Stevia Extract is not Used as a Calorie Source by the Body
San Antonio TX. Stevia extract is obtained from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana, used for more than 1500 years by the Guaraní people from Brazil and Paraguay, to sweeten their local mate tea and as medicine. The components in this plant that give it its sweetness are scientifically called steviol glycosides. One of the steviol glycosides with the best sweetener properties is rebaudioside A (Reb A), that is used in Svetia® Calorie-Free Sweetener, a non-calorie sweetener made of stevia extract and cane sugar only as bulking agent or carrier.
Dr. Priscilla Samuel, from the Global Stevia Institute (GSI), states that stevia extract, as being zero calorie, is currently being used as a tool to reduce energy and sugar intake, which can contribute to reduce overweight. The GSI states that reason for steviabeing zero calorie is 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 steviol glycosides reach the colon, gut bacteria hydrolyze steviol glycosides 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. Several research studies on stevia extract have shown there is no accumulation of stevia extract (or any by-product of stevia extract) in the body during metabolism. Stevia extract has zero calories essentially due to this poor absorption in the digestive tract.
The European Food Information Council (EUFIC) indicated that stevia extract is a safe and, in many cases, a beneficial dietary component and that it provides a choice for people who wish to consume fewer calories and maintain a healthy weight. In 2012, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) highlighted stevia extract as one of seven non-nutritive sweeteners approved for use in the United States.
Non-caloric sweeteners as stevia extract are known as high intensity sugar substitutes, because they sweeten more, they are consumed in small quantities and they make it possible to produce or consume foods with less caloric input.
All sugar substitutes on the market have two main components:
1) A high intensity sweetener which is present to a lesser extent because of its high sweetening power (at least 200 times sweeter than sugar).
2) A bulking agent or “carrier” which, as its name implies, allows a product of suitable size and flavor to the consumer. The most used ones are: sugar, dextrose (glucose), maltodextrins (which are converted to glucose) and polyols (isomalt, erythritol).
Svetia® Calorie-Free Sweetener uses stevia extract as high intensity sweetener and cane sugar as a bulking agent or carrier because of its natural origin and because as bulking agent, it provides so few calories per serving that Svetia® Calorie-Free Sweetener meets the Food and Drug Administration’s criteria for no-calorie foods (less than 5 calories per serving).
You can find Svetia® with stevia extract in all HEB supermarkets across Texas or online at
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.