stevia-flower

Are There Side Effects of Truvia & PureVia as a Natural Sugar Substitute

Stevia is an all natural, zero calorie sweetener derived from the leafy green foliage of the Stevia plant grown in South American rain forests and Asian mountain valleys. I love that this Stevia is sweet, delicious, and doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste. I also love the low-carb aspect. When I was suffering with Type 2 diabetes I looked anywhere to get something sweet that would not elevate my blood sugars. I was using lots of Splenda but we know what some of the side effects are of Sucralose, right?

Though Splenda and Stevia are both considered zero-calorie sweeteners, and so share some similarities, there are a number of differences in the two. Typically, when people speak of Stevia, they mean Stevia Rebaudiana, a Central and South American herb, the leaves of which have been used for centuries as a sweetener. Splenda, on the other hand, is a manufactured product, the main ingredient of which (sucralose) is the result of a chemical process where pairs of oxygen and hydrogen atoms in sugar are replaced with chlorine atoms. Yuk!

Maybe I should research and find out how to grow your own Stevia plants.

Stevia and Pregnancy

Stevia is not currently considered safe for women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Neither are Truvia or Purevia, the only two sweeteners derived from stevia currently on the market. It’s not that any of the three are known to be dangerous or unsafe for pregnant women, rather there is no evidence to support or deny its safety at this time. Given the absence of scientific data proving that Stevia is safe, organizations like the FDA and the American Dietetic Association (ADA) will not recommend the use of stevia as a sweetener to pregnant women. Technically, neither stevia nor its derivatives are approved by the FDA for use by anyone.

The FDA declined to object when Coke and Pepsi, the makers of Truvia and Purevia asserted that they were going to start using those sweeteners in their products.

Does Stevia or Truvia Have Side Effects?

more cautious observers wonder if the herb has some negative side effects that outweigh its usefulness as a sweetener. Who’s right? There are some commonly and not-so-commonly reported side effects to Stevia usage. Here are eight side effects that you may experience when consuming Stevia:
Dizziness: Some users of Stevia have reported dizzy spells, although this doesn’t appear to be a long-term hazard.

Bloating and Nausea: Bloating, nausea, and mild gas–more common and not very fun side effects reported by stevia users.

Mild Muscle Pains: Other users have reported mild muscle pains, as well.

Numbness: Some users have reported numbness, although this is not long-lasting either.

Infertility: Some studies have shown that Stevia does, in fact, have a contraceptive effect on the body, although other studies have shown that it does not.

Cancer: This is particularly controversial because in one study, Stevia was made into a mutagenic compound, meaning one that causes cancer. However, that study has been criticized for being poorly conducted. Other studies suggest that it does not have any carcinogenic effect on the body.

Interferes with Blood Sugar: Studies have shown that Stevia can actually lower blood sugar naturally, which means it should be used with caution by people with diabetes.

Lowers blood pressure: Studies also show that Stevia may play a role in lowering blood pressure. People who have low blood pressure already should avoid using the sweetener as a sugar substitute.

12 thoughts on “Are There Side Effects of Truvia & PureVia as a Natural Sugar Substitute

  1. steve

    Truvia and PureVia are not the only stevia sweeteners on the market, Ken. To the contrary, they were not even the very first GRAS stevia stevia sweetener. That would be Wisdom’s SweetLeaf Sweetener. Truvia and PureVia are purified with ethanol. The SweetLeaf product is made with only stevia leaves and purified water. Nothing man made, it’s the only 100% natural stevia sweetener on the market. And side-by-side taste tests prove that the SweetLeaf product tastes best and has no aftertaste like the others.

    Reply
    1. Ken Savage Post author

      No but when most of us goto the market to buy food they are the only one’s we see there. That’s why I only included them in this article. Why? Do you represent SweetLeaf in some way? Feel free to send me a sample and I’d love to include it in my day and write a review on it here.

      Reply
      1. Jacy

        Many people that have been using stevia for quite some years now are interested in pointing out that Purevia and Truvia are not the same as all natural stevia that is made by many health food companies. No, I don’t represent any of these companies though I happen to support the NOW brand simply because it is a local business located in the town I grew up in. The reason that we are worried about the Pepsi and Coke versions claiming to be the same as stevia is that they seem to have side effects while the all natural stevia does not. For this reason it is a concern that stevia based sweeteners will quickly run their fad-ish course and then disappear from the market leaving real stevia with a bad name. Meanwhile, the true all-natural stevia could be a useful tool in this country’s losing battle with type II diabetes. I understand that the quick to accuse is part of your persona, but would appreciate you getting the story correct when putting seemingly factual based stories online. Thank you.

