Truvia is a sugar substitute manufactured by the Cargill Company. It is a zero-calorie natural sweetener comprised of erythritol, natural flavors and stevia leaf extract. Stevia, native to South America, has been used for centuries as a natural sweetener.
What Exactly is Truvia?
According to the Truvia website, Truvia has three ingredients: stevia leaf extract, erythritol and natural flavors. Erythritol is a fermented sugar alcohol also developed by Cargill and the site does not elaborate on what constitutes "natural flavors."
Potential Side Effects of Truvia
There is some concern over digestive issues found with consumption of erythritol, however studies on erythritol show almost no side effects reported unless consumed at very high doses, in a single sitting, in liquid form, on an empty stomach.
According to the Truvia team: Research has shown that it can take up to at least four times the amount of erythritol to generate looser stools, compared with the level of sorbitol, a very commonly used and well tolerated sugar alcohol. What does that mean? A 220 pound person would need to consume 33 packets of Truvia natural sweetener every day to develop these types digestive issues. This proportion of dose is far beyond the expected daily use.
Truvia is intended to be consumed in small doses throughout the day and often with food. However, despite its safety and the fact that its absorption is nearly total and that human colon bacteria do not ferment it, a few study subjects reported cramping, noisy stomach churning or, more commonly, loose stool after consuming it. This pattern has been seen with many types of sugars and carbohydrates. There are just some people who may have a limit to how much they can consume without having mild, brief symptoms.
Natural Alternatives to Truvia
Every individual is different, and many people use Truvia every day without any side effects. However, individuals encountering negative side effects when using Truvia should consider using one of the many natural alternatives to sugar and processed sugar substitutes. Agave nectar, maple syrup, honey and date sugar are all natural sweeteners that make a sweet replacement for refined and processed sugars.
What Do YOU Think?
Do you use Truvia? Do you enjoy the sugar alternative? Do you experience any negative or positive side effects? Share your thoughts in the comments below.