Stevia is a sweetener about 300 times sweeter than sugar, which also has no calories. Therefore, it is very popular, especially because the demand for low-calorie products is still increasing. But is stevia a good alternative to sugar? Is the stevia sweetener safe for health?
Stevia is it safe?
Steviol glycosides were suspected to be carcinogenic and to have a negative impact on fetal development by 2010. In the same year, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that the use of stevia is safe.
As a result, on 11 November 2011, the European Commission officially recognized Stevia as a food additive number E960, with an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 4 mg per kilogram of body weight, as the European Commission considered that there is a risk of stevia overdose, which is especially high among people who drink a lot of sweetened drinks.
It’s good to know that the daily dose of sweetener can also be exceeded due to cosmetics, which include stevia. The sweetener is also hidden in fertilizers, hence the controversy regarding the launch of this substance.
Stevia can kill the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, specifically the biofilm – protective shield “that these bacteria produce, and a team of scientists led by Professor Eva Sapi from the Department of Biology and Environmental Science, University of New Haven. ¹ However, this action shows stevia in the form of powder (which is found in many homes), but in liquid form 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 the liquid stevia extract to antibiotics – doxycycline, cefoperazone, daptomycin and others.
Our results showed that stevia exerts a significant influence on the elimination of B. burgdorferi. Stevia leaf extract showed better results than individual medicines used to treat borreliosis. The results of this study suggest that the natural product, which is stevia leaf extract, can be considered an effective remedy against B. burgdorferi – explains the expert.¹
Stevia is safe for people with phenylketonuria. In addition, studies show the beneficial effect of stevia in hypertension and diabetes.
Can you be relieved by stevia?
Most food additives have a safe daily intake (ADI).For steviol glycosides it is about 11 mg / kg body weight per day.That’s a lot for a person weighing 70 kg, it corresponds to over 215 g, which is about a glass of sugar. Research conducted by the JECFA (Joint Experts Committee on Food Additives) to determine the level of ADI showed that even consumption of 100 times higher doses of steviol glycosides than the daily safe dose does not have a negative impact on health.
Stevia in the kitchen
Fresh Stevia leaves can be an addition to salads, while dried, powdered leaves can be used for tea or coffee, and Stevia can also be a component of fruit preserves and juices.
Stevia is not the best addition to cakes.It does not behave like sugar and turns into caramel, it does not add fragility to cakes, it is not a source of yeast. That’s why some people recommend using xylitol (birch sugar) for baking.
Stevia where to buy?
Stevia can be bought not only from health food stores or some online stores, but is also often available in popular supermarkets. It is available in the form of fresh leaves (eco and internet stores), concentrated extracts in powder or tablets and liquid (also supermarkets.) Sweetener prices range from PLN 15 to 50.
In Poland, stevia can be grown alone – planting it in the middle of May in the garden or grow all year in pots. In autumn, the leaves of stevia are getting sweeter, therefore the harvest is best carried out in the second half of September or the beginning of October.
1. University of New Haven professor studying or stevia can kill Lyme disease bacteria, http / / www.nhregister.com / health / 20170701 / university-of-new-haven-professor-studying-whether-stevia-can-kill- lyme-disease-bacteria