Natural sweetener Stevia rebaudiana Functionalities, health benefits and potential risks

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Victoria Peteliuk
Lesia Rybchuk
Maria Bayliak
Kenneth B. Storey
Oleh Lushchak


Stevia rebaudiana is a South American plant, the cultivation of which is increasing worldwide due to its high content of sweet compounds. Stevia sweetness is mainly due to steviol glycosides, that are ~250-300 times sweeter than sucrose. Many studies have suggested the benefits of Stevia extract over sugar and artificial sweeteners, but it is still not a very popular sugar substitute. This review summarizes current data on the biological activities of S. rebaudiana extract and its individual glycosides, including anti-hypertensive, anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial effects and improvement of kidney function. Possible side effects and toxicity of Stevia extract are also discussed.

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Peteliuk, V., Rybchuk, L., Bayliak, M., Storey, K. B., & Lushchak, O. (2021). Natural sweetener Stevia rebaudiana: Functionalities, health benefits and potential risks. EXCLI Journal, 20, 1412-1430.
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