92 FDA listed symptoms ­­­ INCLUDING DEATH!)

(07/98) A few words by Dr. Julian Whitaker on the FDA's

     Stevia is a natural, non-caloric, sweet-tasting plant used around the world for its pleasant taste, as well as for its increasingly researched potential for inhibiting fat absorption and lowering blood pressure.   Despite its centuries-old use without reported toxicity in Latin America and Asia, including Japan, the FDA decided in 1991 that Stevia was an unsafe food additive and ordered all imports seized.   The U.S. sugar industry breathed easier, and the market for non-caloric sweeteners was made once more safe for the chemical producers.   The consumer was left with the choice of the empty calories of sugar, or the high side effects of the chemical substitutes.
     To the rescue, the 1994 DSHEA legislation gave the (previous) leading importer of Stevia enough leverage to place a legal Hobson's choice before the FDA: Admit Stevia was safe (which would expose the food additive market) or admit it as a previously-sold dietary supplement with no evidence of toxicity.   The FDA took the line of least resistance and declared it admissible as a dietary supplement, but not as a food additive.   When the cheering of the sugar industry and the producers of Nutrasweet and Sweet'N Low dies down, it will be interesting to see how the FDA can maintain that a natural product deemed safe as a supplement can be unsafe as a food additive, especially for a market dominated by notoriously high side-effect chemical products.

Sidebar "Stevia Leaf - Too Good To Be Legal?" article.

* NOTE: If you are a diabetic, it is important to work closely with *
* your healthcare practitioner when you change your diet. *
* Diabetics can safely use STEVIA (listed below) and usually *
* Some diabetics who are allowed to use small amounts of *
* and also use small amounts of Sucanat or Florida Crystals *
* listed below. Please consult your healthcare practitioner. *
In addition, you might want to check out something called the "The Glycemic Index" page written by Rick Mendosa and Tere Griffin. This makes interesting reading for everyone.

     The FDAs import alert allows stevia to be sold only if labeled as a dietary supplement-not as a sweetener.   But (just between you and us) once you buy it, you can go ahead and use it however youd like.   Add a pinch of dried leaves to your favorite tea, and it tastes like you added a spoonful of honey.   The liquid extracts and powders can be used in cooking and as tabletop sweeteners.
Note: Because of its intense sweetness, the powdered extract is often mixed with water and used by the drop.   (Betty Martini, of Mission Possible, prefers the liquid form.)
Note:     Aspartame stinks!   A possible alternative, with an equally bad track record at the FDA (inadequate/flawed studies) is Acesulfame K, sold commercially as Sunnet or Sweet One.   I have no affiliations with any of the sources on this page, and do not recommend for or against any of them.   They are listed here purely for convenience.   If anyone has information on other sources, send me the particulars.

For The Record!

     I received a sample of STEVIA on Wednesday, 8/28/96 and after reading the literature I decided to give it a try.   The first test was a simple "put-a-drop-on-the-finger" taste-test.   The sensation was pleasant, and very much like sugar, with no unpleasant aftertaste.   Then I preceded to the next step.   I put around quarter of a cup of tap water into each of two small glasses.   To one I mixed in one teaspoon of normal sugar.   To the other I added five drops of stevia.   My wife, grandson and I then gave it the taste test and we all agreed that it tasted a bit sweet.   However, not until I had used around fifteen drops of stevia did the "sweetness" approach that of the sugar water.   My next test was to pour myself a typical 12 ounce thermo-mug of strong coffee (four measures in a ten-cup automatic-drip coffee maker).   In my estimation, and this is strictly subjective on my part, it took way too many drops to equal the sweetness of sugar at which point it had a distinct licorice aftertaste that I didn't like in a beverage.

     So, until they get the calories out of sugar it seems that I have one of two choices.   Use sugar, or stop drinking coffee.   Both are probably good ideas!   During the past year I have begun to drink much less coffee, especially in the afternoon and evenings, because the caffeine coupled with my strong pains made it too difficult to get some sleep.   Instead, I drank herbal teas or hot chocolate.


     Everyone's taste buds are different, and acquired tastes make a difference, too.   As a matter of fact, Betty Martini and a number of others say they enjoy stevia in a wide variety of uses.   So, don't let my experience dissuade you from giving this natural substance a try.

