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The Dangers of Stevia Sugar Substitute: Effects on Blood Pressure and More

Updated on March 17, 2011

The high sugar content in so many foods and beverages today has prompted many people to use artificial sweeteners as a way to reduce calories and promote weight loss. Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners are not without long term side effects. Many people are concerned about the safety of these artificial sweeteners and have begun to seek natural source sugar replacements for weight loss and improving health.

Stevia has been gaining more attention in recent years but there has been some concern regarding the dangers of stevia. Fortunately, none exist. Stevia has been used for centuries by native americans in Paraguay as a sweetener and for medicinal purposes. In Japan, during the 1960s there was a movement against adding chemicals to food. As a result, in 1970 stevia was introduced to the Japanese market. Today, it is used in many of their products and makes up 40% of the Japanese sweetener market.

Stevia is an herb with zero calories and zero carbohydrates. It is safe for diabetics and it won't rot your teeth. Unlike artificial sweeteners like aspartame which accounts for 75% of all complaints involving food additives, stevia has a number of health benefits. It is used for regulating blood sugar, preventing hypertension and treating skin disorders,

Stevia Regulates Blood Sugar

Stevia contains a number of natural nutrients that help to regulate blood sugar which include magnesium, chromium, potassium, selenium, niacin, manganese and zinc. It has no effect on blood glucose but actually increases glucose tolerance. It is preferable to natural sugar substitutes such as molasses, honey and maple syrup which can easily elevate blood sugar levels.

Stevia Lowers Blood Pressure

A study was done with human volunteers between the ages of twenty and forty years old in Brazil. They were given tea prepared with stevia leaves and it was found to lower blood pressure levels.

Stevia is the perfect all-natural sugar replacement. Not only is it calorie free promoting weight loss, it has a number of health benefits. It is the right solution for the diabetics sugar cravings, and great for those suffering from high blood pressure.

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    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 

      6 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      I am glad I never used artificial sweeteners. They always had a bad aftertaste and gave me headaches. I am looking for a good Stevia brand so I can get rid of the regular cane sugar for the coffee / tea. Voted up, interesting, useful.

    • profile image

      Denise Alfredson 

      6 years ago

      I also freaked when I saw the link. I was poisoned by Splenda several years ago.

    • profile image

      Jay 

      7 years ago

      Stevia is harmless as long as it's used in plant form. Once it's refined into powder or liquid, it's no better than any other artificial sweetener sold on the market.

    • profile image

      Jasmine 

      7 years ago

      As a nation, we need to limit the amount of sugar we're eating! I guess even if its a "natural sweeter" This is an important posts on the dangers of sugar! 30 tsps of sugar shuts down the immune system for the whole day. More information here http://manyrandomfacts.blogspot.com/2011/07/did-yo...

    • Clandestine profile image

      Clandestine 

      7 years ago

      Excellent information! I love hearing about natural products that not only provide an alternative to chemicals, but that also INCREASE your health and well being. Excellent details!

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 

      7 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      The title of this hub stressed me out until I read your article, lol. I use stevia because I thought it was the best substitute on the market. When I saw this hub listed under RT's artificial sweetener links, I became very anxious to read what you had to say! I will continue to use it! Thank you for the reassurance! Voted up.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      7 years ago from the short journey

      Good stuff--both stevia and this hub. Voted up and useful.

      Would like to link it to mine on insomnia and artificial sweeteners, if you don't mind. Thanks.

    • stevemark122000 profile imageAUTHOR

      stevemark122000 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks for your comment Ellen! There is the "The Stevia Cookbook: Cooking with Nature's Calorie-Free Sweetener", by Ray Sahelia available at Amazon.

    • profile image

      Ellen Hunt 

      7 years ago

      Is there any recipes for cooking with Stevia?

    • stevemark122000 profile imageAUTHOR

      stevemark122000 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks VJE81! Yes, that is what I meant.

    • profile image

      VJE81 

      8 years ago

      In your article, you stated that Stevia can cause glucose intolerance. I think you meant tolerance, as most other studies suggest.

