8 Side Effects of Stevia From Low Calorie Sweeteners to Sugar Substitutes

8 Side Effects of Stevia From Low Calorie Sweeteners to Sugar Substitutes

Bumisuka.com – 8 Side Effects of Stevia From Low Calorie Sweeteners to Sugar Substitutes. Many people choose to replace sugar with low-calorie sweetener options, one of which is stevia. Stevia is a non-nutritive or zero calorie sweetener made from steviol glycosides. Stevia is made from the leaves of the stevia plant, which is about 100 to 300 times sweeter than table sugar, but contains no carbohydrates, calories or artificial ingredients.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only considers high-purity steviol glycosides safe for human consumption. Because the FDA has not approved raw stevia extract and stevia leaf as food additives, manufacturers are not allowed to market them as sweeteners.

The acceptable daily intake for steviol equivalents is 4 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight. This is equivalent to 12 mg of high purity stevia extract per kg per body weight per day.

When used as a sweetener or for cooking, pure stevia is not considered to cause any adverse side effects. Meanwhile, several studies have identified potential stevia side effects over the decades, most using laboratory animals, and many have been debunked.

The potential side effects associated with stevia consumption are described below.

1. Digestive symptoms

Some stevia products contain added sugar alcohols which can cause symptoms if you are especially sensitive to the chemical.

Although hypersensitivity to sugar alcohols is rare, symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, indigestion, cramps and bloating.

Reported by Medical News Today, several studies using rodent and human cell cultures have demonstrated the potential gastrointestinal benefits of steviol glycosides. The use of atevia has been shown to help limit and reduce diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

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2. Allergic reactions

According to a scientific review in the 2015 Annals of the National Institute of Hygiene, there have been several case reports of stevia allergy. The FDA and the European Commission have concluded that the number of individuals who are hypersensitive to stevia or at risk of having an allergic reaction to stevia is low.

3. Kidney damage

Stevia is classified as a diuretic, meaning it can increase the rate at which water and electrolytes are excreted from the body through urine. Well, because the kidneys are responsible for filtering and making urine, researchers initially thought that long-term consumption of stevia could damage the kidneys.

However, more recent studies have concluded that stevia may instead help prevent kidney damage. According to a 2013 study in the journal PLOS One conducted in a laboratory, stevia can help reduce the growth of cysts in kidney cells.

4. Hypoglycemia

According to a 2016 report in the Avicenna Journal of Medical Biotechnology, stevia can help lower blood sugar levels. However, these benefits can turn into side effects with excessive use.

Although there is no direct research, excessive intake of stevia (along with blood sugar-lowering drugs) can cause hypoglycemia, which is a condition in which blood sugar levels can drop very low.

It’s safe to consult a doctor if you want to use stevia and are on diabetes medication.

5. Endocrine disorders

It is possible that steviol glycosides can interfere with hormones controlled by the endocrine system. According to a 2016 study in the journal Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, sperm cells, when “introduced” to steviol, experience an increase in the hormone progesterone (secreted by the female reproductive system).

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6. Low blood pressure

Stevia is known to act as a vasodilator, which means it causes blood vessels to widen and lowers overall blood pressure. Currently, researchers are only exploring the positive aspects of this use.

Anything that actively lowers blood pressure can cause health complications with excessive long-term use. People with chronic low blood pressure should talk to their doctor about long-term use of stevia.

7. Numbness

Reported by StyleCraze, there is little information about this. Some anecdotal evidence points to individuals experiencing numbness in their hands and feet (and even the tongue) after consuming stevia.

If you experience these symptoms after using stevia, stop using it and consult your doctor.

8. Muscle aches and pains

There is little research on this side effect. Some sources state that consumption of stevia can cause muscle aches and pains. According to research in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in 2000, intake of drugs made from steviosides (the active component of stevia) was found to cause muscle aches and pains in certain patients.

If you feel sore or sore muscles for no reason, try to stop consuming stevia and consult a doctor.

Who is not advised to use stevia?

Some people are at a higher risk of experiencing side effects from regular use of stevia. This is because stevia can lower blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as act as a diuretic.

Stevia can also interact with certain medications, so it’s important to discuss stevia with your doctor before starting to use it.

Factors that may increase the risk of stevia side effects include:

  • Blood pressure conditions and medications.
  • Liver conditions and medications.
  • Kidney conditions and medications.
  • Heart conditions and medications.
  • Hormone regulation drugs.
  • Steroids.
  • Cancer medicine.
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The risks associated with stevia are still not fully understood. A 2017 scientific review in the Nutrition Journal exploring the health outcomes and complications associated with zero-calorie sweeteners concluded that not enough research was conducted to make a judgment about stevia’s overall safety.

However, given stevia’s popularity, there have been few large-scale and comprehensive studies addressing this issue. In a preliminary study in the 2017 journal Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, mice fed a diet consisting of 3.5 percent stevia for 90 days showed no clinical symptoms and experienced no changes in blood chemistry, cellular function, compensation, or appearance.

However, especially if you have special conditions as mentioned in the previous point, you should consult your doctor about the use, safety, and possible side effects of stevia.

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