CrossFit Discussion Board

CrossFit Discussion Board (
-   Nutrition (
-   -   Does stevia help or hurt insulin resistance? (

Kevin McKay 03-06-2006 05:15 PM

I have heard conflicting things....

Robert Wolf 03-06-2006 05:36 PM

It is likely better than ingesting raw sugar but it can and will produce an insulin response and thus can perpetuate insulin resistance IMO.

Kevin McKay 03-06-2006 05:40 PM

Thanks Rob,

I will start weening myself off of it.

Bryan McWilliams 03-06-2006 06:50 PM


hate to disagree with Robert W., but I seem to recall one of the benefits of Stevia is that it helps regulate glucose metabolism, and does not produce an insulin spike.

I dunno...

Kevin McKay 03-06-2006 09:59 PM

I googled around for "stevia insulin" and there is allot of contradictory data out there.

The natural sweetener stevioside, which is found in the plant stevia, has been used for many years in the treatment of diabetes among Indians in Paraguay and Brazil. However, the mechanism for the blood glucose-lowering effect remains unknown. A study conducted at the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, found that stevioside enhances insulin secretion from mouse pancreatic islets in the presence of glucose. The researchers state, "Stevioside stimulates insulin secretion via a direct action on pancreatic beta cells. The results indicate that the compounds may have a potential role as an anti-hyperglycemic agent in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus."

"Ground stevia leaf is a dark green, fibrous powder whose colour and disagreeable flavour is extremely hard to mask. Although a natural herb, stevia has historical use as a male contraceptive in Paraguay.4 Some studies on animals suggest it compromises sex hormone function.5 While it does not elevate blood sugar, stevia and its extract stevioside both stimulate insulin, which can affect weight gain and overall wellbeing.8,9"

"While most intense sweeteners have a GI around zero, bear in mind that insulin can be stimulated by the by-products of the sweetener during digestion. For example, both stevioside and its metabolite steviol from the stevia herb have an impact on insulin.8,9"

In South America, stevia has been used to lower blood sugar in individuals with diabetes. Evidence from laboratory and animal studies seems to show that stevia may help to control blood sugar levels by delaying the absorption of sugar from the intestines. Additionally, chemicals – primarily the glycosides stevioside and rebaudioside A – in stevia may also encourage the production of insulin by the body. Glycosides are substances, generally produced by plants, that contain both sugar and non-sugar components. In the body, the sugar part usually separates from the rest of the molecule, producing many different possible effects that depend on the total composition of the glycoside. Many glycosides affect heart function. The potential anti-diabetic property of stevia needs to be verified by larger scientific studies in humans.
Results from animal studies have shown that stevia may have a blood-pressure lowering effect, as well. One 2-year long study of over 100 individuals with mild high blood pressure showed a considerable reduction in blood pressure when stevia was taken three times a day. Stevia is known to contain several chemicals that may cause blood vessels to widen — apparently by altering the effects of calcium and/or potassium on blood vessels. Stevia may promote the loss of water from the body, possibly by increasing the flow of blood through the kidneys. Additionally, the glycosides in stevia may also improve the muscle tone of the heart. All three of these possible effects may help to reduce blood pressure. The results of small studies to test whether stevia could lower blood pressure in humans have generally been positive, but more research is needed.
Stevia is also used for a number of different conditions. When taken orally, it is thought to help promote weight loss both by replacing high-calorie sweeteners and by regulating blood sugar levels. In case reports, stevia has also appeared to relieve heartburn for some individuals using it to treat other conditions. It may be applied to the skin, as well, since it has been shown to have antibacterial properties in laboratory studies. One small human study has reported stevia's possible effectiveness for preventing dental plaque caused by bacteria in the mouth. In some countries, stevia may be added to mouthwash or toothpaste to help control oral bacteria. These uses have not been proven by well-controlled scientific studies, however.

Larry Lindenman 03-07-2006 06:01 AM

Robb has stated when his people start to level off in performance or fat loss and they analyze their diet the thing that jumps out is artificial sweetener consumption, when they cut back, they had huge performance improvements (I hate to talk for Robb, but I think I have this right). The worst you could do is try and see what happens.

Kevin McKay 03-07-2006 06:45 AM

Yeah, I am gonna cut the stevia.

Thanks Larry

Sean Guerrant 03-07-2006 08:29 AM

Robb and/or Larry: regarding the above. Does this include Splenda? I use it instead of sugar for taste and with the occasional cup of java or tea 'cuz I can't stand it w/o some sweet to it. I had never heard this before. Should I try to wean myself off of it? Any info appreciated.

Kevin McKay 03-07-2006 08:38 AM

Heard some scary stuff about splenda not sure if it is true but do a google search and see what you think. Curios to see what Larry and Rob say.

Steve Shafley 03-07-2006 09:50 AM

Over on, there was some talk about artificial and non-sugar sweetners, and the insulin response to them, with some papers cited. The papers were all over the place. Sometimes the non-sugar sweetners would cause and insulin response, sometimes they wouldn't. Somewhere I read about researchers speculating about the sweet taste itself triggering a "placebo" insulin release, IIRC.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:55 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.