia’s original use?…rat posion

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Cynthia October 26, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Anita –

Just read your note from a year ago. Have been having identical symptoms, been to doctors and hospitals, everything normal just like you. Wondering how you’re doing and if you used Stevia?

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Thomas Lamb August 17, 2012 at 11:38 pm

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/10/10/Obama-Monsanto-Alliance-Too-Close-for-Comfort.aspx Former Monsanto employees part of FDA. Aspartame made by Monsanto go to https://www.facebook.com/sallymyhorse More information posted on my face book timeline and face book home page

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Ms Jones July 12, 2012 at 11:45 am

Hi, I would like to ask if anyone knows what our body actually does with Stevia? Is it treated like Fructose and not used as energy by the body, or is it converted to glucose for the body to use, or is it like the manufactured sweeteners, of which some of them can pass through our system relatively untouched? I am trying to be fructose free for my family and am wondering if our body automatically converts this like fructose or reacts differently to it? I am struggling to find information on Stevia, as it is only new on “the market” although it has been used in places like Japan for a long time. I am very interested in any information that you have regarding the cause and effect of having stevia. I don’t want Stevia to end up being like aspartme or saccharin or any of the other nasty things that the FDA has approved :)
Thanks a heap
Ms Jones

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Hawkeye January 9, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Stevia isn’t a sugar, nor fake sugar (e.g. Splenda), and isn’t at all like fructose (a sugar). It’s non-caloric, so it can’t possibly be converted by the body into sugar nor fat.

Unlike aspartame and saccharin, stevioside is a naturally occurring compound found in a plant. This differs from aspartame, which while built from naturally occurring compounds, but isn’t actually found anywhere in nature.

White or clear “stevia” is refined to concentrate stevioside, whereas green or dark stevia is generally unrefined and, arguably more natural. I prefer the latter because the more you refine any food, the less healthy it tends to be. However green/dark stevia imparts more flavor, which some people find offensive. Often, however, that’s because they’re simply using way too much stevia. A tiny amount of stevia goes a long way. In general, i use 1/6 teaspoon of white stevia to replace 1 cup of sugar (or 1/2 teaspoon of green stevia). White/clear stevia imparts less flavor, and is even sweeter, so must be used very sparingly.

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Debbie July 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm

The reason the warning sign was on the package of stevia is because the FDA would not approve its use unless it had the warning on it. The FDA is not there for our health and safety they are there for the big Money why else would they approve something that has been proven to cause cancer and also to eat brain cells. All this company has to do to get approved when they do come under scrutany is to change the name of the product so people will by it because they dont know what it is. What a joke the FDA truly is.

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Erin - No Love More Sincere July 9, 2012 at 3:25 am

I know this is a website to promote stevia so I’m not surprised that the point of their “safety” page is to refute any scientific proof of negative side effects. I’m just curious why, say 10 year ago, when I first purchased stevia as the only “sweetener” allowed on a diet I was trying, that the box AND each packet had an explicit warning (a la cigarette packs) that it could cause fertility issues. Now, stevia the trendy sweetener and suddenly those warning aren’t on any stevia products. Why were the warnings required and so explicit in the first place?

Money makes the world go round… just bc it’s “natural” doesn’t mean it’s great for our bodies. There are PLENTY of plants, berries, & seeds that are extremely harmful/toxic to our bodies.

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Ms Jones July 12, 2012 at 11:47 am

absolutely believe what you are saying Erin. Am curious as to what our bodies think of Stevia. Am trying to be Fructose Free because of the horrible things that it does to you, but it would be all a bit unfortunate if my morning coffee with stevia unravelled all of the hard work :/ lol

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Ivan November 29, 2012 at 4:05 am

As stated in the wikipedia alticle on stevia, it well documented all over the internet that: “United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeled stevia as an “unsafe food additive” and restricted its import.”

This is an issue in USA and countries the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can bully, I mean influence, I mean convince, I mean inform .. yes that it … inform.

