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What is Stevia and Is it Safe to Consume?

Stevia is also one of the artificial sweeteners, which has remained in controversies for a very long time. Even today people don’t know, is it legal or not? Is it safe or not? Here is the complete information about it. Let us proceed to know.

Sangeeta Soni
Artificial Sweetener- Stevia
Artificial Sweetener- Stevia

Stevia is an artificial sweetener, which has been in controversy since a long time. Even today people don't know if its safe to consume or not? There are many facts about stevia that people should know hence we have compiled them altogether in this article. So let's learn about it;

In India, Stevia is also known as Meethi Patti, Meethi Tulsi & Madhu Patrika. It is one of the best-known sources of natural sweeteners.

The specialty of this plant is its leaves, which are 300 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia sweeteners are no-calorie sweeteners.  

Stevia is a shrub native to North & South America and is now grown worldwide. It contains several glycoside compounds that make it sweeter than sugar. It has been used since the 16th century as an alternative to sugar. The leaves of stevia (called ‘sweet herb’) are dried and used as a replacement for sugar. It is a non-nutritive zero-calorie sweetener.

What are the Benefits of Stevia?

There are many health benefits of Stevia including-

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • Aids weight loss

  • Promotes oral health

  • Improves bone health

  • Prevents certain kind of cancers

  • Lowers Cholesterol levels

  • Diuretic

  • Anti-inflammatory

Are there any Side-effects?

Potential side-effects of stevia include-

  • Allergic reactions

  • Low blood sugar/ hypoglycaemia

  • Low blood pressure

  • Kidney diseases

  • Intestinal diseases

  • Digestive problems

  • Cardiovascular problems

  • Endocrine disruption

Here is the complete information about the Cultivation of Stevia in India

States Cultivating Stevia in India

Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh are major Stevia growing states in India. Gradually stevia farming is picking up in Uttar Pradesh as well.

Is Stevia Banned in India?

Although stevia is generally considered safe but can have adverse effects on some people. There are many inconclusive and contradictory studies about the effectiveness of stevia. In fact, early studies suggested that the sweetener stevia may cause cancer. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a notice regarding banning stevia in India. But in 2015, FSSAI reversed its decision after four years, by notifying amendments and permissible limits and approved stevia.

How much Quantity of Stevia Consumption is Safe?

The World Health Organization defines the acceptable daily intake (ADI) as 4 mg of stevia per kilogram of body weight.

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