Stevia use is trending down, Monk Fruit on the rise
Pure Therapeutics is one of the first supplement companies to completely eliminate all stevia/sugar based sweeteners from our formulas. When a sweetener is necessary (typically protein or other powders), we’ve chosen to replace Stevia with Monk Fruit. Other supplement companies are catching on and following our lead which is welcome to an industry filled with problematic ingredients. The reasons we made this change are all in the name of wellness and transparency. You should know why each ingredient is used in a supplement. This is one of our core values. Now on to the sweet stuff. Let’s first define these sweeteners… What is Stevia? Commercially available stevia sweeteners are made by processing of the stevia plant, an herb from the Asteraceae family. According to the Cleveland Clinic, Stevia is 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Surprisingly, the FDA hasn’t approved whole leaf or crude stevia extracts as a food additive. Despite being used for centuries as a natural sweetener, the FDA considers them not “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). The FDA claims that the available literature indicates stevia in its most natural form may negatively affect blood sugar. Stevia has been known to cause side effects such as bloating, nausea, and gas. It may also affect reproductive, renal, and cardiovascular systems. These are just some of the multitude of reasons Pure Therapeutics chose to eliminate its use in all our formulations - we simply do not trust this sweetener. What is Monk Fruit? Somewhat resembling a melon, Monk fruit (also known as lo han guo) is a small, green-color gourd grown on a vine in Southeast Asia. It’s believed that the fruit was first utilized by Buddhist monks in the 13th century, hence the fruit’s name. Monk fruit contains compounds that, when extracted, are natural sweeteners 300–400 times the sweetness of cane sugar but with no calories and no effect on blood sugar. Along with its sweetening capability, monk fruit has long been regarded as the “longevity fruit” thanks to its high antioxidant levels. These antioxidants - mogrosides (see 2009 study), are metabolized differently by the body than natural sugars. In the United States, sweeteners made from monk fruit are classified by the FDA as “generally recognized as safe,” (GRAS) and highly beneficial. What are some of the benefits of monk fruit?
- Sweeteners utilizing monk fruit do not impact blood sugar levels.
- With zero calories, monk fruit sweeteners do not add to to weight gain.
- Unlike Stevia and other artificial sweeteners, there’s no evidence showing monk fruit has negative side effects.
- They’re available in liquid, granule, and powder forms.
- Acts as an Anti-Inflammatory and Coolant - Ancient Chinese usage of this fruit included drinking tea made from the boiled fruit to cool the body from external and internal sources and ailments from fever to heat stroke or soothe a sore throat. This method worked because of monk fruit’s anti-inflammatory abilities.
- A 2013 study concluded mogrosides may help reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress may lead to disease. Although it’s unclear how specific monk fruit sweeteners come into play, the study shows monk fruit’s potential.