They may be anonymous, but you do not need to be sherlock holmes to deduce that the pressure on the FDA stems from those that had billions in revenue to lose if stevia was to become popular in USA.

Apparently stevia may cause issues in humans if taken in ridiculously large amounts because that has been observed in rodents, but water is also toxic when you consume too much. Politics & religion quite often bend the truth especially when money is involved.

My 2 cents worth.

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Leon September 24, 2014 at 7:11 pm

One other issue is the long term affect of this or other ‘new’ ingredients. Even if used for years by Japanese or whomever, we won’t know if there are negative affects in future children or beyond. In fact, there could be problems in ourselves AND in children but not recognize what and how those problems manifest. It’s a complicated issue, so you take the stevia or the HFC or whatever else at your own risk and the risk of your future kids. Saying a product is ‘all natural’ is somewhat meaningless, too. As someone else pointed out here, many natural things can be deadly.

Studies can only go so far anyway. It may be “evident” that a product doesn’t cause cancer, for example, but tests cannot and do not test for everything. It could cause or contribute to many many ill-effects without presenting in research. So, really, you just take your chances, right?

Almost every product approved by the FDA, and then later pulled because of dangers, was at one time approved and selling like crazy and popularly hailed as a wonderful thing. Consumers get to be the guinea pigs. I’m not against stevia for others, I can only say it has apparently caused me immediate throat reactions, and I am one who can eat pretty much anything anywhere and normally not react badly. Not allergic to anything I’ve known (except now maybe stevia).

Remember, too, that it was once very popularly believed (by science and medicine) that marijuana, cocaine, tobacco, and a host of other now rejected products, were good for your health and were even touted routinely by MDs. It seems to me there is always a risk, and these days there seem more new products thrown at us than ever, yet more recalled from unforseen serious health issues, as well.

Turth is we don’t know for sure. We take our chances.

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Leon September 24, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Ivan… I have to say… it’s not just “politics and religion”. Science also commonly bends the truth when money is involved. I have been embedded in the world of medical research for a few years now and believe me, it’s way way common.

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RW August 3, 2014 at 7:37 pm

From doing some research on stevia, I know there are “brands” that contain erythritol, xylitol, dextrose, agave inulin etc. and so it’s important to look for a brand that is in its purest form .

My concern is what I’ve read from a nutritonist’s website. She states that because stevia is “sweet” on the palate, the body assumes it is receiving sugar and primes itself to do so. Glucose is cleared from the bloodstream and blood sugars drop, but no real sugar/glucose is provided to the body to compensate. When this happens, adrenaline and cortisol surge to mobilize sugar from other sources (liver and muscle glycogen, or protein, or body tissue) to bring blood glucose back up.

This is quite a stressful issue for the body and its ability to remain healthy overall. So there is much to learn about this natural substance. Maybe as with all things nutritive (or not?), moderation is a key.

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Tracy Dunton August 6, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Hi my name is Tracy and I have ALS/Lou Gehrigs Diease. I was considering using this product. A couple of my friends are switching over to it. But I’m not to sure it’s good for me. I’m going to consult with my doctors first before trying this.

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Leon September 24, 2014 at 7:16 pm

RW – Thx. That is the most reasonable I’ve heard, and I have to totally agree on moderation and watchfulness. Well said.

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Telatha Crank April 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I have only been using stevia for two (2) days just in my coffee and I love it, there is no after taste. After each usage, I have been getting severe stomach cramps and have to make a bowel movement. I wonder, is it that my system has to adjust to the stevia, or does it have any effect on the bowels? I have been using sweet-n-low for many years.

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Erin - No Love More Sincere July 9, 2012 at 3:26 am

Stomach cramps caused by a product is your body telling you to stop using it, not saying you should just get used to it.

