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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Problems with New Sweetener

UPDATE: August 2010
Here's a toxic sweetener you most likely had never heard of, but I would caution you to make sure you do not ingest it:
HealthEdge's NaturallySweet 
This is manufactured by these folks.

Truvia, Purevia, Zevia, Zerose, Zsweet are marketing names for this artificially blended  erythritol and rebiana mix.  Rebiana is a chemically modified form of  stevia, it is NOT pure stevia.

UPDATE 4, Consumer complaints regarding Truvia

UPDATE 3, 23 December 08: A reader comments on Erythritol as not causing her any problems as noted in our researcher's report. Just like all substances, the ingestion of a substance needs to be in the right form, the right amount, et al, and the effect and outcomes are individual. Please realize that our researcher is a former FDA investigator who has an indepth background in the sciences necessary to make such statements. Please note that the artificial sweeteners referred to, Truvia (Cargill) and PureVia(Whole Earth Sweeteners) are manufactured by these agribusness corporations with an extract of stevia (rebiana)and erythritol and are NOT whole leaf stevia or pure(whole leaf)stevia extract.

UPDATE 2, 22 December 08: Please note that contrary to other reports you may be reading, the FDA DID NOT APPROVE STEVIA. The FDA, in cahoots with Cargill and Coke, approved a synthesized product - as reported originally in this article - manufactured with rebiana (an extract from Stevia) and erythritol (a sugar alcohol).

As Dr. Evangelista states (quoted below): "DO NOT CONFUSE REBIANA (TRUVIA) WITH STEVIA"

UPDATE 1, 20 December 08: Zerose is the Cargill synthesized artificial sweetener made from stevia and erythritol. Zsweet is a similar product in UK and EU. There are numerous scientific studies presenting that this, and related products such as Truvia, may lead to calcium, potassium and phosphate loss with calcification (and lesions) in the kidneys (just like Splenda) and bowel alterations. Please read more.

As to Zevia soda, it seems to me to be quite irresponsible on the part of the company CEO (an attorney)to make the following quote, "Why not supplement a steady breast milk diet with some refreshing ZEVIA?" This quote is associated with a photo of an infant being fed soda by the mother on the company blog. I would suggest the mother is irresponsible as well. While the company web site does not state that Zerose is the sweetener used in their products it does mention that eryrithritol is an ingredient.

I am sure this fellow was not in my 'Social Responsibility of Business' class in grad school.

We suggest Just Like Sugar, unaltered Stevia (order the extract via the Starwest link on this page) and Agave.

We do not endorse the use aspartame or sucralose or any forms of these chemicals, first developed as inseticides, or any products containing them, as they are known toxins to human health, nor do we endorse the use of acesulfame K.
The news this morning on NPR seems to be focused on helping you be in the spin on 'rebiana'(Truvia) and how it is "just stevia".

Coke (using Truvia) and Pepsi (using PureVia) are marketing this new artificial sweetener in their beverages but apparently aren't open to presenting both sides of the story.

Even the one TV ad I saw recently for "Truvia" would lead you to believe that this is a safe and natural additive.

Zevia(a soda), because it contains erythritol, may also have similar problems.

The problem is that is may come from natural sources but it is an extracted and modified chemical when it comes out the other end.

Do not confuse this with pure stevia, it is a combination of chemicals with a dab of the stevia plant. Stevia itself is a sweetener and yet they are using Erythritol which is a sugar alcohol known to cause such things as bloating, diarrhea and cramps. That tells you they are not using much stevia. Nor are they removing the poisonous aspartame from Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi. They are simply trying to satisfy a part of the population that knows how deadly aspartame is and wants to use something else.

Notice this sentence: "Stevia was not approved as a food additive by U.S. regulators, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued letters to the companies on Wednesday saying it had no objections to their sweeteners, which are derived from the plant." The FDA has made themselves clear. Industry can do anything they please but they have no intention of approving something safe for the general public. They don't want to displease the aspartame industry who is powerful and takes care of those who defend their poison. Make sure you understand this is a combination of sweeteners and chemicals and not real stevia. The pop companies feel "a dab will do you, so just buy our product regardless of how its made". The public again will be the guinea pigs and lab rats. Also, see the admission that Pepsi's Purevia is being developed with Merisant, an aspartame manufacturer. Nobody should use these products until they are analyzed. Industry is constantly adding small amounts of aspartame because its addictive. If they do this to these products aspartame victims will react because aspartame is so poisonous it causes chemical hypersensitization.
Lab Tests Point to Problems with New Sweetener
Consumer group says product can increase cancer risk
September 2, 2008

A consumer group says a new commercial sweetner, said to be 200 times sweeter than sugar, may cause health problems and needs more study. Coca-Cola and Pepsi are planning to introduce new drinks made with the sweetner, rebiana, an extract of stevia leaves.

