Q &A: Not enough data on possible effects of stevia

Stevia is found in products like soda and iced tea, sweetener packets and foods marketed as low sugar, such as ice cream and yogurt.
Stevia is found in products like soda and iced tea, sweetener packets and foods marketed as low sugar, such as ice cream and yogurt. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Q Are there any downsides to the sweetener stevia? Is it associated with negative effects or gastrointestinal symptoms? Does it cause sugar cravings if you've given up sugar?

A Major health and food safety organisations generally regard stevia, a sweetener made from a plant native to South America, as safe. But some researchers warn that we don't have enough evidence to fully understand how products like stevia, so-called non-nutritive sweeteners that have no calories, affect the body.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2018, with the headline 'Q &A: Not enough data on possible effects of stevia'. Print Edition | Subscribe