Is Stevia Bad For Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Introduction: Is Stevia Bad For Rheumatoid Arthritis

You’ve probably heard a lot about stevia lately – it’s a natural, zero-calorie sweetener that’s become increasingly popular in recent years. This natural sweetener has been getting a lot of buzz for its many health benefits. But what about rheumatoid arthritis? Can it help with this condition? Is stevia bad for rheumatoid arthritis?

While there is no definitive “RA diet,” some foods have been shown to help reduce inflammation. These include omega-3 fatty acids, ginger, turmeric, and certain fruits and vegetables. On the other hand, certain foods may trigger RA flares or make symptoms worse – think processed foods and sugar.

So what does this have to do with stevia? Here’s what you need to know about this plant and RA.

What is Stevia

Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the stevia plant. People have used this plant as a sweetener for centuries. It’s about 200 times sweeter than sugar, but it doesn’t affect blood sugar levels. This makes this sugar leaf a popular choice for people with diabetes or people who are trying to limit their sugar intake for other reasons.

Stevia comes in several forms, including liquid extract, powder, and leaves that can be used to sweeten food or beverages. It can be found in products such as gum, candy, desserts, and baking mixes along with pre-packaged foods, like beverage mixes and yogurt. The FDA has classified stevia as generally recognized as safe (GRAS). This means that manufacturers can use it without getting prior approval from the FDA.

The Research

There’s some evidence this sweet leaf may have anti-inflammatory effects. One study found that a compound called rebaudioside A, which is found in stevia leaves, inhibited the production of inflammatory cytokines in human cells. Cytokines are proteins that play a role in the inflammatory response. While this study was done in cells, not humans, it suggests that stevia may help reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a key symptom of RA, so anything that can help reduce inflammation may also help relieve RA symptoms.

Another study found that rats given stevia leaf extract had lower levels of inflammation-causing substances in their blood compared to rats that were not given the extract. The rats given the extract also had less joint damage from RA than the control group of rats. However, these studies were conducted in test tubes or animals, so it’s not clear if the same effects would occur in humans. More research is needed to see if these results would hold true in humans, but the findings are promising.

There’s no definitive answer when it comes to stevia and RA. Some small studies have found that steviol — a component of stevia — may help reduce inflammation. However, these studies were conducted in test tubes or animals, so it’s not clear if the same effects would occur in humans.

Some evidence suggests this sweetener may help control blood sugar levels. This could theoretically be beneficial for people with RA since high blood sugar levels have been linked to an increased risk of RA flares. However, more research is needed before any conclusions can be made.

Side Effects

Yes, this natural sweetener is safe for most people. However, there’re some potential side effects that you should be aware of. These include:

– Diarrhea
– Headache
– bloating
– Nausea
– Muscle pain
– Allergic reactions (in rare cases)

If you experience any of these side effects, stop using it and consult your doctor. Always talk to your healthcare practitioner if you have any questions as they can help you make an informed decision based on your individual needs.

Conclusion: Is Stevia Bad For Rheumatoid Arthritis

More research is needed to determine whether stevia is truly effective for RA symptom relief, but preliminary studies are encouraging. You should also be sure to purchase pure stevia products; some products marketed as “stevia” may actually contain other sweeteners like sugar or corn syrup so check labels carefully!

While there is no hard scientific evidence to suggest this herbaceous plant can help with rheumatoid arthritis, some people with this condition report they find relief from symptoms after using stevia. If you decide to try it, be sure to watch for any side effects and consult your doctor if you experience any problems.

Though there’s no harm in giving stevia a shot to see if it helps with your RA, you shouldn’t expect miracles. If you don’t notice any improvement in your symptoms after using stevia for a few weeks, it’s probably not worth continuing to use it.

Have you tried stevia? What’s your experience with it? Leave a comment and let me know!


  • Susan Taylor, RDN LD

    Meet Susan, registered dietitian / nutritionist and fellow autoimmune warrior who is dedicated to helping women with autoimmune disease get their groove back. With the right diet and lifestyle changes, Susan empowers her clients to take control of their health and feel their best. When she's not busy saving the world you can find Susan strolling along the beach, jet-setting to new destinations, and soaking up quality time with family & friends.

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