In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says the agency should require additional tests, including a key animal study, before accepting rebiana as Generally Regarded as Safe, or GRAS.

The letter cites a new 26-page report by toxicologists at the University of California, Los Angeles, several, though not all, laboratory tests show that the sweetener causes mutations and DNA damage, which raises the prospect that it causes cancer.

"A safe, natural, high-potency sweetener would be a welcome addition to the food supply," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "But the FDA needs to be as sure as possible that rebiana is safe before allowing it into foods that would be consumed by tens of millions of people. It would be tragic if the sweetener turned out to cause cancer or other problems."

One key animal study has not been conducted, according to the UCLA experts and CSPI. The FDA's guidelines advise testing prospective major new food additives on two rodent species, usually rats and mice. The new sweetener has only been tested on rats, but not mice.

The toxicologists' report said that because several studies found mutations and DNA damage, a lifetime mouse study designed to evaluate the risk of carcinogenicity and other health problems was particularly important.

The UCLA toxicologists emphasized the need for more genotoxicity tests, because of the evidence that derivatives of stevia that are closely related to rebiana damage DNA and chromosomes.

Their report noted that much of the recent research on rebiana was sponsored by Cargill and urged the FDA to obtain independently conducted tests to ensure that corporate biases don't influence the design, conduct, or results of the tests.

Rebiana is shorthand for rebaudioside A, a component of stevia. It is obtained from the leaves of a shrub native to Brazil and Paraguay. Coke, Pepsi, and other companies are excited about rebiana, because it supposedly tastes better than crude stevia, which is sold as a dietary supplement in health-food stores.

After all the controversies pertaining to saccharin, aspartame, and other artificial sweeteners, the food industry expects many calorie-conscious consumers to eagerly opt for this natural sweetener.

Two companies -- Cargill and Merisant -- have told the FDA that rebiana should be considered GRAS, a category given less scrutiny by the FDA than ordinary food additives. A third company, Wisdom Natural Brands, has declared that its stevia-based sweetener is GRAS and will market it without giving evidence to, or even notifying, the FDA. That company gave CSPI only a heavily redacted report prepared by scientists it hired to declare its stevia derivative, which is of unknown purity, is safe.

Stevia is legal in foods in Japan and several other countries, but the United States, Canada, and the European Union bar stevia in foods because of older tests that suggested it might interfere with reproduction. New tests sponsored by Cargill did not find such problems.

"I am not saying that rebiana is harmful, but it should not be marketed until new studies establish that it is safe," Jacobson said.

Cargill's version of rebiana is called Truvia and would be used by Coca-Cola. Pepsi's version is called PureVia and is produced by Merisant's Whole Earth Sweetener division. Merisant is best known for marketing the Equal brand of aspartame.

CSPI has not questioned the safety of two artificial sweeteners, sucralose (Splenda) and neotame, but says that suggestive evidence indicates that saccharin, aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), and acesulfame-K pose small risks of cancer.

"The whole issue of what gets GRAS status needs to be reviewed by Congress," Jacobson said. "It's crazy that companies can just hire a few consultants to bless their new ingredients and rush them to market without any opportunity for the FDA and the public to review all the safety evidence."

Two of the most harmful ingredients in the food supply are considered GRAS: salt, which raises blood pressure and causes thousands of unnecessary heart attacks and strokes every year, and partially hydrogenated oil, which is the source of artery-clogging artificial trans fat. CSPI has long campaigned to get partially hydrogenated oil out of the food supply and to reduce salt to safe levels.
From Consumer Affairs


Linilla said...

Thanks for this post! I am allergic to yeast and tried Truvia, not realizing that erythritol is fermented from glucose and yeast. The result was diarrhea.

Some bloggers are enthusiastically saying that Truvia is natural. I wonder if they are paid to write that? It is a much more processed sweetener than stevia.

Anonymous said...

Cid Botanicals stevia comes from where the plant is originally from the jungles of Paraguay, unlike most of the other stevias that are made from genetically modified plants from China. They are a little more expensive, but that’s the price one pays for getting the real thing. Also, Cid Botanicals stevia does not contain erythritrol, which is a sugar alcohol, that still has little nutritional value and actually causes you to have a "loose stomach" if taken in large quantities.

