Recently, the Romanian market was overwhelmed with products that combine sugars with Stevia extract. Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni) originates from South and Central America. Stevia is related with chamomile and was used for centuries by the Guarani Indians from South America. Stevia was initially known as the “sweet plant” because in its natural form it is 20-30 times sweeter that table sugar and as an extract it has up to 300 times greater sweetening power. Although it is much sweeter than sugar, Stevia has an extremely low level of calories and does not influence at all the glycaemia.
An exponential increase of the usage of the stevia extracts in the nourishment is foreseen in the scientific world. But a negative phenomenon starts to grow. Different producers start to mix this “angel of healthy nutrition” with sugars (fructose, inulin, maltodextrine, dextrose) that are no more than some “demons of nutrition”. And the combination “angel-demon” is sold as a stevia extract with the same level of sweetness as that of the sugar!
In the modern society, paradoxically, such mixes of angels and demons are used in the nourishment. The result is slow but sure suicide.
I would like to explain more elaborate what you should understand by the “demons of nutrition”: the refined sugar and corn syrup, maltodextrine, inulin, fructose and dextrose. The refined sugar and the corn syrup rich in fructose have in present a great negative impact (obesity and chronic diseases) on the health of humans. Maltodextrine is a polysaccharide used as a food additive (thickening agent, sweetener etc.), with a 106-136 glycaemic index, twice higher than the sugar, which may disturb the equilibrium between insulin and glucagon, the two hormones that regulates the level of glucose from the blood. Maltodextrine may increase the cholesterol level from the blood and this is why the persons who have a high level of cholesterol should consult a specialist doctor before consuming products that contain this polysaccharide. As a result of the low level of purity, the Maltodextrine may sometimes cause serious allergic reactions.
Inulins are a group of oligosaccharides that contain fructose. They are part of a carbohydrate class known as fractans. From a nutritional point of view, the inulin is considered to be a soluble fibre, and because of this the consumption of large quantities leads to abdominal distension and many other secondary effects: flatulency, abdominal distension, stomach aches, diarrhoea, fatigue etc. The consumption of inulin in the form of powder or capsules is not recommended because there are many more side effects and they are stronger than in the case of the inulin from natural sources.
Fructose is almost sugar. It has been recently discovered that a high consumption of fructose affects also the particles of “bad” cholesterol, which may lead to the increase of cardiovascular diseases. Different studies have shown that fructose does not produce de sensation of satiety and thus may favour the gain of weight.
Dextrose is glucose, glucose is almost sugar, sugar means diabetes, thus…demon!
The angels of nutrition are stevia and erythritol!
The clinical studies have shown that, unlike other sweeteners, the components of stevia, steviol-glicosides respectively, may be successfully used with the patients suffering from diabetes and phenylke-tonuria. Besides the fact that the steviol-glicosides have a low calorie, they have an aroma that increases their properties, making them useful for different foods and beverages. It was demonstrated that all the stevia components (steviosides, rebaudiosides A, steviol and isosteviol) also present therapeutic properties, through their anti-hyperglycaemic, anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anti- diarrhoea, diuretic and immunomodulator actions.
This last generation sweetener is practically non-caloric and in comparison with other polyols, does not cause intestinal disturbances (the laxative effect or the well-known abdominal distensions from sorbitol, maltitol and even xylitol in large quantities), has an impeccable taste, protects the teeth (reduces the risk of cavities), dissolves very rapidly in water or other liquids. Recent studies show that erythritol is a strong antioxidant with particular properties in the human nutrition.
In conclusion, we can strongly affirm that this symbolic mixture called “angel and demon” is toxic for our health. If we desire to live healthy, the consumption of sweet that elates us must contain only the “angels of nutrition”, meaning the stevia and erythritol and not the “demons of nutrition”, respectively the refined sugar, corn syrup, inulin, maltodextrine, fructose, dextrose!
Professor Doctor Romulus Scorei
Biochemistry Laboratory –Craiova University