Stevia is a sugar substitute that has been lauded because of its benefits, but Stevia dangers are real and those searching for a sugar substitute should be aware of them. Though Stevia has been around for years, the FDA didn’t award them the “Generally Recognized as Safe” status as a food additive until 2008. Many of the warnings or side effects of ingesting Stevia could be considered as benefits if you consider urinating more than usual a benefit. Jokes aside, here are the side effects and warnings associated with Stevia.
- Stevia has a diuretic effect on many people. Diuretics are used for people with high blood pressure and have been an effective treatment for years. Most people, however, aren’t looking to have their blood pressure lowered when they are flavoring their tea.
- Stevia can lower blood sugar levels, especially in those with Type 2 diabetes. Lowering a diabetic person’s blood sugar is a benefit to be sure, but extensive studies haven’t shown how much Stevia should be ingested. Eating a product or drinking a soda containing Stevia can be dangerous to those closely monitoring their blood sugar.
- Stevia is known to lower blood pressure, so people taking medication to lower blood pressure should be careful when taking Stevia. Again, this can be seen as beneficial, but people taking medication to lower blood pressure should watch their Stevia intake levels. Drinking something with too much Stevia in it can cause your blood pressure levels to plummet, causing dizziness and dangerously low blood pressure.
- Stevia is a plant from the ragweed family, so people allergic to ragweed shouldn’t take Stevia. Though no life threatening cases have been reported due to Stevia allergies, an allergic reaction of any kind is no fun at all.
- Stevia may lessen the body's ability to deal with lithium. High lithium levels can be very dangerous and causes serious side effects.
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