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Preliminary analysis of the effect of Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) in patients with chronic kidney disease (stage I to stage III)

Background: Stevia, Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni), has become an important economic plant for its commercial use as a sweetener. Stevia plays a significant role in the healthcare practice of different cultures and in population.Previous animal and clinical studies demonstrated the efficacy of Stevia against chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. This study aimed to investigate the beneficial effect of Stevia in chronic kidney disease (CKD)patients after three (3) months of treatment along with the conventional antihypertensive and anti diabetic medications.

Methods: A prospective, interventional, randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled trial has been done with 97participants. Stevia capsule (250 mg) or matching placebo was given to the participants twice daily along withAngiotensin-II Receptor Blocker (ARB) and/or Ca2+ Channel Blocker (CCB). First follow up visits were done after 3 months of the interval. Blood and urine samples were collected for the biochemical tests. A structured questionnaire was used for the baseline assessment. Informed consent was taken from each participant.

Results: Both hypertension and diabetes were found to be associated with CKD. Most of the participants (52.3%)of Stevia group were in CKD Stage II. Significant changes were found in Serum creatinine (p < 0.027), SerumUric acid (p < 0.009), Fasting blood sugar (p < 0.041) and Postprandial blood sugar (p < 0.013) and Microalbumin (p < 0.041) level in the treatment group.

Conclusion: The initial result demonstrated that Stevia has the potential for a significant improvement of some biochemical parameters in CKD patients. After completion of the nine (9) months clinical trial, the constructive effect of Stevia can be confirmed in this group of patients.