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Truvia side effects: is Coca Cola's stevia sweetener safe?

Truvia is produced by Cargill, a private corporation that produces ingredients for processed foods. The sweetener was first introduced by the Coca Cola Company in 2008 and can be found in a number of the company's products, including Sprite Green.


In the meantime, Pepsi has come with its own alternative, called PureVia, which is known as the main ingredient in SoBe Lifewater and also claims to be a natural sweetener carrying zero calories.

Coca Cola claims that Truvia is an all-natural sweetener, but is that really the case? We have learned that natural sweeteners such as stevia can not be patented and thus can't ensure profits. If we take a look at the ingredients, we will see the following, vague statement:

Ingredients: erythritol, rebiana, natural flavors. That's it! They don't specify in which amounts these ingredients are mixed together, but let's have a look at them one by one:

Erythritol: while Cargill describes erythritol as a zero calorie sugar substitute fermented naturally from grapes and pears, it is still a polyol, and can cause gastro-intestinal distress. Bloating, gas and diarrhea are common side effects of sugar alcohols, and since erythritol is fermented with some sort of yeast, people who are allergic to types of yeast may experience discomfort.

Rebiana: Cargill's stevia extract based on rebaudioside A, but clearly altered somehow so that the manufacturing process can be patented. Exactly how this process takes place, we can't be sure.

Natural flavors: very vague indeed. There's no real telling what they mean by this, and don't you like to know what ingredients are in your food? I sure do!


So why the suspicion about Truvia as a sweetener - leaving aside whether it's natural or artificial? Well, it seems that a lot of people are experiencing unwanted side effects upon consuming this sweetener, especially in its tabletop form which is sold in packets. 


truviaMany individuals claim that they have never experienced any problems with stevia before, but since they're using Cargill's sweetener, they have been suffering from all sorts of ailments: a bad metallic taste and bad breath, mouth sores, dizziness and headaches, muscle pains, abdominal pain and diarrhea, even insomnia! 

For now there seems to be no way of definitely pinpointing which element of the product causes these side effects, but it's best to be aware of the risks associated with the use of Truvia.

All controversy aside, the safest and healthiest way of sweetening your food and beverages, will always be stevia sweetener in the raw. So you might want to consider growing stevia yourself. That way, at least you know for sure what's on your plate or in your tea.

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