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Stevia is a sweetener approx. 300 times sweeter than sugar, which additionally has no calories. Therefore, it is very popular, especially since the demand for low-calorie products is still growing. However, is stevia a good alternative to sugar? What properties does it have? Is the stevia sweetener safe for he alth?


  1. Stevia: is she safe?
  2. Stevia: where to buy?

Stevia(Stevia rebaudiana) , also known as the m alt or honey herb, has been known in Central and South America as a remedy for centuries sweetening. Its sweet taste is caused by steviol glycosides - compounds that occur in the leaves and stalks of stevia. One teaspoon of powdered stevia leaves is equivalent to a glass of sugar. However, it is non-caloric and does not cause tooth decay.

Stevia is an alternative not only to sugar, but also to artificial sweeteners.

Stevia: is she safe?

Until 2010, it was suspected that steviol glycosides may be carcinogenic and have a negative effect on the development of the fetus. In the same year, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that the use of stevia is safe.

Therefore, on November 11, 2011, the European Commission officially recognized stevia as a food additive with the number E960, and the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) was set at 4 mg per kilogram of body weight. The European Commission has recognized that there is a risk of overdosing with stevia. It increases especially among people who drink a lot of sweetened drinks.

It is worth knowing that the daily dose of sweetener may also be exceeded due to cosmetics that include stevia. The sweetener is also hidden in fertilizers. Hence the controversy regarding the introduction of this substance to the market.

Stevia can kill the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, specifically the "protective shield" biofilm that these bacteria produce. Such conclusions were reached by a team of scientists led by Professor Eva Sapi from the Department of Biology and Environmental Science, University of New Haven .¹ However, this effect is shown not in the form of a powder (which is found in many homes), but in the form of a liquid and in the form of an extract from stevia leaves.

Stevia in the latter two forms reduced the weight of the biofilm by about 40 percent. Prof. Sapi and her students compared stevia liquid extract to antibiotics - doxycycline, cefoperazone, daptomycin and others.

- Our results showed that stevia had a significant effect on the elimination of B. burgdorferi. Stevia leaf extract showed better results than individual medications used to treat Lyme disease. The results of this study suggest that the natural product stevia leaf extract can be considered an effective agent against B. burgdorferi, explains the expert.

Stevia is safe for people with phenylketonuria. In addition, studies show the beneficial effects of stevia in high blood pressure and diabetes.


Can you sweeten with stevia?

Most food additives have a safe daily dose (ADI). For steviol glycosides, it is approx. 11 mg / kg body weight per day. That's a lot; for a person weighing 70 kg it corresponds to more than 215 g, i.e. about a glass of sugar. A study by the JECFA (Joint Experts Committee on Food Additives) to determine ADI levels found that even consuming 100 times the daily safe dose of steviol glycosides has no negative he alth effects.

Stevia in the kitchen

Fresh stevia leaves can be added to salads. In turn, the dried, powdered leaves can be sweetened with tea or coffee. Stevia can also be found in fruit preserves or juices, while Stevia is not the best addition to cakes. It does not behave like sugar and turns into caramel, it does not add crispness to cookies, it is not a breeding ground for yeast. That is why some people recommend using, for example, xylitol (birch sugar) for baking.

  • Stevia - how to grow Stevia in the garden?
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Stevia: where to buy?

Stevia can not only be purchased in he alth food stores or some online stores, but is often also available in popular supermarkets. It is available in the form of fresh leaves (eco and online stores), concentrated extracts in powders or tablets and liquids (including supermarkets). The prices of the sweetener range from PLN 15 to PLN 50.

In Poland, stevia can be grown independently - by planting it in the garden in mid-May or grown in pots all year round. Stevia leaves get sweeter in autumn, so harvesting is best done in the second half of September or early October.

Stevia - you can replace sugar with it

Source: TVN


1. University of New Haven professor studyingwhether stevia can kill Lyme disease bacteria, alth/20170701/university-of-new-haven-professor-studying-whether-stevia-can-kill-lyme-disease-bacteria

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