Stevioside, the main sweet component in the leaves of the Stevia plant, tastes about 300 times sweeter than table sugar, which means only a small amount is needed for sweetening purposes. As the incidence of type-2 diabetes and obesity is sharply increasing, stevioside is an excellent substitute for sugar. The annual cost of treating these diseases is estimated at 5 billion euros in Belgium, 30 billion euros in Germany and 300 billion US dollars in the USA. However, the European Commission in 2000 refused to approve Stevia and stevioside because of insufficient evidence for their safety. Now an international team of scientists, led by Jan Geuns and Johan Buyse of K.U.Leuven, has published a book in which they prove that stevioside is completely safe for use as a sweetener.
Stevioside has numerous benefits as a sweetener: it is 100% natural, stable, contains no calories and promotes good dental health by reducing sugar intake. It can be used by diabetics, obese persons and patients suffering from phenylketonuria, an illness which requires a strict diet without artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. High concentrations of stevioside (250 mg three times daily) lower the blood pressure of hypertensive patients without affecting the blood biochemistry. No significant adverse effects have been observed, and stevioside intake does not affect male potency. It also has potential as a treatment for type-2 diabetes.
Stevia and stevioside are permitted as food additives in Brazil, Korea and Japan. In the United States, they are permitted as a dietary supplement. In response to the European Commission’s request for more research, K.U.Leuven professors Jan Geuns (Laboratory for Functional Biology) and Johan Buyse (Laboratory of Physiology and Immunology of Domestic Animals) set up the European Stevia Research Centre in 2003 at K.U.Leuven in order to co-ordinate research on Stevia and stevioside. One of the centre’s goals is to develop a European quality label for stevioside, which should lead eventually to the lifting of the European ban on stevioside.
Prof. Jan Geuns | alfa
Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease
22.08.2017 | Duke University
Once invincible superbug squashed by 'superteam' of antibiotics
22.08.2017 | University at Buffalo
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine
22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.08.2017 | Life Sciences