Personally, I already use stevia as sweetener for years. I use the enzymatic extracted version: because it is without any bitter aftertaste. It is MUCH sweeter than sugar. It’s the best sweetener there is: zero calories, inhibits bacterial growth, heat resistant, can replace sugar in any kind of cooking (but with dose adjustment). If you still don’t know about anything this healthy sweetener, it’s about time.
(NaturalNews) Extracts from the leaf of the Stevia plant have been found
to be high in antioxidants that prevent the DNA damage that leads to
cancer, according to a new Indian study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
"These results indicate that Stevia rebaudiana may be useful as a
potential source of natural antioxidants," said lead author Srijani
Ghanta, of the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology in Kolkata.
rebaudiana is a South American shrub that grows in semi-arid areas of
Brazil and Paraguay. The leaves of the plant have been used for
generations as a sweetener, originally by the Guarani people and more
recently throughout South America and Asia. A campaign of intimidation against stevia companies by the FDA has so far prevented the sweetener from being approved for use in foods in the United States or Europe, but it is currently sold as a supplement and has gained mainstream acceptance as a safe, natural, calorie-free sweetener.
The FDA, of course, suppressed stevia as a way to propel the sales of aspartame,
the artificial chemical sweetener that was pushed through FDA approval
by none other than Donald Rumsfeld. Aspartame has never been shown to be
safe for human consumption in any honest studies.
Stevia as a powerful antioxidant
In the research on stevia mentioned here, researchers used two different chemicals (methanol and ethyl acetate) to obtain extracts from the leaves of the stevia plant. These extracts were found to contain a variety of antioxidants including apigenin, kaempferol and quercitrin.
antioxidant activity of the extracts was tested with a
2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging assay to
determine how much extract would be needed to remove half of the free
radicals from a solution. For methanol extract, 47.66 micrograms per
milliliter extract were needed, while only 9.26 micrograms per
milliliter were needed of ethyl acetate extract. When tested against
hydroxide radicals, the amount of ethyl acetate needed dropped to 3.08
micrograms per milliliter.
The researchers then tested the extracts’ ability to protect DNA
strands against damage by hydroxide radicals. It only took 0.1
milligrams per liter of ethyl acetate extract to inhibit DNA strand
damage. DNA damage has been linked to a variety of diseases, especially cancer, reproductive problems and developmental defects. Halting DNA damage is also a key to longevity.
The recent research may add a boost to anticipated efforts to secure FDA approval for stevia as a food additive in the United States. Stevia extract has 300 times the sweetness of sugar, and it mixes easily into foods or beverages. It causes no significant increase in blood
sugar levels, making it safe for diabetics. While many stevia extracts
have a slightly bitter aftertaste reminiscent of licorice, a number of
manufacturers claim to have figured out how to eliminate this.
sold as a sweetener in a variety of countries including Brazil, Canada,
China and Japan, stevia has not yet been approved for use in the United
States or the European Union. Although stevia had been used for decades
without any reports of health
problems, the FDA labeled it an "unsafe food additive" in 1991 and
restricted its use to dietary supplements. It also placed restrictions
on the importation of stevia, even going so far as to demand that a recipe book publisher destroy its books that mentioned stevia in recipes.
The FDA’s conspiracy to marginalize stevia
The FDA says that "toxicological information on stevia is inadequate to demonstrate its safety."
Yet the regulation of stevia as unsafe was a break with FDA policy,
which normally grants generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status to any
natural substance used since 1958 or earlier with no reports of negative
effects. The 1991 decision came in response to an anonymous petition!
In other words, someone wrote the FDA and wanted stevia banned (guess
who?) and the FDA obliged.
A number of studies have suggested
that stevia might cause problems with energy metabolism or the
reproductive system, and that a component of stevia might transform into
a mutagenic compound. But other studies have failed to find health
consequences to stevia use, and have even suggested that it might be
beneficial. In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO)
concluded, after a thorough review of recent research on stevia and its
related compounds, that stevia does not damage the genes of humans or
other animals, and that many of the toxic
effects seen in laboratory studies do not occur in living cells. The
WHO also noted that stevia has shown some beneficial effects for
patients with high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes.
Even the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI),
which supports more research into stevia before allowing its use as a
food additive, says that there is no risk to the sweetener in small
"If you use stevia sparingly (once or twice a day in cup
of tea, for example), it isn’t a great threat to you," the CSPI web site
says. "But if stevia were marketed widely and used in diet sodas, it
would be consumed by millions of people. And that might pose a public
Here at NaturalNews, we disagree. Stevia is
safely consumed by hundreds of millions of people around the world, with
absolutely no adverse health effects. It’s as safe as drinking tea. And
compared to the dangers of aspartame, Sucralose, saccharin, and other
chemical sweeteners, stevia is by far the better choice.
mandate from the European Commission, the European Food Safety Agency
has recently begun a safety assessment and scientific evaluation of
stevia. Meanwhile, the FDA has said that it expects to receive a
petition for the sweetener’s use in food and beverages any day.
Coca-Cola Company and Cargill have teamed up to begin marketing a
stevia-derived sweetener called Rebiana, and hope to gain approval for
the product in both the United States and Europe. With its usual
approach to intellectual property, Coca-Cola has already filed 24 U.S.
patent ingredients for stevia.
Ingredient companies are gearing
up for when the ingredient gets approved in these two large markets. The
Malaysian company PureCircle is raising $50 million to expand its
stevia production threefold over two years, and the U.S. company Blue
California is preparing its infrastructure for large-scale production.
question, the days of the FDA being able to suppress stevia are finally
coming to an end, and the reign of aspartame is nearly over. That’s
great news for consumers, and bad news for the cancer industry, for once
aspartame is replace with stevia, cancer rates will plummet.