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Stevia, which is also known as sweet leaf, is a sweetener that comes from a plant leaf.  Its extract is intensely sweet to the tongue for most people and can help when transitioning from a diet high in simple sugars to one that is lower in sugars.  It has no calories, so it can be very helpful, especially for people with weight issues and diabetes.

The majority of research on stevia shows that it appears to be safe and has some potential benefits

Is Stevia Safe?

Stevia has been around for a long time in Latin America. The majority of research on stevia shows that it appears to be safe and has some potential benefits, including possibly lowering blood pressure and blood sugar. The main reason we recommend consuming it in smaller quantities is because there are a number of case reports that suggest that for some people it may cause an stomach upset, muscle pains and allergies in large quantities.

Contributed by

Ben Brown, MD
Medical Director, Ornish Lifestyle Medicine

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in collaboration with...

Dean Ornish, MD.
Program Founder

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