The Truth Behind Stevia: Why Was It Banned and Is It Safe to Use Now?

Stevia is a plant-based sweetener that has been used for centuries in South America and Asia to sweeten beverages such as tea. It is hundreds of times sweeter than conventional sugar, so only very small amounts are needed for intense sweetness. Stevia is calorie-free and has a low glycemic index, so it doesn't affect insulin or blood sugar levels. However, it was initially banned due to some alarming initial studies that suggested it could be related to cancer.

There were also other concerns about the sweet compounds in stevia leaves, known as steviol glycosides, and their potentially harmful effects on human health. In the U. S., the different forms and uses of stevia have different regulatory states. High-purity stevia is considered safe when consumed in moderate doses, but many product manufacturers mix stevia with erythritol.

Whole-leaf stevia or raw extracts may contain additional components of the stevia leaf, which could raise questions about their safety or long-term effects. New research indicates that stevia may have negative implications for intestinal health. Despite this, many people still choose to use stevia as a sugar substitute due to its calorie-free nature and low glycemic index. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with consuming stevia and to make sure that you are using a high-purity form of the sweetener.

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