01
May

Stevia and Metabolic Syndrome

Stevia: A Natural Alternative for the Treatment of Metabolic Syndrome-Associated Diseases

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together and increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

Having only one of these conditions does not mean that you have metabolic syndrome. But even a single condition that you have may mean you have a more serious health risk. The development of additional conditions associated with metabolic syndrome increases your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

What are the Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome?

In general, individuals with metabolic syndrome do not show any obvious symptoms. The symptoms of metabolic syndrome can be similar to those of some other health problems. High blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, and being overweight or obese can all be signs of metabolic syndrome.

The Causes of Metabolic Syndrome

There are several co-occurring causes of metabolic syndrome:

• Obesity and being overweight

• A sedentary lifestyle

• Insulin resistance (a condition in which the body cannot use insulin properly)

• Age (Your risk of metabolic syndrome increases as you get older)

• Genetics (family background and ethnicity)

Who is at Risk for Metabolic Syndrome?

The most important risk factors for metabolic syndrome are:

• Abdominal obesity (a wide waist)

• A sedentary lifestyle

• Insulin resistance

Individuals at high risk of metabolic syndrome:

• Some racial and ethnic groups

• Those with diabetes

• Those with a family history of diabetes

• Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

• People taking medications that cause weight gain or changes in blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels

Stevia

Steviol glycosides are the general name for the sweet substances found in the Stevia rebaudiana plant, which is often called stevia. Twelve steviol glycosides are approved as sweeteners in the European Union. Steviol glycosides, which are of natural origin, do not give energy (they have zero calories) and do not raise the blood sugar level (the GI value is zero). Stevia can be an excellent alternative for individuals who want to reduce their sugar consumption without giving up sweetness or give it up completely and are looking for a natural alternative to sugar.

Because of these properties, Stevia rebaudiana is frequently used as a sweetener in the food industry. Moreover, both in vitro and in vivo studies show that these glycosides and extracts from Stevia rebaudiana have pharmacological and therapeutic properties, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, and anticancer.

In a scientific study, the antiobesity, antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic effects of most of the glycosides and extracts obtained from the leaves, flowers and roots of Stevia rebaudiana were investigated. It was concluded that these substances derived from stevia could help as a natural and alternative treatment for metabolic syndrome-related diseases, thus contributing to improving health.

References

Carrera-Lanestosa, Areli, Yolanda Moguel-Ordónez, and Maira Segura-Campos. “Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni: a natural alternative for treating diseases associated with metabolic syndrome.” Journal of medicinal food 20.10 (2017): 933-943.