        Reply
      2. Laurie

        I buy sweetleaf at Publix. It is not next to the artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Equal like other Stevia products, such as Stevia in the raw, truvia, or purvia. At my Publix grocery they put the sweetleaf with the natural herbal teas across the aisle. I don’t work for sweetleaf, I am a stay at home mom who only buys organic foods and was looking for a no calorie safe way to sweeten my family’s tea and coffee.

        Reply
      3. Love

        Your article contradicts the majority of written on-line information about Stevia. Please include references and citations. You mentioned a study but do not cite it. Your article comes across as mere opinion and hearsay with out them.

        Reply
  2. yoda

    I use SweetLeaf brand of stevia…I love that it is a rather pure stevia extract with 0caloreis, 0 carbs, and a 0 glycemic index! BTW, SweetLeaf stevia can be found at my local grocer…but in the natural food section. Anywho, I love it smoothies, use it in baking chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies cranberry orange muffins, and peanut butter banana chocolate chip muffins and I enjoy experimenting with their flavored liquids!

    Reply
  3. Suzan

    I purchased ten Sobe 0 calerie “Life Water” drinks when it was on sale 10/10.00 at KMart. I loved the clean clear taste without that awful “diet” after taste. However, after drinking only a couple of them I noteced I was having awful bouts of neausea, random diarreah, and light headedness. I had been drinking them for a week and it dawned on me I may be having a reaction to the sweetener and that is what brought me here. All of my symptoms went away when I stopped drinking the “Life Water” with the Pure via sweetener in them for 36 hours. Like you had turned it off with a switch. So sad too, they are really delicious. By the way, read the lable on those “all natural” vitamin water combinations. Some of those Zobe 0 calorie had a “natural” occuring caffeine in them also, in very fine print.

    Reply
  4. Natural Girl

    Good information. Just to clear up some of the concerns about possible side effects, recent human studies on safety, metabolism and intake support the safety of stevia sweeteners. Since joining the Calorie Control Council, a non-profit trade association that represents the light food and beverage industry, I’ve spent a lot of time researching low-calorie sweeteners like stevia. Most reproductive and fertility rate concerns regarding stevia are based on older animal studies that are now considered inconclusive and controversial. For example, the rodents involved in the studies were administered doses of stevia that were far in excess of the amounts normally taken by human beings. Scientists around the world agree stevia sweeteners are safe for use in food and beverages. For more information, visit http://www.steviabenefits.org and http://www.caloriecontrol.org.

    Reply
  5. elena

    I am curious about the difference between Pure Via Stevia packets (that contain Dextrose) and others (like Trader Joe’s) that contain Maltodextrin and Silica. Can anyone explain?

    Reply
  6. Tracy

    Something else to note about Truvia is that it’s mostly comprised of a sugar alcohol called erythritol (3 of its 3.5 total grams per packet serving). I’ve never had an allergy to any sugar substitutes including sucralose, aspertame, and stevia, but I developed a host of miserable symptoms from using Truvia including a very itchy rash, an ongoing jittery/disconnected feeling, anxiety, severe sleep deprivation, insatiable carb cravings, nausea after eating, dry mouth, soreness in my neck and back, etc. It took me about 3 weeks to pinpoint the cause of all the symptoms; over the course of which I saw an allergy specialist, and mis-identified a host of other would-be causes including dryer sheets, antibiotics, etc.

    I think part of the reason the cause eluded me for so long is because the timing of the reaction is somewhat delayed. I don’t develop the symptoms until a few days after I have ingested the product, and the symptoms continue to last long after I stop ingesting it (it’s been 4 days since I’ve had any Truvia and I’m still exhibiting symptoms). I don’t know whether my allergy is to the rebiana or the erythritol or both, but my advice to people who want to try it is to try it just once and then closely monitor themselves for up to a week after.

    Reply
  7. JoAnn McManus

    I get terrible gas and violent diarrhea from stevia and sucralose. Even if I have just one serving I get the above symptoms. Aspartame will do the same to me if I have too much, but not as bad. I know other people that this happens to. There should be a warning on the label so that it can be read and not in tiny print so you miss it. Manufacturers are even putting it in canned fruits and it is also in the new Tropicana 50 orage juice. A packet of sugar has only 15 calories and 4 grams of carbs. So, why are we eating those poisons? I call them poisons because anything that disrupts the stomach and colon have to be bad for you.

    Reply

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