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Anonymous said...

I just used it without looking for the ingredients on the label. I am not sure what ever possessed me to do so. The other day I decided to read the extremely fine print, in light green,(even with having trifocals I still have to squint at the tiny print. I think that the advertisement of the product and my successful times with Stevia are what caused me to believe this product is all natural. OMG will the people ever find something that is truly okay for them? I have Arthritis and pseudo gout and to think this product could interfere with, my already existing bone and joint problems, is just another discouragement! Shame on the FDA for so much deceit to the public! And Thank you ever so much for people like this investigator who are using their brains and not their lost for money and power.

Unknown said...

Usually arthritis clears up if you avoid wheat and dairy. Gout can be helped too and often healthy liver herbs and niacinamide can help.

kelly said...

That's what I've been warning in my FB and Twitter network. Many people are confused. Good job there!

Anonymous said...

I am sooo excited about your post. I have been trying to get all natural items and have been an avid label reader for years. I have many health problems, including Acid Reflux, IBS, and Gall Bladder name a few. I believe I am gluten intolerant, as I have researched it, and a lot of my problems seem to stem from what I eat. I am very low income, was buying stevia,then started to buy Truvia (excited there was a cheaper version). Now, I've just bought the Great Value version of Truvia, and I noticed it said Rebiana in the label instead of Truvia. I got curious and looked it up, and come to find out...Truvia is no good for us eiather! I am very irritated that these companies seem to only car about money and not that they are KILLING people! HELLO, and they KNOW they are doing it too! Thanks so very much! I knew the Great Value tasted even more fake like than the Truvia when I tried it. Holly

Deepthoughts said...

Thanks so much. I'm very health consciense and have a lot of health issues, some docs still trying to figure out. Food seems to be my enemy in more ways than one. I started buying stevia, switched to Truvia, thinking it was the SAME. Then, due to my income, I just tried Great Value version of Truvia. I can taste the diffrence,and it's good to know that even Truvia isn't good for me. FUNNY that the FDA or whoever doesn't sell a Stevia in the sugar isle in packets. It's all big packages that are very expensive. They are trying to kill us. The government gets more money, the more drugs we are on! SICK! Thanks so much. Holly

Anonymous said...

I was reading the ingredient list on YoCrunch yogurt that the kids are eating, and there was "REBIANA" on the ingredient list. So, I looked it up, and am not happy. We have stayed away from Truvia and other artificial sugars as much as possible, but this one took me by surprise.

John said...

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Anonymous said...

I am allergic to apartame and have learned how to avoid it.

I've consumed products with true stevia with no ill effects.

Last night I drank some flavored water that had rebiana listed as an ingredient, since it said it was a derivative of stevia on the label I wrongly assumed it would be safe for me to drink!

Not So! Within a few minutes I was experiencing bloating and gas, which became diarrhea and vomiting. I rarely ever vomit, obviously my system was rejecting this product and trying to eliminate it ASAP. I also became lightheaded and weak feeling.

I have fibromyalgia and am still feeling weak and a bit dizzy this afternoon.

Thank you so much for including the brand names this product is sold under so I can avoid it in the future.

Anonymous said...

I also tried a ZERO calorie flavored WATER beverage, that contained lots of VITAMINES. My experience after drinking half the bottle was nausea, abdomonal pain and cramps, and diarrhea. I have no problems with most other sweeteners, including aspartame, splenda, etc. I didn't really care for the (after) taste either, which is why I only drank half the bottle, thank goodness!

Anonymous said...

I recently bought "True Lemon" lemonade in the single serving packs to add to water. After nearly a week of intermittent bouts of sever cramps, nausea, dizziness, and diarrea I thought I had a stomach bug. I spent a day eating very modestly and felt better. Today, I added this rebiana-laced toxin to my water and within 10 minutes and 4 oz. I had severe pains again. I, too, made the error of believing that this stevia derivative was harmless! Be wary!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I resently bought a store brand of "Stevia extract" thinking it was the same as stevia but more concentrated, boy was I in for a BIG SURPRISE!!4 days of Nausea and diarrhea. NO MORE TRYING ANY ARTIFICIAL SWEETNERS !!!!!

Anonymous said...

HEB from San Antonio is selling a product called Stevia Extract with the ingredients: Erythritol, Rebiana A, Natural Flavors.
Deception now days comes in many forms. I will not buy it, I was expecting Stevia. Thank you for instructing us on these not so natural products.