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Stévia et diabète

Can stevia benefit people with diabetes?

Stevia is a sugar substitute that contains very few calories. There is growing interest in its use to help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. Stevia is a natural sweetener that comes from a shrub that is native to North and South America. It is an ingredient in many brands of sweetener, including SweetLeaf, Truvia, and Pure Via. Stevia contains compounds called steviol glycosides that are about 150–300 times sweeter than sugar. However, stevia is so low in calories that it is technically a "zero-calorie" product. Although they are sweet, steviol glycosides can leave a bitter aftertaste, so most stevia products contain other ingredients to counteract this. As a sweetener, stevia has grown in popularity, especially among people with diabetes. In this article, we look at the benefits of stevia for people with diabetes and if there are any risks when consuming this sweetener.

Is stevia safe for diabetics?

Yes, replacing sugar with stevia is safe for people with diabetes, as long as it is consumed according to the daily intake allowable for the ADI. The article points out that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies steviol glycosides as “generally accepted as safe” or GRAS. As a result, manufacturers can add certain high-purity steviol glycosides to foods and beverages. This is also the case in Europe, where stevia extracts have been approved by EFSA.

Also in the USA, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) said stevia can be beneficial for diabetics if they use it properly and do not compensate by consuming extra calories at other meals. Research supports this claim by suggesting that stevia can help control blood sugar levels.

Due to the focus on stevia for people with diabetes, many people wonder if it can treat or cure the condition.

There is currently no cure for diabetes, but people can manage the condition with medications and lifestyle changes. Stevia can help to support these lifestyle adaptions.

A 2018 study on rats, appearing in the International Journal of Endocrinology, suggests that stevia could stimulate insulin production when in large enough doses. The study authors put this down to the plant compounds in stevia.

Using stevia in place of sugar in sweetened foods and drinks may help people with diabetes stabilize their blood glucose levels.

This replacement for sugar may also reduce the number of calories that a person consumes, which is likely to aid weight loss. Excess weight is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and its complications, which include heart and kidney problems.

Due to the focus on stevia for people with diabetes, many people wonder if it can treat or cure the condition.

There is currently no cure for diabetes, but people can manage the condition with medications and lifestyle changes. Stevia can help to support these lifestyle adaptions.

A 2018 study on rats, appearing in the International Journal of Endocrinology, suggests that stevia could stimulate insulin production when in large enough doses. The study authors put this down to the plant compounds in stevia.

Using stevia in place of sugar in sweetened foods and drinks may help people with diabetes stabilize their blood glucose levels.

This replacement for sugar may also reduce the number of calories that a person consumes, which is likely to aid weight loss. Excess weight is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and its complications, which include heart and kidney problems.

Dans une étude de 2018 , les chercheurs ont testé les effets d’une gelée de noix de coco sucrée à la stévia sur les participants 30 à 120 minutes après leur consommation, toutes les demi-heures.

La recherche a révélé que la glycémie commençait à diminuer 60 à 120 minutes après avoir mangé la gelée, même avant la sécrétion d’insuline.

The scientific studies we highlight in this article suggest that stevia can offer the following benefits to people with diabetes:

  • Possible anti-oxidant properties to fight disease
  • Blood glucose control, fasting and after meals
  • Improving satiety and reducing hunger
  • Less desire to eat extra calories later in the day
  • Protection against liver and kidney damage
  • Reduced triglycerides and cholesterol

Another advantage of stevia is its versatility. It is suitable for hot and cold drinks, and people can sprinkle it on oatmeal or fruit.

Stevia may also be suitable for cooking, depending on the sweetener and recipe. However, it does not caramelize or replace sugar in all types of cooking.

Stevia extracts are generally safe for most people.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies steviol glycosides as “generally recognized as safe” or GRAS. As a result, manufacturers can add high-purity steviol glycosides to food and beverages.

Steviol glycosides are often found in sugar-free beverages, jams and dairy products.

Several studies have investigated the effects of stevia on blood sugar levels.

A 2016 study reported that dried stevia leaf powder significantly lowered blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, both while fasting and after eating. The participants in the study also saw a reduction in their triglyceride and cholesterol levels.

The researchers concluded that stevia is safe for people with diabetes to use as a substitute for sugar and other sweeteners.

A 2013 study in rats reported that using whole stevia leaf powder as a dietary supplement led to lower blood sugar levels. The results also suggested that stevia could reduce liver and kidney damage in the animals.

Other research from 2015 found that nonnutritive sweeteners such as stevia had antioxidant potential and significantly lowered blood sugar levels in mice.

Stevia may also reduce hunger and improve satiety in people.

In a small-scale study, researchers gave participants a snack to eat before their main meal, which is a dieting technique known as preloading. The preload snack contained either stevia, aspartame, or sucrose, also known as table sugar.

The sucrose preload had 493 calories, while both the stevia and aspartame preloads only contained 290 calories. Despite this, all three groups of participants reported similar hunger and satiety levels.

The people who ate the stevia preloads had significantly lower blood glucose levels after meals when the researchers compared them with the sucrose group. They also had lower insulin levels than those in both the aspartame and sucrose groups.

 

However, a more recent review of 372 studies suggested that evidence for harmful or beneficial effects is inconclusive.

It is also important to note that most of the research uses dried stevia leaf rather than stevia extracts.

Stevia extracts typically contain other ingredients, some of which may affect blood sugar levels. However, stevia leaf does not have GRAS status with the FDA, who do not allow manufacturers to use it as a sweetener.

Safety studies on stevia do not report any negative side effects, as long as people consume the sweetener in moderate quantities.

The FDA recognize purified stevia products as being generally safe for most people.

Some stevia products contain additives that may cause side effects. For example, sugar alcohols may cause the following symptoms in some individuals:

  • bloating
  • nausea and vomiting
  • stomach pain and cramping
  • other digestive issues

However, sugar alcohols are otherwise safe for people with diabetes. According to the ADA, sugar alcohols contain fewer calories than sugar and do not affect blood glucose levels as much as other carbohydrates.

People with diabetes should check that their chosen stevia product does not contain other sweeteners that might increase blood glucose levels.

Stevia is a sugar substitute that has almost no calories. Stevia products contain a highly purified extract from the stevia plant that the FDA consider to be generally safe.

Some scientific evidence suggests that stevia may help people reduce their risk of diabetes or help those with the condition manage their blood sugar levels.

However, research is often inconclusive, and other substances often accompany stevia extract in a consumer product due to stevia’s naturally bitter aftertaste.

Stevia alone is unlikely to affect a person’s blood sugar control significantly, but it could be beneficial alongside other treatments and lifestyle changes.

When choosing a stevia product, it is always essential to check the label for other ingredients that may affect blood sugar levels. Anyone who is unsure should seek advice from a doctor or dietician or contact the manufacturer of the sweetener.

Medical News Today

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