    • profile image

      Alex 

      8 years ago

      Misleading title seriously

    • profile image

      andy 

      8 years ago

      A friend suggested I try stevia as a suagr substitute. I have a sweet tooth. After taking two packets with my coffee every morning, I noticed a gradual blood pressure drop over sevral weeks. My blood pressure was hovering around 160/93 for about 6 months, and had me worried. My blood pressure is now 123/81 and has hovered around that for about 6 weeks now.

    • ehern33 profile image

      ehern33 

      8 years ago

      Will look into this, thanks for the heads up. Will post when I have tried it.

    • profile image

      Cassidella 

      8 years ago

      Excellent information, as I have been hunting for sugar substitutes and want to avoid artificial sweeteners. Thanks!

    • aguasilver profile image

      John Harper 

      9 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      You had me worried for a moment there, but I must compliment you on a great headline!

      We have had Stevia for years, but frankly I find it too sweet (as I don't use sugar anyway) - but it's always there in the refrigerator!

      I'm glad it's not bad!

    • Jimmy Fuentes profile image

      Jimmy Fuentes 

      9 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga

      Steve ! Don't scare me like that.. I saw the title of your hub and got nervous.. I have been using/consuming stevia for a long time because it is natural, supposed to be good for you, etc. So when I saw the title of your hub I almost choked.. Anyway, thanks for confirming what I had read and been told over the years. Good hub

    • profile image

      Latinausa 

      9 years ago

      Thank you about all the information about Stevia, I m new in this and i'm try to find some information about health.

      Thank you

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      9 years ago from West By God

      You can also buy the plant and seeds at Burpee.com I think I have the link on my hub: https://hubpages.com/hub/Sugar-In-Diguise--How-Muc...

    • stevemark122000 profile imageAUTHOR

      stevemark122000 

      9 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks for your comment Laughing Mom!

      Truvia is a brand name which contains Rebiana which comes from the stevia leaf. It also contains Erthritol. The best stevia is pure stevia or stevia with lactose sugar (which isn't as expensive as pure stevia) at your local health food store.

    • Laughing Mom profile image

      Laughing Mom 

      9 years ago

      Isn't stevia marketed now as "truvia"?

    • stevemark122000 profile imageAUTHOR

      stevemark122000 

      10 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks for your comment Jim and thanks for taking the time to stop by.

    • jim10 profile image

      jim10 

      10 years ago from ma

      Great information about Stevia. I always stayed clear of artificial sweateners because of the taste when I was younger. Now I am glad that I did because of all of the problems linked to them. Stevia sounds like a good alternative. I have been using raw cane sugar when actual sugar was needed in a recipe. But I also would stick with locally bought honey and maple syrup. I also heard agave nectar is good but I haven't tried it. Thanks for the info.

    • CherylTheWriter profile image

      CherylTheWriter 

      10 years ago from Humble, Texas (the ultimate oxymoron)

      That about Coke is about time. I used to love sodas but had to quit drinking them, not only because my husband got onto me about the sugar and then the artificial sweeteners, but also because aspartame gave me headaches. When you hear something (if I don't) PLEASE let me know!

    • stevemark122000 profile imageAUTHOR

      stevemark122000 

      10 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks for your comment Health Conscious. Actually it is illegal to market stevia as a sweetener. Whatever the consumer uses the stevia for is totally legal. At present, it is sold in health stores as a nutritional supplement but there are rumors that this may change in the near future. Also, Coca cola is working on a new product that will be sweetened with a derivative of stevia.

    • Health Conscious profile image

      Health Conscious 

      10 years ago from South Florida - USA

      Amazing that it is illegal to use in the united states as a sweetner, so be careful, the fda might show up and arrest you.:-)

    • profile image

      jedgrey 

      10 years ago

      G

      Amen, Steve.

      For 10 years now we have been using Stevia, about the only negative I could say is that Stevia is so concentrated it's easy to overdo it if we shake the powder directly on to food. Much better to dissolve it in water first then use just a couple of drops of that solution.

      Keep up the good work, great hub, anything to get people weaned away from aspartame

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