What Are the Dangers of Stevia?


Quick Answer

The dangers of stevia are that it has been linked to cancer and infertility and is suspected of causing weight gain, according to NBC News. Although it has been linked to cancer in rats but not in humans, stevia is still considered unsuitable for consumption to some people.

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Full Answer

In the 1990s, the FDA rejected petitions to approve stevia because of the cancer and infertility concerns, according to NBC News. Some scientists believe that stevia causes DNA to mutate and should not be consumed, though other researchers claim studies on animals and people have disproved the mutagenic effects of stevia. Furthermore, other countries have been using stevia for years without problems, and there has not been enough research to know the long-term effects of stevia on the human body, explains FitDay.

Another danger of stevia is that it causes weight gain by tricking the body into believing that calories are coming, explains FitDay. Since stevia is very sweet, it sends the signal to the body to prepare for calorie intake, just as all sweet foods do. However, since stevia is calorie-free, no calories are delivered, which leaves the body craving for more and causes some people to overeat.

Research studies suggest that sugar substitutes, such as stevia, which contain sucralose, change the chemistry of the bacteria in the gut and promote weight gain, explains NBC News. Some researchers suggest staying away from stevia and other sugar substitutes to avoid the risks, whether they have been confirmed or not.

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