Health Benefits Of Stevia: Facts And Information. Stevia herb parts are very low in calories. Parts by parts its dry leaves are roughly 40 times sweeter than sugar. The sweetness of sugar in stevia is due to several glycoside compounds including stevioside, steviolbioside, rebaudiosides A-E, and dulcoside.
Stevioside is non-carbohydrate glycoside compound. Hence, it lack of properties that sucrose and other carbohydrates have. Stevia extracts, like rebaudioside-A, are found to be 300 times sweeter than sugar. In contrast to sugar, however, stevia extracts have several unique properties such as long shelf life, high temperature tolerance, non-fermentative; but contain near-zero calories.
In addition, stevia plant has many sterols and antioxidant compounds like triterpenes, flavonoids, and tannins. Some of flavonoid polyphenolic anti-oxidant phyto-chemicals present in stevia is kaempferol, quercetin, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, isoquercitrin, isosteviol…etc. Studies found that kaempferol can reduce risk of pancreatic cancer by 23%.
Chlorgenic acid reduces enzymatic conversion of glycogen to glucose in addition to decreasing absorption of glucose in the gut. Thus, it helps reduce blood sugar levels. The lab studies also confirm a reduction in blood glucose levels and an increase in the liver concentrations of glucose-6-phosphate and of glycogen.
Certain glycosides in stevia extract have been found to dilate blood vessels, increase sodium excretion, and urine output. In effect, stevia, at slightly higher doses than as sweetener, can help lower blood pressure.
Being a non-carbohydrate sweetener, stevia would not favor the growth of Streptococcus mutans bacteria in the mouth which is attributed to be a causative agent for dental caries and tooth cavities. On the other hand, certain compounds in stevia are rather found to inhibit caries causing bacteria in the mouth.
In addition, being a herb, stevia contain many vitals minerals, vitamins that are selectively absent in the artificial sweeteners.