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Ms Jones July 12, 2012 at 11:49 am

bahahahaha YES! But I also had to detox from sugar :( My body was CRAVING the sweet addiction. Maybe stop using the stevia and introduce it again VERY slowly. But if it caused me severe pain then I would think that just like some people are unable to eat wheat or dairy, you are unable to eat this particular thing.

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Thomas Lamb August 18, 2012 at 12:13 am

I have used it on my oatmeal for quite awhile with no ill effects.

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Lynn February 26, 2013 at 12:47 am

Hi my husband is a a diabetic,and does not use Stevia,but he has severe stomach cramps after drinking COFFEE, if you look up coffee & cramps there is a connection there is a enzine in it that can cause that can give you the cramps,I don’t think it’s the Stevia

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Jeannie March 11, 2013 at 11:07 am

I read recently that the one downside to stevia is that it can cause a certain type of bacterial growth in the intestines. That was the only danger that this particular site listed. (It sounded similar to the problems caused by feeding honey to a child under one year old.) However, they also said that if you limited your intake to two servings a day, you shouldn’t experience any problems. I imagine that it can differ from person to person though.

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Lisa Weir March 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I use stevia in my daughters juice I mix half juice half water and 1 full dropper of stevia she loves it and I also use it with my cream in coffee I love this sweetener I use it when ever I can even in Dr. Oz fat burn muffin he also says it okay

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cb October 3, 2014 at 3:59 pm

why make your kid sweet juice. your nuts and hurting your kid.

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Damon Neely February 23, 2012 at 12:16 am

Stevia is great in kool-aid. I use one to two teaspoons per package. It tastes great and leaves you feeling refreshed and not icky. I even add a bit of salt to taste during the summer for stevia-aid. Kids love it and I love giving it to them because sugar has no health benefits and even if there was a remote possibility of adverse side effects with stevia they are way less than with sugar. Let the scientists tell you what happens when your given high doses of sugar.

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Monica Dane April 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm

WOW Damon your right.. I agree !! Stevia does not leave you feelling sick and “icky” from the sweet flavor as sugar does. I also noticed drinking products with sugar added, I am left with a feeling of thirst worse the if I had not had a drink at all. I am doing a little research on Stevia to prepare for a persuasive speech in will be giving to my public speaking class. It was nice to read your comment about Stevis. The cost of Stevia is slightly high. However, when your making tuns of trips to the dentest and braking your bank on cavities and 4 kids, you really end up saving tuns when you make that switch from sugar to Stevia. The kids really do love it too. Its a perfect way to keep kids hydrated during the summer and not having to limit the amount of sugar being consumed by the body. NO WORRIES WITH STEVIA !!

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laura February 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Has there ever been a study on stevia use and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms?

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Turnip July 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm

@ Laura…here is a study published last year by a rockstar researcher and he is now linking food to all autoimmune conditions. If he has published this then he is way down the road on this and just crossing his T for his final findings. This guy has proved over and over gain so many big things on Celiac. He figured out the threshold for gluten for Celiac and the FDA has been sitting on this since 2004 and have yet to require gluten to be disclosed as a top allergen because it puts too much strain on food manufacturers to comply. This is an Italian who in the land of bread and pasta found out that 1 in 133 people have Celiac and no one listened to him. University of Maryland talked him into coming here to prove in in the U.S. and he did. Now docs are trained to test for it whereas they thought it was so rare. He keeps coming up with more and more important findings and he is the one to watch.

You will find he talks about spondy and other arthritis in this paper and what is encouraging in his conclusion is this:
“This new theory implies that once the autoimmune process is activated, it is not autoperpetuating, rather can be modulated or even reversed by preventing the continuous interplay between genes and environment.”

