The Effect of Stevia consumption on the stress hormone, cortisol, BP and anthropometric
(2015) The Effect of Stevia consumption on the stress hormone, cortisol, BP and anthropometric, no. 30.
Background: Stevia is a natural sourced sugar substitute containing steviol glycoside that is known to be 300 times sweeter than sucrose. It is thought to have several beneficial properties however some research evidence state it may have detrimental effects. Objectives: To investigate the beneficial or potential harmful effects of stevia consumption compared to a placebo on the stress hormone levels cortisol, BP and anthropometrical markers in healthy volunteers. Methodology: A crossover placebo controlled study that involved 12 volunteers randomly assigned to consume either Stevia or a placebo (sugar) for a week and then swap treatments. The measurements for each participant were attained on three different occasions and each volunteer was given a 3 day washout period before baseline measurements and in between interventions. Results: The ratio of cortisone: cortisol decreased from baseline to placebo in participant's urine, however it was not significant as the p value= 0.582. The cortisol levels in saliva at baseline and after each intervention were reduced. However there was no significant results shown for cortisone and cortisol levels in saliva as p value =0.364. The mean weight 74.8 ± 16.6 had reduced slightly from basal following stevia intervention and then had increased from stevia to placebo intervention. The systolic BP mean 113.9 ± 14.1 increased to 115.2±13.9 during the stevia intervention (p=0.689). The diastolic BP mean 70.6±11.6 has slightly increased to 73.5±12.7 during stevia intervention (p =0.222). Conclusion: Stevia slightly decreased weight/BMI and increase systolic and diastolic BP after stevia intervention, however no results were significant. In urine samples cortisone and cortisol levels increase however in saliva samples cortisone and cortisol levels decreased. Therefore Stevia could possibly have beneficial properties in reducing weight in individuals.