Nutritional Supplements Library
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana)
What is St.john'S Wort?
Stevia (also called sweetleaf, sweet leaf or sugarleaf) is a type of about 150 species of herbs and shrubs belonging to the Asteraceae (sunflower) family, native to subtropical and tropical South America and Central America (north to Mexico). Only one species, rebaudiana, tastes sweet enough to be called "sweet leaf" in Brazil and Paraguay where it grows wild. Amazingly, Stevia sweetens with almost zero calories, does not encourage cavities, is non-glycemic, and may even strengthen the pancreas. It has recently seen greater attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternatives. In 1931, French chemists isolated the glycosides that give stevia its sweet taste.
These extracts were named steviosides and rebaudiosides. These compounds are 250-300 times sweeter than sucrose (ordinary table sugar). Stevia's sweet taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar. It has a history of use as a non calorie, natural sweetener. The plant's leaves, the aqueous extract of the leaves and purified steviosides are used as sweeteners. It is used in weight loss products and a product for diabetics.One teaspoon has roughly the same sweetening power as 1 cup granulated cane sugar. In supplemental form stevioside comes as green or white powder, or brown liquid. The green powder is a result of using the whole leaf. The white powder comes from removing from the leaf the sweetening agent [glycoside]. It is recommended, if possible, that you use the green powder because the leaves of the plant contain a variety of minerals, vitamins, and other immune system boosting agents and factors.
What is the effective dosage for Stevia?
The recommended daily dose of Stevia is between 5.0-7.9 mg.kg-1.11 It is, however, recommended that one follow the directions as prescribed on the products label.
What are benefits of Stevia?
• Stevia has been shown to inhibit the growth and reproduction of bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay, making it an excellent addition to tooth pastes and mouthwashes.
• It is useful in healing a number of skin problems. Whole stevia concentrates may be applied as a facial mask to soften and tighten the skin and smooth cut wrinkles.
• It extract is a super-sweet, low-calorie dietary supplement that helps regulate blood sugar and supports the pancreas. It is valuable for anyone with diabetes.
• It is a wonderful aid to weight loss and weight management because it contains no calories, only the sweet test.
• The sweet taste of stevia is not due to carbohydrate-based molecules, but to several non-caloric molecules called glycosides. Individuals who cannot tolerate sugar or other sweeteners can use stevia.therefore you can satisfy your crave for sweets.
• It inhibits the growth and reproduction of bacteria and other infectious organisms.
What are the side effects of Stevia supplementation?
Stevia has been used since pre-Colombian times with no reports of ill side affects. Stevia has also withstood years of research that has proven Stevia to be safe for human. The first official investigation of possible toxicity from stevia was performed in 1931 by Pomaret and coworkers in South America. Their tests were negative. They observed that stevioside(extract) passes through the human alimentary canal without being altered by digestive processes.
Will Stevia break down at high temperatures like saccrines or aspartame?
Stevia is heat stable is one of the real great properties of Stevia. Stevioside (extract) is heat stable to about 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit). So it can be used in almost any recipe.
• Sugar feeds the fermentation of yeast and retains moisture. Stevia is not suitable for these purposes. Foods baked with stevia do not rise as much as those baked with sugar.