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Unlike artificial sweeteners, Stevia an excellent sweetener for cooking and baking, as its sweet glycosides do not break down in heat.
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Stevia Helps Pancreas Release Insulin - Helpful for Diabetics


© Ray Sahelian MD

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled "Natural Medicine Research". View all columns in series
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."

Ray Sahelian, M.D., co-author with Donna Gates of The Stevia Cookbook (Avery/Penguin, 1999), says, "Stevia is a wonderful alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners for those who have diabetes. This study gives us one more reason to recommend diabetics take advantage of this safe, non-calorie herbal sweetener."

Reference: Jeppesen PB, et al. Stevioside acts directly on pancreatic beta cells to secrete insulin. Metabolism 2000 Feb;49(2):208-14. Website: www.raysahelian.com

 
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