Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) a bio-sweetener: a review.
Studies revealed that Stevia has been used throughout the world since ancient times for various purposes; for example, as a sweetener and a medicine. We conducted a systematic literature review to summarize and quantify the past and current evidence for Stevia. We searched relevant papers up to 2007 in various databases. As we know that the leaves of Stevia plants have functional and sensory properties superior to those of many other high-potency sweeteners, Stevia is likely to become a major source of high-potency sweetener for the growing natural food market in the future. Although Stevia can be helpful to anyone, there are certain groups who are more likely to benefit from its remarkable sweetening potential. These include diabetic patients, those interested in decreasing caloric intake, and children. Stevia is a small perennial shrub that has been used for centuries as a bio-sweetener and for other medicinal uses such as to lower blood sugar. Its white crystalline compound (stevioside) is the natural herbal sweetener with no calories and is over 100-300 times sweeter than table sugar. source
An evidence-based systematic review of stevia by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration.
Ulbricht C1, Isaac R, Milkin T, Poole EA, Rusie E, Grimes Serrano JM, Weissner W, Windsor RC, Woods J.
- 1Massachusetts General Hospital, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
The objective of this study was to evaluate the scientific evidence on stevia, including expert opinion, folkloric precedent, history, pharmacology, kinetics/dynamics, interactions, adverse effects, toxicology, and dosing. This review serves as a clinical support tool. Electronic searches were conducted in 10 databases, 20 additional journals (not indexed in common databases), and bibliographies from 50 selected secondary references. No restrictions were placed on the language or quality of the publications. All literature collected pertained to efficacy in humans, dosing, precautions, adverse effects, use in pregnancy and lactation, interactions, alteration of laboratory assays, and mechanisms of action. Standardized inclusion and exclusion criteria were used for selection. Grades were assigned using an evidence-based grading rationale. Based on the availability of scientific data, two indications are discussed in this review: hypertension and hyperglycemia. Evaluation of two long-term studies (1 and 2 years in length, respectively) indicates that stevia may be effective in lowering blood pressure in hypertensive patients, although data from shorter studies (1-3 months) did not support these findings. A pair of small studies also report positive results with respect to glucose tolerance and response, although the relatively low methodological rigor of these experiments limits the strength of these findings. Further investigation is warranted in both indications. source