Stevia FAQ

Stevia Frequently Asked Questions.

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


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