How is Stevia Extract Metabolized in the Body
San Antonio TX. Highly purified stevia extract, obtained from green leafy plant Stevia Rebaudiana, can be up to 350 times sweeter than cane sugar. It is nowadays used as zero – calorie, natural origin sweetener in many countries. It is important to say that the whole stevia leaf or the crude stevia extracts are not approved for use by the leading food and beverage authorities in most countries.
The sweetening components of stevia extract are called steviol glycosides. According to the Global Stevia Institute (GSI), all steviol glycosides share a common steviol backbone. The GSIexplains that stevia extract is low in calories because steviol glycosides are poorly absorbed in the body and pass through the upper gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach and small intestines, fully intact. Once they reach the colon, gut bacteria hydrolyze them into steviol by snipping off their glucose units. Steviol is then absorbed via the portal vein and primarily metabolized by the liver forming steviol glucoronide, and then excreted in the urine.
According to the GSI, research has shown that there is no accumulation of stevia extract in the body during metabolism. It is a result of this essentially poor absorption in the digestive tract which ultimately contributes to the fact that stevia extract has zero calories.
The highly purified stevia extract can contain just one steviol glycoside or several. The GSIsays that one of the best-tasting and sweetest of all the steviol glycosides is high purity Rebaudioside-A (Reb-A), which is also one of the most abundant steviol glycosides found in the stevia leaf. Reb A can be extracted from the stevia leaf and can be used in products to achieve a very similar taste of sucrose.
After several scientific studies, Reb-A’s used as zero calorie sweetener in foods and beverages has been approved by leading authorities.
It is the highly purified stevia extract – containing Reb A or other steviol glycosides – what food and beverage manufacturers use as an ingredient in their products.
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.