Stevia FAQ

Stevia Frequently Asked Questions.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Stevia: Inexpense and non-patentable

"The principal importance of Ka he'e (stevia) is due to the possibility of
substituting it for saccharine. It presents these great advantages over

1. It is not toxic but, on the contrary, it is healthful, as shown by
long experience and according to the studies of Dr. Rebaudi.
2. It is a sweetening agent of great power.
3. It can be employed directly in its natural state, (pulverized leaves).
4. It is much cheaper than saccharine."

Unfortunately, this last point may have been the undoing of stevia.
Noncaloric sweeteners are a big business in the U.S., as are caloric
sweeteners like sugar and the sugar-alcohols, sorbitol, mannitol and
xylitol. It is small wonder that the powerful sweetener interests here, do
not want the natural, inexpensive, and non-patentable stevia approved in
the U.S.

Full Article here

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Are the sugar moieties of stevioside safe for diabetics?

Stevioside, the main sweet component of Stevia, is about 300 times sweeter than table sugar. Therefore, only small amounts need to be used for sweetening purposes. It is not taken up by the intestines and is not metabolised by enzymes of the gastro-intestinal tract as the sugar bonds in stevioside are beta-glucosidic bonds. However, it is degraded to steviol and sugar moieties by bacteria of the human colon. To substitute for the total amount of added sugar in the food (± 131 g per person per day in Belgium) less than 400 mg stevioside are required per day. This means that in the colon only about 240 mg of glucose is released from the 400 mg stevioside. It can be estimated that about 1/3 of this glucose is metabolised by the bacteria of the colon, 1/3 is excreted and about 1/3 is taken up (± 80 mg) which of course is a neglectible amount of glucose. Extracted from here

Stevia and Body Building

Due to its almost zero calorie nature, Stevia is extremely useful to bodybuilders or obese persons that are attempting to lose body fat. Because it is sweet, it reduces cravings for sugary foods. Stevia essentially fools the body into a state of satiation. This will result in less food being craved [and thus consumed], and reduce caloric intake. Stevia will help with the reduction of cravings, and the suppression of the appetite, without having to resort to products containing stimulants. Extracted from here

Stevia and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has a large research effort aimed at developing an agricultural production system for stevia and, through breeding, to optimize its sensory characteristics. Stevia is a plant that produces a variety of high-potency low-calorie sweeteners in its' leaf tissue. Stevia sweeteners are in used in food products a number of countries including Japan, Brazil and China. Here in North America, the movement of society towards more natural foods has created a great deal of public interest in stevia. Complete article

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Tidbit from Agriculture Canada

Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni is one of 154 members of the genus Stevia. It is a member of the Compositae family and as such is related to sunflower, marigolds etc. Stevia has an alternate leaf arrangement and herbacious growth habit with flowers arranged in indeterminate heads. The flowers are small and white with a pale purple throat. The pollen can be highly allergenic. Stevia is self-incompatible and probably insect pollinated, the seeds are small, have very little endosperm and are dispersed in the wind via a hairy pappus.