Nowadays, everyone talks about stevia, a sweet herb which plays a role of an excellent and healthy alternative to white sugar, aspartame and other artificial sweeteners. It was introduced in the US in the 1990s as a calorie-free diet supplement. Also, stevia has been used for decades and is highly valued in Japan, a kind of society of which traditional diet and lifestyle are considered among the healthiest in the world.
Health benefits of stevia include antioxidant properties, as well as anti-inflammatory, antitumor and antihypertensic actions. However, lately the experts started increasing the public awareness about stevia side effects which can outweigh the benefits of this natural sweetener for people with special health conditions. Below, there’s a list of top 5 common side effects of using stevia, and it is very important to know them all prior to adding this natural sweetener to your daily diet:
- Lowering blood pressure. Recent researches have shown that a regular consumption of stevia is linked to lower blood pressure; therefore, those who suffer from all sorts of hypotension should be cautious about using this natural sweetener.
- Lowering blood sugar. This is one of the most dangerous stevia side effects which should be considered by everyone before using this herb. Due to quite strong sugar lowering properties, this artificial sweetener should be avoided by people with diabetes.
- Mild digestive disorders. Such symptoms as nausea, meteorism, bloating and other digestive problems are quite common reactions on using stevia.
- Infertility. According to some studies, using stevia can bring to certain contraceptive effects, though further researches on this side effect are necessary.
- Numbness and moderate muscle pains. This side effect was reported by some stevia users.
Stevia side effects should be taken into account by everyone who is going to use this herb. In order to avoid possible negative reactions, pregnant and breastfeeding women should refrain from consuming stevia and its products.
For further reading about stevia and possible side effects
Japan has been using Stevia for more than 30 years now, the FDA first disapproved the entire plant, later approved extracts patented by Coca Cola and Pepsi. Europe is still awaiting approvals.
The dangers that are documented are a lower blood sugar level, lower blood pressure and allergic reactions.
The FDA (dis)approval is based on a “generally save for use” idea, meaning that no long term side effects have been found, moreover because no long term research has been conducted.
Check out more information about stevia: http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/69386.cfm