Stevia & Diabetes
There are many benefits of Stevia to diabetes sufferers. This natural sweetener can suppress glucose levels, significantly increase glucose tolerance and stabilise blood sugar levels. Artificial sweeteners such as saccharin can raise the blood sugar and change the bacterial composition in the gut which can then cause glucose intolerance. In fact, many studies show that people within the normal weight range who consume artificial sweeteners are at a higher risk of developing diabetes than overweight people who refrain from sugar.
In people with type 2 diabetes, Stevia has been found to trigger the hormone glucagon. This is the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels and its system of production is commonly faulty in people with type 2 diabetes.
Stevia outperforms both regular sugar (sucrose) and the dangerous artificial sweetener, “aspartame”. In a 2010 human study of 19 lean healthy individuals and 12 obese subjects (18 – 50 years old), the participants who consumed the Stevia on three separate test days were found to have a significantly lower insulin and glucose response than the sucrose and aspartame groups. They also noted that “Stevia may assist with glucose regulation”.
The glycosides in Stevia act like insulin by stimulating the uptake of glucose into cells. Stevia benefits can also impede the onset of diabetes in pre-diabetics and can prevent diabetes related complications in patients already suffering from the disease.