Stevia…

“Stevia is a South American herb that acts as a natural, noncaloric sweetener owing to steviol glycosides which make stevia sweet.  Stevia-sweetened foods have a thin sweetness with a slow onset that can leave a strikingly bitter aftertaste (not dissimilar to artificial sweeteners like aspartame).  Stevia is popular in the natural and organic foods community because it is noncaloric, therefore considered “healthy” as it sweetens without contributing sugars to the diet, and because it is a natural alternative to non-caloric artificial sweeteners.  It has been used in Japan as a sweetener for decades.

Stevia’s Contraceptive Effects

Stevia’s traditional and folkloric use among the indigenous populations of South America is not as a sweetener, but as a contraceptive.  So stevia’s reimagining as a noncaloric sweetener for natural foods enthusiasts is relatively recent.  And there’s some evidence that stevia, does, indeed, have at least a some effect on fertility, especially when taken (you guessed it) in huge amounts, frequently. 

Studies examining the role of stevia on fertility, looked at rats and found that large daily doses of stevia given to female rats resulted in severe and long-lasting reduction in fertility and it had similar effects on male rats.  Then again, other studies found that male rats weren’t affected and neither were hamsters.  Of course, proponents of stevia are quick do downplay any hint of stevia’s contraceptive effects.”

[c/o Nourised Kitchen]

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