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Stevia Contributions by ColleenO

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Stevia is an herb that is best known as a natural calorie-free sugar alternativesweetener. Taken in high doses, it may reduce blood pressure. Stevia's active ingredients are called steviosides.

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It appears that stevia lowers blood pressure by mechanisms similar to those of calcium channel blockers such as verapamil (Calan SR).9

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  1. Melis, M.S. and A.R. Sainati, Effect of calcium and verapamil on renal function of rats during treatment with stevioside. J Ethnopharmacol 1991;33(3):257-62.
  2. Chan P, Tomlinson B, Chen YJ, et al. A double-blind placebo-controlled study of the effectiveness and tolerability of oral stevioside in human hypertension. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2000;50:215-220.
  3. Hsieh MH, Chan P, Sue YM, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of oral stevioside in patients with mild essential hypertension: a two-year, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Clin Ther. 2003;25:2797-808.
  4. Vickers A, Goyal N, Harland R, et al. Do certain countries produce only positive results? A systematic review of controlled trials. Control Clin Trials. 1998;19:159-166.
  5. Vickers A, Goyal N, Harland R, et al. Do certain countries produce only positive results? A systematic review of controlled trials. Control Clin Trials. 1998;19:159-166.
  6. Barriocanal LA, Palacios M, Benitez G, et al. Apparent lack of pharmacological effect of steviol glycosides used as sweeteners in humans. A pilot study of repeated exposures in some normotensive and hypotensive individuals and in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2008 Mar 5.
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Enter section content... It appears that stevia lowers blood pressure by mechanisms similar to those of calcium channel blockers such as verapamil (Calan SR).9

... (more)
  1. Melis, M.S. and A.R. Sainati, Effect of calcium and verapamil on renal function of rats during treatment with stevioside. J Ethnopharmacol 1991;33(3):257-62.
  2. Chan P, Tomlinson B, Chen YJ, et al. A double-blind placebo-controlled study of the effectiveness and tolerability of oral stevioside in human hypertension. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2000;50:215-220.
  3. Hsieh MH, Chan P, Sue YM, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of oral stevioside in patients with mild essential hypertension: a two-year, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Clin Ther. 2003;25:2797-808.
  4. Vickers A, Goyal N, Harland R, et al. Do certain countries produce only positive results? A systematic review of controlled trials. Control Clin Trials. 1998;19:159-166.
  5. Vickers A, Goyal N, Harland R, et al. Do certain countries produce only positive results? A systematic review of controlled trials. Control Clin Trials. 1998;19:159-166.
  6. Barriocanal LA, Palacios M, Benitez G, et al. Apparent lack of pharmacological effect of steviol glycosides used as sweeteners in humans. A pilot study of repeated exposures in some normotensive and hypotensive individuals and in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2008 Mar 5.
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  • Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (herbalist and/or acupuncturist)
  • Western herbalist
  • Integrative MD
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Stevia is sold as a powder to be added to foods as needed for appropriate sweetening effects. It tastes slightly bitter if placed directly in the mouth. In liquids, though, this is generally not noticeable, and most people find the taste delightfully unique.

In the studies showing an effect on blood pressure, stevia was given as a standardized extract supplying 250-500 mg of stevioside 3 three times daily (a dose considerably higher than any reasonable use of stevia as a sweetener).

... (more)

In a 1-year, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 106 people with moderate hypertension (approximately 165/103), steviosides at a dose of 250 mg three times daily reduced blood pressure by approximately 10%.12 Full benefits took months to develop. However, this study is notable for finding no benefits at all in the placebo group. This is unusual and tends to cast doubt on the results.

Benefits were also reported in a 2-year, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 174 people with milder hypertension (average initial BP of approximately 150/95).70 This study used twice the dose of the previous study: 500 mg three times daily. A reduction in blood pressure of approximately 6%-7% was seen in the treatment group as compared to the placebo group, beginning within 1 week and enduring throughout the entire 2 years. At the end of the study, 34% of those in the placebo group showed heart damage from high blood pressure (left ventricular hypertrophy), while only 11.5% of the stevioside group did, a difference that was statistically significant. No significant adverse effects were seen.

However, once again, no benefits at all were seen in the placebo group. This is a red flag for problems in study design. Both of these studies were performed in China, a country that has a documented history of questionable medical study results.71

Furthermore, a study by an independent set of researchers failed to replicate these findings.129 And, another study involving people with diabetes, as well as healthy subjects, found that stevia, at a dose of 250 mg three times daily, had no significant effect on blood pressure after 3 months of treatment.130

Furthermore, a study by an independent set of researchers failed to replicate these findings.129 And, another study involving people with diabetes, as well as healthy subjects, found that stevia, at a dose of 250 mg three times daily, had no significant effect on blood pressure after 3 months of treatment.130

... (more)

Stevia, is an herb that is best known as a calorie-free sweetener. Taken in high doses, it may reduce blood pressure. Stevia's active ingredients are called steviosides.

... (more)

In a 1-year, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 106 people with moderate hypertension (approximately 165/103), steviosides at a dose of 250 mg three times daily reduced blood pressure by approximately 10%.12 Full benefits took months to develop. However, this study is notable for finding no benefits at all in the placebo group. This is unusual and tends to cast doubt on the results.

Benefits were also reported in a 2-year, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 174 people with milder hypertension (average initial BP of approximately 150/95).70 This study used twice the dose of the previous study: 500 mg three times daily. A reduction in blood pressure of approximately 6%-7% was seen in the treatment group as compared to the placebo group, beginning within 1 week and enduring throughout the entire 2 years. At the end of the study, 34% of those in the placebo group showed heart damage from high blood pressure (left ventricular hypertrophy), while only 11.5% of the stevioside group did, a difference that was statistically significant. No significant adverse effects were seen.

However, once again, no benefits at all were seen in the placebo group. This is a red flag for problems in study design. Both of these studies were performed in China, a country that has a documented history of questionable medical study results.71

Furthermore, a study by an independent set of researchers failed to replicate these findings.129 And, another study involving people with diabetes, as well as healthy subjects, found that stevia, at a dose of 250 mg three times daily, had no significant effect on blood pressure after 3 months of treatment.130

Furthermore, a study by an independent set of researchers failed to replicate these findings.129 And, another study involving people with diabetes, as well as healthy subjects, found that stevia, at a dose of 250 mg three times daily, had no significant effect on blood pressure after 3 months of treatment.130

... (more)

Stevia is an herb that is best known as a calorie-free sweetener. Taken in high doses, it may reduce blood pressure. Stevia's active ingredients are called steviosides.

... (more)

Stevia is sold as a powder to be added to foods as needed for appropriate sweetening effects. It tastes slightly bitter if placed directly in the mouth. In liquids, though, this is generally not noticeable, and most people find the taste delightfully unique.

In the studies showing an effect on blood pressure, stevia was given as a standardized extract supplying 250-500 mg of stevioside three times daily (a dose considerably higher than any reasonable use of stevia as a sweetener).

... (more)

It appears that stevia lowers blood pressure by mechanisms similar to those of calcium channel blockers such as verapamil (Calan SR).9

... (more)