When you take gluten out Celiacs recover. Same it true of other foods depending on your genetics. When we eat foods we are not adapted to they are like toxins to us. Depending on your genetics your immune system will react with differently. For some it will look like MS. For others it will look like Lupus or Diabetes or Arthritis or Crohns or ______. You can improve or reverse the autoimmune condition with diet. You CAN affect your arthritis without pills or creams or other snack oil treatments big pharma is selling. You my dear need to go Paleo, then autoimmune protocol and then test out your food intolerances beyond that and THEN test out stevia. No one can tell you if it will work for you, only you will be able to figure it out. Steer away from the Stevia with grain fillers or other additives or ones that turn into alcohol to get the most reliable results when testing it out. I wouldn’t be eating a lot of it either if it does work for you. A sometimes cheat would be prudent.

http://www.celiaccenter.org/documents/publications/Leaky%20gut%20and%20autoimmune%20diseases,%20Clinical%20Reviews%20in%20Allergy%20&%20Immunology,%20November%202011.pdf

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Lisa March 20, 2014 at 3:01 pm

I would love to read the publication you mentioned at celiaccenter.org but I can’t find it. Could you send it to me or a link to find it?
Thanks in advance.

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Kalyana Sundaram January 21, 2012 at 5:17 am

Dear Vaniprasad,

Do not worry about growing the plant

It is available as a sweetener in a product called ” Stevia In the raw” by a US based company in 1 gm sachets. It is avavilable in middle east. Try Indian shops or request some to bring it when they come from US

with best wishes

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gwen January 29, 2012 at 1:31 am

I buy stevia at the local health food store. The brand is Now..It is stevia extract, nothing else in it.

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LJ February 13, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Cool, nothing else!, because Stevia in the Raw has maltodextrin and dextrose added to it. I don’t want or need the corn additives thank you.

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LJ February 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Stevia in the Raw has maltodextrin and dextrose added to it. Both derived from corn just in case you didn’t know. Very little added but just in case you can not have corn derivitives. Or if you are allergic to corn products or bi-products. 97%-99% stevia I have saw these in the researches.

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Jeffrey Dostal September 30, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Once again we see evidence that the FDA does not have the consumer in it’s best interest. They are obviously greatly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry. This is why we as consumers must utilize information available to us to educate us to make decisions for ourselves as to what is best for us and hope that the FDA does little to prevent that. As long as we continue to allow our political system to operate with just two parties and allow lobbying to influence them we will not change the policies and actions of government agencies such as the FDA.

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Jarda July 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I have diabetes 2 and since I begun using Stevia my glucose level improved.We all know that sugar is something that is not good for our bodies.All other substitutes of sugar-Slenda,Equal and alike are not good either.Stevia is a natural product with no callories proven safe herb,it’s twice sweeter then sugar and proven safe for hundreds of years not only in south American countries,but anywhere in the world.Here in USA / FDA called it a “suplement”not a sweetener and there is market still floded with regular sugar.Is it because theese manufacturers have a monopoly on this ,or what?—Because Stevia is not a mass produced like sugar,the price of this is still little higher,but regardles people start using it more,because it is much heathier.

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annabel leasowe May 30, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I have a Stevia plant and the only way to extract the sweetness seems to be to chew the leaf. Merely putting it into my hot tea does nothing to sweeten it. Even mincing the leaves does nothing to sweeten the tea. Any suggestions?

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MJ Conner June 6, 2011 at 2:47 am

I am just now learning about the plant but I am told to boil the leaves to make a syurp that is used to sweeten foods.

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halim June 25, 2011 at 10:58 pm

you dry the leaves and treat it like tea. it works. i have been using it for a week now

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LJ February 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm

cool!

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THespa April 19, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Stevia should replace white sugar in foods i would suggest. Keep the white sugars for the production of bio-renewable energy.

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Jeanne L Silliman February 28, 2011 at 6:56 pm

I was wondering if it is good for diabetics and people with a seizure history. I found that the aspartame makes people with seizure history go into seizures back to back so that is no good.The splenda I heard they mix with something that is no good for anyone to ingest so it makes me leary of any new products. Can you ease my mind?

