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Does Stevia affect fertility?

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Stevia is a sugar substitute with a very sweet taste that doesn’t add calories into our meal and it  is  used to sweeten food and drinks.

However, there has been a lot of debate within the last years, as to whether stevia affects fertility. The herb’s leaves contain a variety of substances.  It has been used by the inhabitants of Paraguay, as a medicinal tea since centuries.

Nowadays, this sweetener is very popular around the world as it is 30-40 times as sweet as table sugar. Rebaudioside A, one of the chemical compounds in stevia is considered to provide the best taste with no bitter aftertaste.

Apart from its dietary advantages, stevia’s ingredients affect neither blood glucose levels nor insulin levels after consuming it, which makes  stevia a good choice for diabetics.

However, some consumers have been avoiding this sweetener, because there is some data that it may reduce fertility. The women in Paraguay traditionally drank a cup of stevia tea per day as a contraceptive. Also, posts by women in online forums indicate that stevia has adversely affected their menstrual cycle, although these posts are generally by women who have pre-existing hormonal conditions.

Certainly  more research is  needed in order  to know whether these menstrual cycle irregularities can  be attributable to stevia or not, since there have been limited   studies showing evidence of impaired fertility from stevia.

It would be wise, if somebody has questions over the consumption of stevia in case you are trying to conceive, to consult their clinician who can review  the  individual’s health history and advise appropriately.

 

Read More  http://science.sciencemag.org/content/162/3857/1007.1

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ben/chamc/2010/00000008/00000002/art00004

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/030636238990013X

 

Image Credit  http://www.blogher.com/benefits-coffee-women

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