Truvia is a sweetener that comes from the stevia plant. The European Union, Australia and New Zealand have banned the use of Truvia and other stevia products due to research reports that indicate dangerous side effects. MayoClinic.com, however, states that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated stevia as "generally recognised as safe," or GRAS. GRAS substances are considered safe based on a survey of scientific data and history of common use.
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A study published in a 1999 issue of the "Journal of Ethnopharmacology" by the University of Sao Paulo indicated that high doses of stevia led to a decrease in male fertility. This effect was due to a decrease in the weight of testis, seminal vesicles and cauda epididymidis, which appeared to be correlated to a high intake of stevia.
Common Side Effects
Blood Sugar Effects
Stevia research reported by WebMD suggests that stevia may lower blood sugar levels. This can be helpful if you are struggling with Type-II diabetes. It may be dangerous, however, if you are already taking medication to lower blood sugar. Other research reports no such finding. The best option is to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly if you have diabetes. If you note a correlation of a drop in blood sugar level and stevia intake, stop using the product.
WebMD also suggests using caution with stevia if you are allergic to ragweed and related plants. Some people with sensitivities to these plants can have an increased allergic reaction to them while using Truvia or other stevia products.
A 1998 study published in the "British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology" reports evidence that stevia can lower blood pressure, though other research discounts this claim. If this is a true effect, the danger lies in your blood pressure dropping too low if you naturally have low blood pressure or are taking medications to lower your high blood pressure. Monitor your blood pressure regularly and discuss using stevia with your medical provider if you fall into either category.
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