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Dana December 29, 2011 at 5:46 am

It is perfectly fine for diabetics to use. As for seizures, your best bet would be to contact someone (say, the SweetLeaf company) and ask if there would be any complications for epilepsy. You should try and find the purest form of stevia for your use. Some versions have a slight bitter aftertaste. If you can get the dried leaves, that is the best for sweetening liquids, with the dried extract the best for cooking and recipes.

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Sheila de Koekkoek February 21, 2011 at 11:51 am

Is this product advisable for ATTENTION DEFICIENT AND HYPERACTIVE CHILDREN?

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Nancy McNamara June 29, 2011 at 4:18 pm

I gradually switched my grandson from white sugar to stevia. He has been diagnosed with ADHD. I did this gradually for the taste change. I definitely notice a difference as any decrease of sugar in his diet is very helpful. Now he uses stevia on his own and doesn’t notice any different taste from white sugar.

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Della Michaels February 7, 2011 at 6:30 am

Is this product safe for a diabetic?

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Willcat February 21, 2011 at 12:42 am

Hi i’m a type 1 diabetic and stevia has reduced my blood sugars significantly thus reducing the amount of insulin i take.

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Gerald Fournier March 15, 2011 at 10:43 pm

There is no diabetice in an alkaline body. Both http://www.phmiracleliving.com http://www.treeoflife.nu ,have documented cases of healing Type 1 and 2 diabetics. They both use stevia in their books “The PH Miracle for Diabetes” and “Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine” . Great food too.

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Rich October 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Hi,
I have a daughter with type1 diabetes,and was wandering are you still taking Stevia and how much? Do you take the actual plant?
Is is working for you?Do you still take insulin.

Thanks Rich

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Tina Pope March 22, 2012 at 12:48 am

I am extremely concerned that sugar substitutes allowed on the market for 20 years or more are influential to the increase of dementia in people. I have been concerned about the product since the conception of sacchrine, which was proven to be a carcenogenic agent. How can these “natural” products with “bulking agents” be any different? I am not a scientist, just an extremely concerned person who has observed the massive increase in dementia in the last twenty years and no one seems to care about the well being of human beings. Are there any professionals out there that are as concerned as I am?

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Sarah April 19, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Bulking agens etc are no good, you need just pure stevia with nothing added. Stevia is a safe sweetner, aspartame, saccarin and sucrolse are the killers. x

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Ms Jones July 12, 2012 at 11:56 am

I am by no means a professional, but I am a mother, an overweight one at that! But I would like to hope that society is trying to make a change against the governments in some sort of control over things. Hopefully we are not blinded by the “miracle cure” scheme of things and actually take a hard look at the research. I am also fearful that countries have been using it without stringent testing. I don’t like Japan being “test bunnies” for our products! But there is also a HUGE fight within “the system” being between Pharmaceuticals and Food Industry as to whether they accept some things due to the conflict of interest. I HATED conspiracy theorists, but when you realise that money makes the world go round and CURING illness is NOT beneficial for shareholders and CEO’s of MAJOR companies, it is hard not to think that these things just seem to happen. It’s mostly the fat people that are suckered in, by these “diets” and “miracle cures”, but at the end of the day, we feel we can’t touch a damn thing. With so many preservatives in our foods and millions of people having reactions, whether it be minor or major, you have got to ask yourself where the “people that matter” draw the line. I have gone Fructose Free, but would LOVE to go additive free, if only I knew what to eat! It’s simple to say only REAL food, but let’s face it, we are’n’t in Kansas anymore Toto!!

