Saturday, 10 January 2009

Mercola on Truvia and PureVia

The FDA approved two versions of a new zero-calorie sweetener developed by the Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo.

Cargill, which is marketing the sweetener Truvia from Coca-Cola, received notification from the FDA that it had no objection to the product, calling it “generally recognized as safe.”

PepsiCo said it also had received a similar letter and the same “generally recognized as safe” designation for its sweetener, PureVia.

Mercola is commenting on the approvals:

[…] what they have approved is the use of certain active ingredients — these sweeteners are Stevia-based — not the entire plant, which has been used as a natural sweetener for more than 1,500 years. […], contrary to logic, the FDA actually declared natural Stevia an “unsafe food additive” at the end of 2007.
Read it all.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Stevia Zone

Please visit nutritionist Sarah Vaughter's Stevia Zone, a site that has a wealth of known and less known facts about stevia. Thumbs up for Sarah's effords!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Wonderplant Stevia

The Danish science site runs a theme about Stevia (in Danish):

Stevia gennem århundreder

“Stevia-planten blev opdaget for mere end 100 år siden, og er gennem årene blevet brugt som sødemiddel i store dele af verden — undtagen Europa.”

Dansk forsker studerede vidunderplante hos indianere
“Et brasiliansk indianerfolk er ramt af diabetes type II pga. en genfejl. Men de holder sig raske ved at drikke te brygget på urten stevia. Dansk forsker har besøgt dem og set hvordan.”

Naturligt sødemiddel testes som ny medicin mod sukkersyge
“Danske forskere har opdaget at et kalorie­frit sødemiddel fra urten stevia også kan bruges som et effektivt middel mod type II diabetes — helt uden bivirkninger. Nu skal medicinen testes på mennesker.”

Forskere undrer sig over EU's manglende godkendelse af sundt sødemiddel
“Den brasilianske urt stevia bugner af et kaloriefrit sødestof, der smager bedre end sukker, og som er helt ufarligt for kroppen. WHO har godkendt stoffet, men EU-kommisionen tøver. Steviosid er havnet i et politisk spil om penge og magt, mener forskere.”

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Rebaudioside A directly stimulates insulin secretion

Rebaudioside A directly stimulates insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells: a glucose-dependent action via inhibition of ATP-sensitive K(+)-channels.

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2008 Apr 22 [Epub ahead of print]

Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism C, Århus University Hospital, Århus C, Denmark.

Recently, we showed that rebaudioside A potently stimulates the insulin secretion from isolated mouse islets in a dose-, glucose- and Ca(2+)-dependent manner. Little is known about the mechanisms underlying the insulinotropic action of rebaudioside A. The aim of this study was to define the signalling system by which, rebaudioside A acts. Isolated mouse islets were used in the cAMP[(125)I] scintillation proximity assay to measure total cAMP level, and in a luminometric method to measure intracellular ATP and ADP concentrations. Conventional and permeabilized whole-cell configuration of the patch-clamp technique was used to verify the effect of rebaudioside A on ATP-sensitive K(+)-channels from dispersed single beta cells from isolated mouse islets. Insulin was measured by radioimmunoassay from insulinoma MIN6 cells. In the presence of 16.7 mM glucose, the addition of the maximally effective concentration of rebaudioside A (10(-9) M) increased the ATP/ADP ratio significantly, while it did not change the intracellular cAMP level. Rebaudioside A (10(-9) M) and stevioside (10(-6) M) reduced the ATP-sensitive potassium channel (K(ATP)) conductance in a glucose-dependent manner. Moreover, rebaudioside A stimulated the insulin secretion from MIN6 cells in a dose- and glucose-dependent manner. In conclusion, the insulinotropic effect of rebaudioside A is mediated via inhibition of ATP-sensitive K(+)-channels and requires the presence of high glucose. The inhibition of ATP-sensitive K(+)-channels is probably induced by changes in the ATP/ADP ratio. The results indicate that rebaudioside A may offer a distinct therapeutic advantage over sulphonylureas because of less risk of causing hypoglycaemia.

Sunday, 11 November 2007



Phytochemistry 2003 Nov;64(5):913-21.

Geuns JM

Stevioside is a natural sweetener extracted from leaves of Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) Bertoni. The literature about Stevia, the occurrence of its sweeteners, their biosynthetic pathway and toxicological aspects are discussed. Injection experiments or perfusion experiments of organs are considered as not relevant for the use of Stevia or stevioside as food, and therefore these studies are not included in this review. The metabolism of stevioside is discussed in relation with the possible formation of steviol. Different mutagenicity studies as well as studies on carcinogenicity are discussed. Acute and subacute toxicity studies revealed a very low toxicity of Stevia and stevioside. Fertility and teratogenicity studies are discussed as well as the effects on the bio-availability of other nutrients in the diet. The conclusion is that Stevia and stevioside are safe when used as a sweetener. It is suited for both diabetics, and pku patients, as well as for obese persons intending to lose weight by avoiding sugar supplements in the diet. No allergic reactions to it seem to exist.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

FDA claims stevia “unsafe”

U.S. health regulators warned Hain Celestial Group about a potentially unsafe herb in some of its herbal teas, saying it might be dangerous to blood sugar, reproductive, cardiovascular and renal systems.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a letter to Hain dated 17th August calling the herb, a natural sweetener made from a South American herb called stevia, “an unsafe food additive.” The agency released the letter on its web site on Tuesday.

The FDA letter said that although it has received requests to use stevia in food, “data and information necessary to support the safe use have been lacking.”

It also said “literature reports have raised safety concerns,” including those “about control of blood sugar, and the effects on the reproductive, cardiovascular and renal systems.”

It seems the FDA has never heard about countries like Paraguay or Japan.