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Stevia

Alternate Names

Rebaudioside A, Truvia, Sweetleaf, PureVia, Reb A

Description

The genus of a plant species of which Stevia rebaudiana is a part of. Stevia rebaudiana is grown widely for its sweet leaves . The specific extract stevioside has a similar sweetness to table sugar while the compound steviol glycoside can have up to 300 times the sweetness. In recent years they have been heavily marketed as weight loss and diabetic aids. Stevia is used a sweetener in many countries including Japan but in the US Stevia leaves and crude extracts are only sold as dietary supplements. Rebaudioside A in its pure form is available as a food additive and is marketed under many names such as Truvia and PureVia.

Stevia - Quick Stats
Names

Rebaudioside A, Truvia, Sweetleaf, PureVia, Reb A

Allergy Information

Aspartame

Sucralose

Uses

Sweetener

Additional Information

There have been reports of both the beneficial and possibly detrimental health effects of stevia consumption. In 1991 the FDA banned the use of stevia due to a lack of information demonstrating safety. This ban was reversed in 1994 but stevia was labeled as a dietary supplement only as the FDA had reservations about the effects of stevia consumption on reproduction and cancer development. Evidence of carcinogenic activity has since been refuted. On the other side there has been talk of beneficial pharmacological effects of stevioside in patients with diabetes and hypertension although these results have not been confirmed. In 2008, stevia achieved FDA GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status.



Found In

table top sweetener, liquid sweetener, sugar free foods, beverages

Possible Health Effects

See Additional Information Section

Allergy Information

Unknown

In The News

3/21/11 - Food Navigator: Asia and US lead stevia prospects, high hopes for Europe.

Researcher Comments

Note that the "B" grade only refers to pure stevia. Some of the available table-top sweeteners contain other additives (such as Truvia and PureVia) that should be reviewed separately.

Online Resources/Related

Print Resources



Copyright March 2, 2011 Be Food Smart,




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