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Nutritional composition of Stevia rebaudiana, a sweet herb, and its hypoglycaemic and hypolipidaemic effect on patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of diabetes is rapidly rising all over the globe at an alarming rate. India shelters the highest number of diabetics and is thus known as the ‘Diabetes Capital of the World’. The chemical management of diabetes has side\ effects and hence the present study was undertaken to assess the hypoglycaemic and hypolipidaemic effect of Stevia rebaudiana in patients with type 2 diabetes, non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Its nutritional composition and use as a
sweetener substitute were also assessed.

RESULTS: Chemical analysis of dried Stevia leaf powder revealed it to be a nutritious herb with a good iron and fibre content.
Intervention trials in diabetics revealed that it significantly lowered fasting and post-prandial blood glucose levels. The serum
triglycerides and VLDL-C levels were also significantly reduced.

CONCLUSION: Hence it can be said that Stevia can safely be used as an anti-diabetic herb, as a sweetener substitute and may
help to prevent cardiovascular diseases in patients with long-standing diabetes.