Stevia leaf extract is both suitable and safe for people who have diabetes.
Some early studies suggested that stevia components had a blood-sugar lowering effect (hypoglycemic) on study participants. This development caught the attention global regulatory authorities and required assessment before the ingredient was deemed acceptable to be released into the global marketplace. The first randomized, controlled trial to directly answer these concerns demonstrated that highly purified stevia leaf extract did not impact the blood glucose levels of people with type 2 diabetes. The study was published in in 2008 in the journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology.
The study used a standard, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The 122 patients (all with type 2 diabetes mellitus) were divided into two groups and given either 1000mg of high purity stevia leaf extract or a placebo. Neither participants nor physicians knew which participants were receiving the randomly-prescribed stevia leaf extract or placebo. The participants kept their diet and exercise stable, and kept a log. The study regularly monitored the participants’ HbA1C levels, as HbA1C levels are a reliable indicator of glycemic (blood-sugar) control over time.
Study results showed that a daily dose of 1000mg stevia leaf extract did not alter blood glucose levels in study participants.
Read the full study findings here.