Purpose of Review
Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni is a perennial shrub with zero calorie content that has been increasing in popularity for its potential use as an adjuvant in the treatment of obesity. The level of evidence supporting general benefits to human health is insufficient. We conducted a review of the literature summarizing the current knowledge and role in human disease.
Despite stevia’s minimal systemic absorption, studies have been promising regarding its potential benefits against inflammation, carcinogenesis, atherosclerosis glucose control, and hypertension. On the other hand, the growing popularity of artificial sweeteners does not correlate with improved trends in obesity. An increased intake of artificial non-caloric sweeteners may not be associated with decreased intake of traditional sugar-sweetened beverages and foods. The effects of Stevia on weight change have been linked to bacteria in the intestinal microbiome, mainly by affecting Clostridium and Bacteroides sp. populations. A growing body of evidence indicates that Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni is protective against malignant conversion by inhibition of DNA replication in human cancer cell growth in vitro.
Consumption of Stevia has demonstrated to be generally safe in most reports. Further clinical studies are warranted to determine if regular consumption brings sustained benefits for human health.
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Conflict of Interest
Edward Rojas, Valmore Bermúdez, Yasaman Motlaghzadeh, Justin Mathew, Enzamaria Fidilio, Judith Faria, Joselyn Rojas, Mayela Cabrera de Bravo, Julio Contreras, Linda Pamela Mantilla, Lissé Angarita, Paola Amar Sepúlveda, and Isaac Kuzmar declare they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
This article is part of the Topical Collection on Cardiovascular Disease
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Rojas, E., Bermúdez, V., Motlaghzadeh, Y. et al. Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni and Its Effects in Human Disease: Emphasizing Its Role in Inflammation, Atherosclerosis and Metabolic Syndrome. Curr Nutr Rep 7, 161–170 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13668-018-0228-z