Many survivalists have asked me about the potential dangerous effects of using Stevia. Stevia is a natural type of sweetener which comes from a plant. The Stevia plant is a member of the sunflower family. In this article I would like to provide you with some background information regarding this interesting plant and what if any precautions you should take.
Stevia native home is in the subtropics of South and Central America. Its popularity has been rooted in the fact that this herbal extract is approximately 300 times as sweet as its compatible sugar cane competitor.
To begin our discussion lets first review the medical benefits that are derived from this plant:
- Stevia has been known to be of great benefit in various weight management programs.
- For those with diabetes related problems, Stevia has no ill effect upon ones blood glucose.
- An added benefit is that Stevia will help to manage high blood pressure issues.
A quick glance at our list will reveal that Stevia has some very impressive characteristics over the common sugar cane sweetener. It is the perfect sweetener for anyone with diabetes.
Scientific reports on the other hand do not provide such high report cards for Stevia. The picture that they paint is far from attractive and in some cases they even portray the herb as dangerous. Some of the medical concerns that are mentioned within the reports are:
Stevia tends to affect the male reproductive organs. A 2006 study claims that when a male rat was feed massive portions of stevioside, its sperm production was drastically hindered. The study further states that this could eventual result in a problem of infertility or other related difficulties.
Another study revealed that when the scientist fed Stevia in large doses to female hamsters it was discovered that the hamster produced much smaller and fewer in number offspring.
Several of the claims even got o the extent that this herbal substance is linked to the generation of cancer. The researchers claim that steviol can very easily convert to a cancer generating compound. It goes without saying that the scientist are divided on this issue and further study is required before a firm statement is created to resolve the question.
Although a few scientific studies have been undertaken there remains no positive proof that this herbal sweetener is actually a danger to our health. In the country of Japan this herb has been employed for thirty years as a sweeten and no conclusive proof has been provided that is has any kind of adverse effects upon the human body.
Even so the FDA firmly supports the premise that Stevia is an unsafe food additive and due to their governmental position all Stevia importation as a food additive has been banned in America.
Unfortunately it really isn't the scientific evidence which is being taken into consideration her but rather the political clout of the sugar industry which is currently pushing this ban. Stevia is considered a natural product and as such the sugar companies can not obtain a patent on it, preventing the larger corporations from cashing in on its use and advantages. It is clearly a danger to the sugar company's future at best.
Copyright @2008 Joseph Parish
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