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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18438
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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does stevia affect insulin?

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does stevia affect insulin?
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I will be glad to assist you.

This is a complex question.

If asking whether Stevia, alone, will affect insulin levels, the answer is no.

However, Stevia is frequently consumed as part of a meal in which there are other calories involved. If the Stevia is used in such a manner that it decreased the caloric load of the meal, then the amount of insulin stimulated by that meal is less than the amount of insulin stimulated by a similar meal made with sugar (and consequently contains more calories), as well as a lower insulin response compared to a similar meal made with aspartame (and with a similar amount of calories as the Stevia meal).

To add another level of complexity, there does appear to be an improved insulin response to other sources of calories and blood sugar levels when Stevia is present. This is a different situation than described above, where the Stevia meal had fewer calories. In this context, if there is a similar calorie content in two different meals, one of which contains Stevia, the absorption of glucose will be similar with a similar blood glucose increase in response to the meal, but then an improved insulin response, so that the blood sugar can return to normal more quickly.

It is also important to note that despite these studies, there is also another concern about using artificial sweeteners, and it primarily appears to be related to dietary habits in persons using artificial sweeteners. If someone uses a diet that includes artificial sweeteners, there is apparently an ongoing desire for sweet foods, and there may be other dietary indiscretions. Using artificial sweeteners appears to be clearly better than eating sugar, but learning to eat a diet that is low in sugar and sweets is apparently better.

If you have any further questions, please let me know.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok so do you mean that stevia doesnt increase insulin levels alone? so if i have it in my coffee it should not affect my insulin?


Im asking because I heard that high insulin levels act as fat storing and make it more difficult to loose weight.

Correct, the Stevia alone, including if it is the only addictive to coffee, would not increase insulin levels.

Yes, high insulin levels are counterproductive to weight loss, both because of the fat storing effect that you note, and also because high insulin levels will stimulate appetite. Even when we use insulin to treat diabetes, it is associated with weight gain in many individuals.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok so stevia wont be counterproductive to weightloss used in coffe as it doesnt increase insulin.?




It certainly will not increase insulin levels. There is the other issue with artificial sweeteners noted above, but if the use is limited to morning coffee, this is unlikely to be a significant effect.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

you mean that it increases appetite?

The cause of the effect is uncertain. The studies have primarily been done on people that regularly drink fluids with artificial sweeteners, such as diet sodas. If we compare people that drink diet sodas to people that drink regular sodas and are trying to lose weight, there is not the weight loss that would be expected for the amount of decrease in calories that is involved. Therefore, drinking fluids with artificial sweeteners appear to be counterproductive to weight loss. The studies did not differentiate the various artificial sweeteners, and admittedly, there are not that many diet sodas sweetened with Stevia. However, these studies have raised questions about using too much of artificial sweeteners.

The theory is that it appears to be due to training the brain to seek sweets, but it is uncertain that this is definitely the reason. In these studies, the people were drinking the diet sodas during the entire day, which is why I said that limiting the use of the artificial sweetener to the morning coffee would be less likely to have such an effect.

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