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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I'm confused...shouldn't the brain react to the sweetness of stevia the same way it does other sweeteners? If it's the sweetness that causes the neurological response doesn't that mean any sweetener will cause it?


04/06/2013 - 8:58pm

I actually bought stevia seeds to grow. Im a lactating mother and my babys skin rash raises up if I have processed sugar in my diet, especially white sugar. My child skin actually clears up without the artificial or processed sugars. Remember, our body is designed to to process plant foods for better nutrient absorpion with less stress to our system. Grow your own!


04/04/2013 - 9:37am

The FDA is useless. It's recommendations for or against are likewise useless. They are a bought and paid for puppet organization and should never be trusted. Articles which use FDA recommendations as a basis for safe are therefor based on fallacy.


04/02/2013 - 7:05pm

Grow and eat your own food. Your life depends on it.


04/02/2013 - 9:35am

I don't trust any artificial sweeteners. Sooner or later, they find out they are bad for you, long after they have been on the market. For the most part, I have just learned to eat most things that I used to sweeten with sugar totally unsweetened. This includes things like coffee and breakfast cereal. I even eat my oatmeal without sweeteners these days, and it really is not that bad.


03/25/2013 - 10:52am

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).

Buy online pure Stevia Rebaudiana extract: 100 % Rebaudioside A 98 (Reb-A 98)


03/20/2013 - 12:49pm

what grocery / health food stores have the 100% real stevia?


03/15/2013 - 6:01pm

I was having migraines for some time after I had switched from sugar to stevia and since it was the only sweetener I was using I started to research it. I found that alot of stevia foods and drinks have other sweeteners mixed in with it like alcohol sugars. They can be listed in quite a few different names. When I just used 100% Stevia I didn't have any headaches. If I used Truvia or any stevia product that I had bought with any sugar alcohols added to them, I was getting my headaches back almost instantly.My stomach would start to hurt too. I haven't had any problems after I made sure to buy 100% pure stevia. Don't know if many others have had this issue but thought I'd post this if it may help anyone that prefers stevia over chemical sweeteners. The following names are different forms of sugar alcohols that you may find on labels:
Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates


03/08/2013 - 2:29am

If the FDA knew for a fact, that Stevia adversely effected fertility and reproductive development, they would approve it in a heartbeat! Then some high ranking executive from the FDA would get a nice cushy job, with a six figure salary, with whatever company was the major lobbyist for the product.


02/22/2013 - 2:30am

any brands such as truvia, are not the real stevia and should be addressed. they have dextrose in them, which act as artificial sweetners and effect our brain cells, once the body temperature welcomes it in our inner body, iur neurotransmitters get damaged, when a condition known as excitotoxicity occurs. Just like objects, we have energy flowing through our bodies. Our system is not designed to accept these types of sweeteners. if you would like to find out more, please visit my site divasmasas, go to the stevia section and do some research. good luck matt.

any of the larger stores, you should not give them business for one and with supply and demand theory, they cannot produce the demand nationwide without putting those pesky additives in products. sad but true.


02/18/2013 - 8:04pm

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