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Stevia: A Promising Herbal Sweeteners

We live in an age of modern convenience and great advancement but mankind's ongoing battle with health disorders shows no signs of diminishing. These are the results of the fast urban artificial lifestyle, changing diet patterns, lack of exercise, stress etc which are responsible for making many in developing countries susceptible to obesity related health problems like diabetes, dyslipidemia, heart disease, hypertension, stroke etc. The most alarming of them is Diabetes. The World Health Organization(WHO) has commented that there is ' an apparent epidemic of diabetes which is strongly related to lifestyle and economic change' . India leads the world with largest number of diabetic subjects earning the dubious distinction of being termed the " diabetes capital of the world.Besides, the so called " Asian Indian Phenotype " and genetic factors, the primary driver of the epidemic of diabetes is the rapid epidemiological transition associated with changes in dietary patterns and decreased physical activity. Consumption of sugar sweetened beverages maybe one of the dietary causes of metabolic disorders such as diabetes. So, either one can stop sugar altogether and deprive oneself of the sweet goodies in life or give in to the use of low calorie sugar substitutes like Saccharin,Sucralose & Aspartame which are nothing but artificial.Moreover, recently it has been indicated that artificially sweetened beverage use on long-term basis can cause weight gain and recent epidemiological study found a relationship between aspartame and an increased frequency of brain tumors in humans raising health concerns (1).Thus, substituting sugar with low calorie, natural sweetener may be an efficacious weight management strategy (2)