Stevia, a Potencial Source of Natural Antioxidants

San Antonio TXStevia extracts are high in antioxidants that may prevent DNA damage, according to scientists from the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, in Kolkata, India, who published their results in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, in November, 2007. Stevia is extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana, original from South America. According to Dr. Cathy Kapica, a member of the Global Stevia Institue Board of Advisors, tea is known to contain several compounds, known as polyphenols, which function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents in the body.  Dr. Yaroslav Shevchenko from the Technische Universität Berlin said that adding a bit of steviaextract to your cup of green tea can sweeten it and will not only enhance its flavor, but also its antioxidant properties.

In their experiment, the Indian scientists used two chemicals, methanol and ethyl acetate, to obtain extracts from the leaves of the stevia plant.  Dr. Srijani Ghanta, the lead author of the article, reported that at 0.1 mg/mL, the ethyl acetate extract of the crude 85% methanolic extract of Stevia rebaudiana leaves exhibited preventive activity against DNA strand scission by OH radicals. The scientists found that these extracts contain several antioxidants such as apigenin, kaempferol and quercitrin. “These results indicate that Stevia rebaudiana may be useful as a potential source of natural antioxidants,” said Dr. Ghanta.

DNA damage has been linked to a variety of diseases, such as cancer and reproductive problems. Decreasing DNA damage would help to live longer.

The palatability of many food products goes hand in hand with their sweetness. According to Dr. Shevchenko, in order to increase the sweetness of the green tea you can add a certain quantity of stevia extract. “It possesses the unique property to accumulate sweet tasting steviol glycosides,” says Dr. Shevchenko and he adds that these substances are sweeter than sugar, but at the same time they do not introduce any calories into human body. Shevchenko tested the antioxidant properties of different green tea combinations with and without stevia. He reported that “the mixtures of different green teas produced extracts of different antioxidant activity. The tea with the lowest antioxidant activity (oolong tea) improved its antioxidant profile in the mixture with stevia. The lower the initial antioxidant profile of the tea, the better improvement was achieved after mixing it with stevia. These results can be used by food industry for formulating sugar free ice-tea products.”

SVETIA® is a non-calorie sweetener made from stevia extract, obtained from a co-crystallization process patented by METCO®SVETIA® with stevia extract is an excellent choice to sweeten without calories and enhance the antioxidant properties of your tea.

Sources:

Shevchenko,  Yaroslav: Influence of stevia additives on antioxidant properties of different green teas; article in Agro Food Industry Hi Tech, January 2013.

Srijani Ghanta, Anindita Banerjee, Avijit Poddar and Sharmila Chattopadhyay, Oxidative DNA Damage Preventive Activity and Antioxidant Potential of Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) Bertoni, a Natural Sweetener; J. Agric. Food Chem., 2007, 55 (26), pp 10962–10967, November 27, 2007, Copyright © 2007 American Chemical Society.

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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.

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