Journal of Nutrition Cover Feature Article is the Latest and Most Comprehensive Stevia Science Review
Learn about the latest on the state of the science for stevia published in a Review Article in the Journal of Nutrition’s July 2018 issue.
To read the article please use this link to the journal’s website.
Steviol glycoside sweeteners are extracted and purified from the Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni plant, a member of the Asteraceae (Compositae) family that is native to South America, where it has been used for its sweet properties for hundreds of years. With continued increasing rates of obesity, diabetes, and other related comorbidities, in conjunction with global public policies calling for reductions in sugar intake as a means to help curb these issues, low- and no-calorie sweeteners (LNCSs, also known as high-potency sweeteners) such as stevia are gaining interest among consumers and food manufacturers. This appeal is related to stevia being plant-based, zero calorie and with a sweet taste that is 50–350 times sweeter than sugar, making it an excellent choice for use in sugar- and calorie-reduced food and beverage products. Despite the fact that the safety of stevia has been affirmed by several food regulatory and safety authorities around the world, insufficient education about stevia’s safety and benefits, including continuing concern with regard to the safety of LNCSs in general, deters health professionals and consumers from recommending or using stevia. Therefore, the aim of this review and the stevia symposium that preceded this review at the ASN’s annual conference in 2017 was to examine, in a comprehensive manner, the state of the science for stevia, its safety and potential health benefits, and future research and application. Topics covered included metabolism, safety and acceptable intake, dietary exposure, impact on blood glucose and insulin concentrations, energy intake and weight management, blood pressure, dental caries, naturality and processing, taste and sensory properties, regulatory status, consumer insights, and market trends. Data for stevia are limited in the case of energy intake and weight management as well as for the gut microbiome; therefore, the broader literature on LNCSs was reviewed at the symposium and therefore is also included in this review.
“The Journal of Nutrition is a fantastic platform to educate its readership on the latest research and findings related to stevia. Given the rising global concerns around obesity and diabetes continuing, stevia serves as an excellent tool for sugar and energy reduction, and an alternative for those looking for a plant-based solution,” said Dr. Samuel, lead author and Director of PCSI. “PCSI’s mission is to advance the science of stevia and educate all stakeholder communities globally. This publication is an important milestone for furthering this mission.”