Question from Kathryn: Stevia has been linked to cancer in some studies. So does stevia cause cancer?
The answer is no. There is no solid evidence to prove stevia causes cancer.
But just to ease your mind I looked at a few studies and this is what I found.
~No clear evidence
The US National Cancer Institute confirms that there is no clear evidence to suggest that stevia is linked to cancer (1).
~Rats didn’t get cancer from high doses of stevia
In a long term study done on 344 rats given a diet with 5% stevia, the high intake did not show any signs of cancer after 108 weeks of ingestion (2).
~The active ingredients in stevia may actually kill cancer cells
In one recent study 36 derivatives of stevosides from stevia were put to the test on leukemia, lung, stomach and breast cancer cell lines. The study showed that the stevosides “exhibit potent cytotoxicity against the cancer cell lines” (3).
Cytotoxicity means the compound is toxic to cells. “Treating cells with the cytotoxic compound can result in a variety of cell fates. The cells may undergo necrosis, in which they lose membrane integrity and die rapidly as a result of cell lysis. The cells can stop actively growing and dividing (a decrease in cell viability), or the cells can activate a genetic program of controlled cell death”. Source
So what this means is that this recent study has shown that stevia may cause cancer cell death, not contribute to cancer. That’s the most recent study I could find Kathryn, so I hope that helps and I certainly find it convincing enough.
So does stevia cause cancer.
No it appears that it doesn’t.
And if you want to find out loads of other facts about stevia. Check out this article.
I hope this answered your question.
Do you use stevia?
1. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2012: 2212-2672.
2. Brusick DJ. A critical review of the genetic toxicity of steviol and steviol glycosides. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2008; 46: S83–S91.
3. Ukiya M, Sawada S, Kikuchi T, Kushi Y, Fukatsu M. Akihisa T. Cytotoxic and Apoptosis-Inducing Activities of Steviol and Isosteviol Derivatives against Human Cancer Cell Lines. Chemistry and Biodiversity. 2013; 10: 177-185.