What Are the Dangers of SweetLeaf Sweetener?

SweetLeaf Sweetener is a sugar substitute that contains the naturally sweet herb stevia. Stevia leaves are 30 times sweeter than sugar in their unprocessed form and up to 300 times sweeter once processed, according to the SweetLeaf Fact Sheet. A few dangers may still be lurking around this sweetener and the stevia herb.

Side Effects

A few side effects may crop up from consuming stevia. These include feeling full and feeling nauseated.

Drug Combinations

Sweetleaf Sweetener may pose a risk when used by people who are taking drugs for diabetes or blood pressure, according to an article by the Mayo Clinic. Not enough research has been done to rule out that stevia won't cause high blood pressure or hypoglycemia if used in conjunction with diabetic or blood pressure drugs.

Pregnancy

Pregnant and breast-feeding women should avoid using Sweetleaf Sweetner or stevia, the Mayo Clinic notes, just because more research still needs to be done. It is still not known if Sweetleaf, or its component of stevia, has any ill effects on unborn or newborn children.

FDA

The Food and Drug Administration still has not approved stevia for the status of GRAS, or Generally Recognized as Safe as a food item. It has, however, issued letters of "no objection," which means it allows companies to use it in food and beverages. The FDA ruling has to be taken with a grain of salt, notes an article at Natural News, since the agency has been battling against approving stevia for years. It only moved to "no objection" on the issue once large corporations sought approval for the herb. Stevia has been and can continue to be sold legally as a dietary supplement regardless of the FDA's take on stevia as a food item.