Stevia and High Blood Pressure
Written by Eli Ben-YehudaOn August 17, 2019
This weeks question comes from Antonia M, from Gallup NM. She asks, “Does Stevia lower blood pressure?” With refined sugar now recognized as harmful, sweetener alternatives have become incredibly common. Stevia is one of the more popular choices. It’s is one of the few natural sweeteners, it doesn’t jack up your blood sugar, and it doesn’t have the same health question marks that dog many artificial sweeteners on the market.
Stevia What We Know
Although stevia is not new to the rest of the world, it wasn’t approved for use in the US by the FDA until relatively recently. That means that there are still many studies being done on stevia to see how it could affect your body. One of the major positive side effects of stevia leaves, however, is that it appears to lower blood pressure.
Lower Blood Pressure?
This can be beneficial when it is used properly. However, stevia doesn’t always safely lower blood pressure. Because so little is currently known about this sweetner, you should consult a doctor if you plan to use it to help lower your blood pressure.
Low blood pressure is actually just as bad for you as high blood pressure. Low blood pressure can cause fatigue, weakness and lightheaded. However, you can avoid these symptoms by talking to your doctor. He or she may agree that stevia can help you or she may be able to recommend something that will lower your blood pressure more safely.
The two active ingredients that make stevia sweet are called stevioside and rebaudioside A.
What The Studies Reveal
A one-year trial on participants with high blood pressure found that those given 750 milligrams stevioside per day decreased their systolic blood pressure by 8.1 percent and diastolic blood pressure by 13.8 percent after three months. Impressively, they were able to maintain this reduction for the next nine months.
Another study using high doses of stevioside (1,500 milligrams per day) noted that after two years, blood pressure decreased by 6.5 percent.
Several studies failed to find any health benefits; however, these were very short-term and used healthy participants.47,48 Sweetener users are typically in it for the long haul.
If you’re looking to replace sugar, or are already using another type of sweetener, stevia appears to be the best choice for those with elevated blood pressure. It’s by no means a quick fix, but the long-term effects seem to be safe and may even be beneficial.
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