A study has made a possible link between erythritol and heart problems, but do stevia sweetener products contain the ingredient?
Erythritol is a naturally occurring alcohol sugar that is often used in diet and low-calorie food items and recommended to people struggling with diabetes or obesity. The FDA currently recognizes the sweetener as safe to use in human food.
In light of the recent study, let’s take a look at the sweetener stevia and whether it typically contains erythritol.
New study suggests potential link between erythritol and health risks
A study published on Monday, February 27, by Nature Medicine has linked relatively high levels of erythritol in the blood to an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
Researchers at Cleveland Clinic checked the blood erythritol levels of more than 4,000 people in the US and Europe and people with the highest level of the sugar substitute were shown to have twice the health risk for stroke, blood clot, or death compared with those with the lowest level, USA Today reports.
Animal and lab studies reportedly reinforced the idea that erythritol might cause clots, Dr. Stanley Hazen, who led the research, told the outlet.
The study authors noted that their findings are preliminary and cannot prove that erythritol directly causes blood clots.
Do Stevia products contain erythritol?
Stevia sweeteners are made from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni plant, a South American herbal shrub. Although, stevia products that you would find in a grocery store are made using a highly refined stevia leaf extract called rebaudioside A (Reb-A).
Reb-A, like many low or zero-calorie sweeteners, is much sweeter than table sugar, in this case, around 200 times sweeter. Stevia products are therefore often mixed with other ingredients to make them more palatable.
For example, Truvia, a stevia-based sweetener, does contain erythritol, although this does not mean that all similar products do.
This is also the case with some monk fruit sweeteners. Due to the intense sweetness of the refined monk fruit extract used, an ingredient such as erythritol is sometimes mixed into the product.
Is there erythritol in Stevia In The Raw?
Stevia In The Raw is a zero–calorie plant-based sweetener made from the leaves of the Stevia plant. In The Raw claims that the product “derives virtually all its sweetness from Stevia Leaf Extract, whereas some of the other stevia-based products contain added flavors.”
Fans of the sweetener may be happy to hear that it does not contain erythritol. It is however mixed with Dextrose and Maltodextrin, which are forms of glucose.
Monk Fruit In The Raw, the company’s zero-calorie sweetener made from monk fruit does however contain erythritol as well as maltodextrin.
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