8 Stevia Side Effects

Stevia is receiving a lot of attention lately. It’s the latest in a line of sweeteners meant to satisfy your sweet tooth while promoting better health than aspartame or plain old sugar. To health gurus, Stevia’s acceptance as a “safe” food product by the FDA means that the establishment is finally getting hip to this sugar alternative. But more cautious observers wonder if the herb has some negative side effects that outweigh its usefulness as a sweetener. Who’s right? There are some commonly and not-so-commonly reported side effects to Stevia usage. Here are eight side effects that you may experience when consuming Stevia:

Dizziness

Some users of Stevia have reported dizzy spells, although this doesn’t appear to be a long-term hazard.

Bloating and Nausea

Bloating, nausea, and mild gas–more common and not very fun side effects reported by stevia users.

Mild Muscle Pains

Other users have reported mild muscle pains, as well.

Numbness

Some users have reported numbness, although this is not long-lasting either.

Infertility

Some studies have shown that Stevia does, in fact, have a contraceptive effect on the body, although other studies have shown that it does not.

Cancer

This is particularly controversial because in one study, Stevia was made into a mutagenic compound, meaning one that causes cancer. However, that study has been criticized for being poorly conducted. Other studies suggest that it does not have any carcinogenic effect on the body.

Interferes with Blood Sugar

Studies have shown that Stevia can actually lower blood sugar, which means it should be used with caution by people with diabetes.

Lowers blood pressure

Studies also show that Stevia may play a role in lowering blood pressure. People who have low blood pressure already should avoid using the sweetener as a sugar substitute.

Stevia was first introduced in the United States in the mid 1990s as part of the low-carb diet craze, as it does not have calories or carbohydrates. However, it was only sold as an herbal supplement. In time, and only after much controversy, it was granted approval by the FDA and is now available as a food product.

It has been designated a safe product by the FDA, based on the results of consuming 1500 mg per day for two years. Though it’s new to the US, it has been used by several cultures, particularly in South America, as a sweetener for centuries. Some people feel that since it’s all-natural and has been used in other countries with no apparent long-term side effects, that it’s perfectly safe for use. However, it is recommended that pregnant or breast-feeding women say “no” to the sweetener–at least until more long-term research has been performed.

As always, if you have any questions about the safety of Stevia or any other herb, consult with your primary care physician. She will be up-to-date on the latest research and will be able to advise you on which sweeteners you should use.

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Posts By Sequoia
  • Mike Reilly

    hmm lowers blood pressure and blood sugar levels. YIKES it is satin lol

  • Mike Reilly

    But this isn’t an artificial sweetener.

  • Mike Reilly

    What are you putting the stevia into?

  • Mike Reilly

    You have GOT to be kidding me. You gain 30 pounds and you believe it is from stevia and yet you keep using it for YEARS! Please.

  • Jamie Titus Silvers

    It was in the crystal light drink packets.

  • Asok Asus

    Stevia gave both myself and my wife excruciating headaches immediately after consumption; we tried several forms: highly refined, natural, etc. They all caused the same horrible effect.

  • Anise Leinen

    Everyone needs to get off all added sweeteners, no matter what they are. End of story. Non-nutritive sweeteners all cause weight gain– that has now been PROVEN. A recent study showed that lab rats gained MUCH more weight with both Nutrasweet and Stevia than they did with sugar. Get rid of the non-nutritive sweeteners whether they’re artificial or natural, and then get rid of all added sugars. Don’t put anything in your mouth that tastes sweet unless it’s a piece of fresh fruit!!!

  • Peter Freund

    Hi!! You’re not the only one! Stevia makes me really really sleepy also. I tried it a few years ago and thought it was weird how sleepy I was when I ate it. Then recently I forgot about this experience and tried about 1/3 cup on some cereal and I was literally sleepy for days. So uncomfortable.

  • Robert Keith

    Stevia is a plant and is not the cause of any health problems. Your attributing health to this plant because you dont have the willpower to lose weight. Its easier to blame aomething other than yourself. The only way you could have any problem with a plant is if your sensitive or allergic to it. Would you stop using fear mongeribg. If they tell you basil leaf can cause health problems would you believe them. Same diffetence. Being allgeric to stevia or basil is very very rare.