Stevia May Lower Blood Sugar Levels and Help Fight Diabetes
Type II diabetes is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world.
It is characterized by elevated blood sugar in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin.
Stevia has been studied in diabetic patients with impressive results.
In one of the studies, type 2 diabetic patients took either 1 gram of stevioside with a meal, or 1 gram of maize starch.
The group taking stevioside had a reduction in blood sugar by about 18% (6).
Another study compared sucrose (regular sugar), aspartame and stevia. It found that stevia lowered both blood sugar and insulin levels after a meal, compared to the other two sweeteners (7).
Other studies in animals and test tubes have shown that stevioside may increase production of insulin, as well as make the cells more sensitive to its effects (8, 9).
Insulin is the hormone that drives blood sugar into cells, so this appears to be the mechanism behind stevia’s blood sugar lowering effects.
Bottom line: Stevioside appears to improve function of the hormone insulin, helping to lower blood sugar levels. This may be useful for people with type 2 diabetes.