I visited a cousin in NC a few days ago and his wife had made a delicious lemon pudding sweetened with Stevia. The iced tea was also sweetened with Stevia. I had never used Stevia but did not hesitate to eat the dessert. I thought it would be safe to do so. I had had a 60 carb meal 30 minutes earlier at a restaurant. Two hours after the dessert my BG was 114, at 5 PM it was 79, at 9 PM it was 62 and at bedtime it was 68. I ate glucose tabs but they did not seem to help. Then at midnight it was 181 and at 3 AM it was 286. I have researched Stevia and I now realize that it slows down the absorption of glucose into the blood stream. My insulin was working on schedule but the carbs and glucose tabs were held back by the Stevia. Then at midnight the Stevia was no longer effective and the bolus insulin was out of my system. That resulted in very high BG’s.
I will never again use Stevia. I suggest that Type 1’s should never use Stevia. A Type 2 who is NOT insulin dependent can use Stevia safely since there is no insulin injected that will cause the low BG’s after the meal.
One article contained the following statement:
“In South America, stevia has been used to lower blood sugar in individuals with diabetes. Evidence from laboratory and animal studies seems to show that stevia may help to control blood sugar levels by delaying the absorption of sugar from the intestines. It may also improve insulin sensitivity, which is the ability of the body to use insulin.”
This implies, to me, that a delay in absorption of glucose/sugar and a possible increase in insulin sensitivity may be double trouble to someone who has injected/bolused insulin and then eats a meal containing Stevia. Small amounts of Stevia may not be so bad but the dessert and tea combined in my meal contained a significant amount of Stevia. It does seem strange though that the Stevia delayed the absorption of my glucose for eight hours. Maybe my age contributed to that. The delay may be much less for other individuals.
Here is the complete article:
Note that the article states that there may be several benifits provided by Stevia, including lowering blood pressure.