Is Stevia Safe?

A. This year, a few noncaloric sweeteners made from an extract of the Stevia rebaudiana plant arrived on grocery-store shelves. The stevia plant has a long history of use as a sweetener in South America. These new sweeteners—sold under brand names like Truvia and PureVia—include a highly purified extract of stevia called Rebaudioside A (a.k.a. Rebiana or Reb A). Reb A is 200 times sweeter than sugar and does not raise blood sugar.

Until December 2008, stevia and its derivatives could be sold in the U.S. only as dietary supplements, due to safety concerns. In the 1980s, animal studies linked stevia with adverse effects on fertility and reproductive development and possible genetic mutations. But in 2008, the makers of Truvia and PureVia submitted research to the Food and Drug Administration regarding Reb A’s safety and petitioned for it to become a generally regarded as safe (GRAS) ingredient.

The FDA affirmed the GRAS status, but did not change the previous ruling on stevia. “Reb A is different than whole-leaf stevia or [other] stevia extracts, which can only be sold as dietary supplements,” says FDA spokesperson Michael Herndon. “Nobody has provided the FDA with evidence that whole-leaf stevia is safe.”

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a consumer advocacy group, believes that the Reb A’s GRAS status was granted prematurely. “In the past, FDA protocol required repeated testing in two separate animal species prior to approval, but in this case it didn’t,” says David Schardt, nutrition expert with CSPI. “We are not warning people to avoid Reb A, but the public should be aware that the FDA did not follow all the usual safeguards.”

Bottom Line: The FDA considers Reb A a safe sugar substitute, but has not approved other forms of stevia. If you want to use stevia, we suggest sticking with Reb A (look for it on the ingredient label).

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This country is complaining about childhood obesity; and how HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP is
the cause. In addition; adults are gaining large amounts of weight too. People start looking at labels; and you will see the alarming amount of foods, sauces, Ketchup, BBQ sauces, cool whip, etc; all have
HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP !!!! And that is just a few ! There was a commercial that came out here while back where the moderator said that sugar is sugar ! It was making a comparison of cane sugar to High Fructose corn syrup (and how your body can't tell the difference). I should have hired a lawyer to sue that company that produced the commercial; as that statement is a LIE. My body is highly allergic
to CORN PRODUCTS, and that is where HIGH FRUCTOSE CoRn SYRUP comes from !!!

Childhood obesity and Adult obesity have to be coming from eating the same foods; most of which contain
the HFCS !!!! WAKE UP AMERICA; and demand the removal of this substance from our foods !!!


08/31/2013 - 7:13pm

Ok, I'm just wondering. There scared of putting out Stevia for people but other artificial sugar substitutes that can be dangerous as well as certain medications can cause health problems or even death is allowed. Hmm....


08/28/2013 - 4:44pm

I used Stevia for years but now after having 2 children my wife and I are having problems getting pregnant for the third time. My doctor has confirmed I have a lower than normal sperm count. Not sure if it is related but I have stopped using Stevia it in my hot drinks.


08/21/2013 - 11:43am

In the 1980s, animal studies linked stevia with adverse effects on fertility and reproductive development and possible genetic mutations.

And ....what happened to the Aztecs? Just sayin'.


08/15/2013 - 4:20pm

I just bought stevia extract from trader joes, now I'm afraid to try it. Do you think it's safe. It says a dietary supplement, I am borderline diabetic and vegetarian


08/13/2013 - 6:16pm

I use raw stevia in my coffee only. A small amount goes a long way. I don't trust ANYTHING the FDA says. How many things have they approved that have turned out to be harmful years later?! Not to mention lobbyists and corporations corrupt the entire process so I don't believe many studies that come out unless they are independently-funded and carried out on the appropriate population.


08/11/2013 - 10:00am

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08/08/2013 - 3:25pm

I think Stevia is very ok if you use only the fresh leaves and not the processed, because processed have already mixed with chemical.


08/07/2013 - 11:04pm

I have used both Stevia extract AND sweetleaf (the plant- purchased and home grown) I would be more worried about the corporations that are 'mis-labeling' and misleading consumers with what they are truly selling. Any ADDITIVES are bad in this case. Beware of Maldextrose, and do you research! These companies are NOT looking out for your best interest, they are looking to make a buck.


08/07/2013 - 9:17am

If you are pre-diabetic, using stevia surely is better than sugar. I have 2 stevia plants and crush some leaves into my iced tea. I feel perfectly safe using it, just the same as using mint. Stevia plants in England have been used "forever" for sweetening their tea. To me, the greater danger is using pesticides or fertilizers on plants that we consume. Stevia is easy to grow, inexpensive, and tastes great. It can be an intense taste, so just use a little.


08/06/2013 - 11:50am

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