Is stevia safer than other industrial sweeteners?

Stephia Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni, known as Stevia, was first mentioned by the Spanish physician and botanist Pedro Jaime Esteve (1500-1556), who found her in the northeastern part of Paraguay.

Guarani is used in this region as “ka’a he’ê” (“sweet newspaper”), as it was called in Guarani hundreds of years ago as a place in Yerba many tribes have mentioned this plant to control fertility. Women who apply a lot of concentrated stevia over a long period of time.

It is precisely this contraceptive property that has been discussed in the scientific literature since the 1970s to the present day. The reason is simple: who wants to consume the humidifier that suddenly makes you sterile?

Stevia leaves contain a complex mixture of glycosides (compounds in which the sugar molecule or more are bound to a molecule without carbohydrates). These compounds give the leaves a sweet and concentrated taste, about 30 to 45 times sweeter than sucrose, a refined sweet substance. To date, ten different chemical compounds (chemically all steviol) have been isolated responsible for the plant’s sweet taste: stevioside, rebaudioside A, B, C, D, E, F, duloside A, rubusoside and steviol bioside. The highest concentration of sweetness comes from stevioside and rebaudioside A, which extract the sweetened Stevia 250 to 300 times more sucrose, with approximate calories (about 0.2 calories per gram).

The two sweetened steviol glycosides are diterpene chemical glycosides consisting of two molecules of different types of sugars and a molecule called steviol. Steviol acts as a “skeleton” of the chemical structure and has a similar structure to gibberellin and cowberry plant hormones. Many studies show that these glycosides are at least partially metabolized in the body, releasing molecules of sugar and steviol.

Is it safe to use Stevia instead of sugar?
This compound is precisely steviol, which has attracted the attention of toxicologists for many years. In studies on bacteria and cell cultures it has been shown that this compound is a genetic toxicity (ie the genetic information is altered). However, recent studies in mice, rats and white mice indicate that relatively high concentrations of steviol are required, which does not significantly damage the DNA, a living molecule that contains all the genetic information.

Search for toxicological databases; There are hundreds of publications analyzing the potential adverse effects of stevia extract on health, but the results obtained are inconsistent. In particular, the effects on fertility and the potential toxicity of steviosides have been controversial in the scientific world. This study was published in 1968 by Professor Joseph Cook of the University of Bordeaux, Indiana, USA. UU., This opened a controversial debate about stevia and fertility. Professor Cook discovered a significant effect on contraceptives in female rats receiving stevia in high doses. Fertility rates in mice dropped to 79%.

Although the results of this study were not confirmed by other scientific groups, a study published by Professor Mehlis of the University of São Paulo in 1999 showed a decrease in the sperm count in male rats following the administration of high doses of glycosides. from Stevia. Concerns about carcinogenicity or mutations have not been confirmed in most toxicological studies.

Although the adverse health effects of stevia in humans have not been directly demonstrated, the authorities in the US, Canada and the European Union have concluded that stevia extracts are not safe for use as a tablet solvent due to long-term toxicity studies. On the other hand, authorities in other countries such as Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Mexico have a different opinion and have accepted the use of stevia extracts as a product. natural housekeeping. Stevia and extracts with regulatory status are available in many other countries, notably Latin America and Asia, and have not been verified. In Japan, stevia extracts have been commercially available as tabletop solvents since 1971, and no health issues associated with this product have been reported.

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