Are Erythritol and Stevia Safe? A Review of the Sensational Media Coverage
According to the media coverage of a recent study, eating erythritol is dangerous and may give you a heart attack.
There’s a major detail omitted form this sensational media coverage: obese and metabolically unhealthy people convert glucose and fructose into erythritol.
Is the association with high blood levels of erythritol and cardiovascular events a result of underlying metabolic dysfunction or from high dietary intakes of erythritol? (My guess is the former, not the latter.)
Here’s a quick breakdown of science:
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00:40 Blood levels of erythritol were independently associated with a higher risk for having a future cardiovascular-related event over the course of the study.
02:40 The study did not test for erythritol consumption, just blood levels and outcomes.
05:58 Preloading with a stevia-sweetened beverage before lunch decreased post meal glucose and reduced appetite.
06:30 Consuming stevia and monk fruit favorably effects blood sugar control.
Hootman, K. C. et al. Erythritol is a pentose-phosphate pathway metabolite and associated with adiposity gain in young adults. Proc National Acad Sci 114, E4233–E4240 (2017).
Witkowski, M., Nemet, I., Alamri, H. et al. The artificial sweetener erythritol and cardiovascular event risk. Nat Med (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-023-02223-9
Stamataki, N. S. et al. Stevia Beverage Consumption prior to Lunch Reduces Appetite and Total Energy Intake without Affecting Glycemia or Attentional Bias to Food Cues: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial in Healthy Adults. J Nutrition 150, 1126–1134 (2020).
Chowdhury, A. I. et al. Effect of stevia leaves (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni) on diabetes: A systematic review and meta‐analysis of preclinical studies. Food Sci Nutrition 10, 2868–2878 (2022).