Alternative natural sweeteners

Other Sweeteners
(Read a guide for "other" alternative sweeteners)
2. Sucanat -- Whole cane sugar with water removed. You can get sucanat products mail order from Purity Foods (800/997-7358). Nutra Cane (603/672-2801) distributes sucanat in the US. Also, a company called Florida Crystals sells this product. Still sugar, as far as diabetics are concerned, but it contains a small amount vitamins and minerals which helps reduce some of the negative effects found in long term use of white sugar. 3. Barley Malt -- Sunspire (510/569-9731) sells a malted barley product. Some people are sensitive to barley malt. However, they may have been sensitive to the malt because MSG is often hidden in the "malt" in processed foods. 4. Fruit Juice If you shop at a natural foods store, you will notice that many products are sweetened with fruit juice. R.W. Knudsen sodas for example taste almost as sweet as junky soda, but are made with fruit juice and carbonated water. So you get the vitamins and minerals and avoid the junk that usually comes in typical sodas. Natural jellos can be made with water, fruit juice and agar-agar as another example of using fruit juice as a sweetener. 5. Honey -- It may have contaminants, however, especially if it is imported. Be certain of the source and quality before using it regularly. Honey should never be given to infant and very young children. 6. Rice Syrup and Yinnie Syrup are often found at natural food stores. 7. Licorice Root Licorice root is one of the most commonly used herbs in the world. No serious adverse reactions have been published about licorice root. *Single* chemical extracts have caused serious adverse reactions on occasion when used in medicine or candy, but the whole root does not cause these serious reactions. A single chemical extract of glycyrrhizin from licorice root causes the blood level of this chemical to rise dramatically. This does not happen to when whole licorice root is taken in reasonable amounts. (See Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 102, Supplement 9, November 1994, 65-68.) See the book, "The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine" by Dr. Daniel B. Mowrey for a more detailed discussion of licorice root. Most herbalists believe that it is wise to avoid excessive and long-term use of licorice root. Many herbalists believe that long-term use can cause water retention and hypertension in some people. Licorice root is safe for diabetics, but I would *not* use it as a primary sweetener. Stevia may be better choice for diabetics. As an example, you may want to consider using stevia and also use fruit juice, small amounts of licorice root in tea, amasake, etc. so that you get variety in your diet. Licorice root is best used in small amounts to give herbal teas a sweet taste. 8. Amasake -- Made from sweet brown rice, brown rice and koji (starter). The koji breaks down the polysaccharides in the rice to disarracharies giving it a very sweet taste. Most natural food stores have amasake drinks which you can try -- or you can make it yourself. Try to avoid drinking too much of the amasake drinks made with almonds or nuts as they can be hard on the digestion. 9. Other herbs -- There are a number of plants which can be used as a sweetener. Stevia is just one of the more popular ones. Perhaps Consumer Direct can help in that area. 10. Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) -- Another very useful product for Candida overgrowth patients as it supports the growth of beneficial bacteria. It is a little expensive in large amounts. You can purchase it from: Allergy Research Group/Nutricology P.O. Box 489 400 Preda Street San Leandro, CA 94577 (510) 639-4572 (800) 545-9960 (info) (800) 782-4274 (orders)
Gradually reduce or eliminate: White Sugar Brown Sugar -- Brown sugar is usually white sugar mixed with molasses or sprayed with caramel coloring. Raw Sugar -- Raw sugar is often white sugar with coloring. Fructose -- Betware the "natural" products with fructose. It's not much better than white sugar (IMO). Corn Syrup Dextrose Artificial Sweeteners (Nutrasweet (aspartame), Equal, Spoonful, Sunette (Acesulfame-k), Splenda (Sucralose), Sweetener 2000), Neotame -- Avoid these like the plague. Please don't become a guinea pig for another poorly-tested toxic sweetener only to find out years from now that it contributed to the destruction of your health. Important Note: MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) has some of the same toxicity mechanisms as the toxic sweetener aspartame. In order to cut out MSG, you need to remove foods with the following ingredients: - Monosodium glutamate - hydrolyzed proteins (any type of hydrolyzed protein) - autolyzed yeast - yeast extract - caseinate (in many cases) - "Natural Flavors" MSG that occurs naturally in tomatoes, cheese, etc. is absorbed and metabolized differently (safely) due to other factors in the food. See the following web page for more information.
MORE ON SPLENDA (5/28/97 Source Mark Gold) Animal research has shown up to 40% shrinkage in thymus glands, caecal enlargement and renal mineralization. These effects may or may not be a problem in long-term ingestion of sucralose by humans. Industry researchers have tried to explain away these findings, and in some cases they may be making reasonable points, but it is difficult to be sure because the research has been 1) inadequate and 2) largely controlled by the manufacturers (both problems reminiscent of aspartame "research"). See "New Scientist" (23 November 1991, page 13) for some information. 7/2001: See also

Nutritional and Medicinal Uses, by Daniel Mowrey, Ph.D. ("Life with Stevia: How Sweet It Is!")

What Doctor's Are Saying About Stevia

Castleweb on stevia and diabetes

Links to books and other sites:
Other sites: More concerned citizens
Links to sites with books on aspartame.
Links to Mark Gold's huge aspartame site.
The DORway ... a large number of resources on aspartame ...