How much of this natural sweetener can be considered safe?
Paying to live a shorter life.
The jury is finally in on Stevia The reason it’s been such a long time coming is that research out of Japan in the 90s found that steviosides, the active ingredient in stevia, appeared totally harmless, but in the guts of rats intestinal bacteria transformed steviosides into something called steviol, which is toxic, causing a big spike in mutagenic DNA damage. So the question was do we have those same rat bacteria in our guts, and it turns out we do. So we know that when we eat stevia, mutagenic compounds are produced in our colons and absorbed into our bloodstream. The only remaining question was how much.
The World Health Organization just released their latest evaluation of food additives, and they consider up to 4 mg/kg of body weight safe. So that’s 1.8 mg per pound, so if you multiply your weight in pounds times 1.8, that’s how many milligrams of stevia compounds you should stay under. The problem is the American sweet tooth. We’re supposed to stay under 4, but if we sweetened everything with stevia we could exceed that safety limit, at least in the United States. But, as long as you only drink like two stevia-sweetened beverages a day, it can be considered, harmless.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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Mutagenesis. 1996 Nov;11(6):573-9. Evaluation of the genotoxicity of stevioside and steviol using six in vitro and one in vivo mutagenicity assays. Matsui M, Matsui K, Kawasaki Y, Oda Y, Noguchi T, Kitagawa Y, Sawada M, Hayashi M, Nohmi T, Yoshihira K, Ishidate M Jr, Sofuni T.
Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other “HHH” videos (Harmful, Harmless, or Helpful?). Also, there are 1,686 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!
Also, be sure to check out my associated blog posts: Vitamin B12: how much, how often?, Kiwi Fruit for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Is Caffeinated Tea Really Dehydrating?,Soymilk: shake it up!, and Is There a Safe, Low-Calorie Sweetener?
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