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Could you please send me some information regarding studies and research on the herb stevia? I understand that aside from it being used as a sugar substitute, it has also been shown to help in the regulation of glucose and a variety of other conditions.


This question was referred to several members of the Diabetes Team, who have each given an answer:

Answer from Dr. Quick:

There has been some information available on the Internet, including the following statement:

This [Stevia] is a food and not an additive, it is safe, and helps in the metabolism of sugar for diabetics. It is used for just that reason in Brazil. It also fights bacteria.

I have absolutely no idea whether any of the comments in this statement is correct.


Answer from Jeff Hitchcock, the Editor:

Stevia can be used as a sugar substitute, though its use as such in the US has not been approved by the FDA. I just received two versions of Stevia: the ground leaf (green in color) and a white concentrated extract. The white extract will work well in coffee, tea, hot chocolate, on cereal and the like. I don't know how well it will do in baking, since sugar also provides texture to many baked goods.

I know nothing about its use in regulating blood sugar.


Original posting 27 Jul 96


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