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
Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'
16.11.2018 | Purdue University
Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences