Stevia is a New Player in the Fight against Obesity, says Dr. Margaret Ashwell
San Antonio, TX. SVETIA® is a no-calorie sweetener made from stevia, extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana, through a co-crystallization process patented by METCO®. The journal of Nutrition Today has just published an article titled Stevia, Nature’s Zero-Calorie Sustainable Sweetener: A New Player in the Fight Against Obesity, by Dr. Margaret Ashwell in its May/June 2015 issue.
Nutrition Today is an official partner publication of the American Society for Nutrition (ASN),the authoritative voice on nutrition, with more than 4,300 scientist and clinician members in academia, practice, government and industry from around the world. Dr. Ashwell is an independent scientific consultant and has been a member of the Global Stevia Institute since 2011.
This article introduces stevia, explaining its sustainable production, metabolism in the body, safety assessment, and use in foods and drinks to assist with energy reduction. Ashwell says that proposed uses for high-purity stevia leaf extracts include soft drinks, canned fruit and jams, ice cream and other dairy products, cakes and desserts, and even alcoholic beverages. She states in her article that the sweet-tasting components of stevia are called steviol glycosides, which are naturally present in the stevia leaf. She says that there are 11 major steviol glycosides and that many of them have twice sweetening power than sucrose.
According to Ashwell, research shows that there is no accumulation of stevia (or of any of its components or byproduct of stevia) in the body and that it passes through the body during metabolism. As it is not metabolized, it provides zero calories.
The article also summarizes current thinking of the evidence for the role of nonnutritive sweeteners in energy reduction. Dr. Ashwell says that although sugar does seem to contribute to greater energy intake, it cannot be said categorically to cause obesity. For her, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) consumption promotes weight gain in children. Ashwell says that some trials randomly performed in children “showed reductions in body mass index gain when nonnutritive sweeteners (NNS) were used to replace SSB, and these benefits were more pronounced in overweight children.”
Ashwell assures that although more research is needed, there are many reasons to believe that the effectiveness of stevia replacing sugar in drinks and foods would facilitate weight loss or weight maintenance by helping reduce energy intake. She concludes that overall, stevia shows promise as a new tool to help achieve weight management goals.
To read the complete publication, access it from the Nutrition Today website:
SVETIA® Calorie – Free Sweetener is made with cane sugar and stevia extract. One packet of SVETIA® contains only one gram of carbohydrates. People with diabetes are advised to check with their registered dietitian or physician.