The Health Effects of Sweeteners Consumption
San Antonio, TX, The general and metabolic impact of using alternative sweeteners, mainly added to food and drinks, can affect the quality of the end product, especially the nutritional and organoleptic properties, as well as energy consumption and body weight. According to the article A current and global review of sweeteners; regulatory aspects, before choosing an alternative sweetener for its supposed metabolic effects it should be compared with sugar as a reference standard.
Recent studies show that artificial sweeteners, especially in drinks, may be useful in reducing energy intake as well as body weight and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, compared with sugar consumption.
Stevia extract is one of these alternative sweeteners. It is a zero calorie sweetener of natural origin, extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana. The Global Stevia Institute (GSI) says that “the safety of stevia extract for human consumption has been established through rigorous peer-reviewed research.” Most global regulatory organizations, including the Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization’s Joint Expert Committee on Food Additive (JECFA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), have determined stevia extract to be safe for consumption.
The GSI says that the safety assessment for food ingredients by regulatory agencies is an extensively detailed and lengthy process, designed to ensure that a new food ingredient, such as a non-caloric sweetener as stevia extract, does not pose a risk for any consumers. The results from toxicology or safety studies are used to establish the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI), which is defined as the amount of a food ingredient that people can consume on a daily basis during their lifetime without any appreciable risk to health. Nowadays, stevia extract has been rigorously tested and given the stamp of approval by multiple regulatory organizations around the globe.
The GSI states that only high purity stevia leaf extract has been evaluated and approved for use as an ingredient in food and beverages by multiple regulatory agencies throughout the world. Crude stevia extracts or the whole stevia plant leaves are not approved by regulatory authorities for human consumption.
- García Almeida, J.M. Gracia M.ª Casado Fdez. and J. García Alemán: A current and global review of sweeteners; regulatory aspects. Nutrición Hospitalaria, 2013.
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.