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Turnip July 25, 2012 at 6:04 pm

@Ms Jones…I too have to go fructose free but didn’t realize it until I took out more foods to figure it out. I found Paleo by Dr. Cordain (Colorado State University) and also followed his autoimmune protocol. Then tested other food intolerances beyond that. We are decades from researchers being able to tell us what our genetic food tolerances and intolerances are. The genetic variations we have individually is astounding then add all the genetic variations of plants we eat and how the reactions change with each variation it is quite mind boggling. We will all be dead before they figure this one out. The irony is that groups like the FDA make it sound like they have a clue as to what we should eat. Not even close. Not much research done on this and who is going to fund it? Certainly not food or drug companies who pay pay steep membership fees to FDA in the millions of dollars each year so the FDA can stay afloat. This is like the fox watching the hen house. So what do we do in the meantime? Go back to our evolutionary template and what we were adapted to. Then test foods out yourself beyond that. I would like to see if there is a way I can make one sweet treat I can have, perhaps a chocolate made from cocoa butter and cocoa powder and a natural stevia without fillers or turned to alcohol etc. It is not something I would eat daily either. Is it possible you have autoimmune issues too?
I go additive free and no more processed foods and it is time consuming but we have had countless health issues resolved and I wished I had started this decades ago.

Dogs are domesticated wolves and I feed my diabetic dog the way wolves eat and he is doing so much better. The irony is he got diabetes not from drinking sweet drinks etc he got it from eating grains from dry dog food. I eat cooked meat and vegetables pretty much but feed my dog raw meat and so many vets warn against this. I just checked with the editor of the veterinary medical journal and there is not one published peer reviewed study on diabetic dogs and raw feeding.

So vets are advising against raw feeding based on zero research and guess what you can only get the diabetic dog food with a vet’s prescription and this is what they say is the best way to control blood glucose numbers. Diabetes in pets is skyrocketing much like with humans and it is caused by what we are eating.

All the big dog food manufacturers donate money to all the vet schools across the U.S. If dogs get diabetes from grains and are similar in many aspects to humans like we can tolerate the same Humulin N insulin, then do you suppose all those so called healthy whole grains are doing it to humans too? Yep.

But so are other things and they now think that not only sugar is to blame which is half glucose and half fructose but now they believe that fructose is worse and is actually causing the insulin resistance which I have.

When are lawyers going to see the deep pockets here with these pet and human food manufacturers and start the class action lawsuits. I am now spending 200-300 a month for diabetic dog because of the dry dog food I fed him and these companies know that their food causes diabetes in pets.

If raw feeding didn’t work don’t you think pet food manufacturers would have funded a study on this to slam dunk it? They don’t want to go there.

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Lane August 17, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Mrs. Jones

I am too a concerned mom who is trying to teach my kids how to eat healthy and to change what we eat. Look at these websites http://www.maximizedliving.com http://www.draxe.com and http://www.100daysofrealfood.com
Be blessed!

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Thomas Lamb August 18, 2012 at 12:09 am

http://seedrack.com/indiv/stevia.html Whatcom Seed Co. Eugene, Or. Includes instructions with seed.

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Alex Luzano October 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Ms Michelle,

We will be having some seeds by december ’till january. But as of the moment we have mother plants for your cutting purposes which will be used for propagation. we will inform you asap for updates on the matter. If I may add, There are several advantages and disadvantages choosing either of the two (seeds & seedlings/cuttings). For more of your queries please email me back. Toh sha…
Alex Luzano

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Dolly January 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm

What name of dry dog food did you use to give your dog diabetis?

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John February 23, 2013 at 2:33 am

I am surprised that no one mentioned that stevia does not accumulate in your system,and this is what makes it different from all the other sweeteners,and the FDA has no control over the people of people of South America who have been using it for well over 100yrs.

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Thomas Williams April 18, 2013 at 7:16 pm

I have been using Equal for years and suffer from dizzness and insomnia. I researched sweetners and found that aspertame has side effects that I suffer. So, I am not using ANY sweetners since they all seem to contain something that is not good. I now use NATURAL RAW CANE SUGAR. It does not spike my blood sugar and contains good minerals removed during the refining of processed sugar.

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Mike September 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Truvia does not contrain dextrose and the link you have in your erroneous info goes nowhere.

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karen johnstone May 20, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Did you use the more purified “white” form of Stevia, or the green??

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