"Stevia opens opportunities to combat diabetes"

Researchers at Leuven University have discovered an explanation for the way the sugar replacement stevia keeps blood sugar levels in check. They say that their results open the way for the development of new treatments for diabetes as well as an opportunity to prevent the disease.
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Researchers Koenraad Philippaert and Rudi Vennekens showed that active components in stevia strengthen the workings of the cation channel TRPM5. This ensures that the pancreas discharges enough insulin preventing abnormally high blood values and the development of type 2 diabetes.

The scientists were able to prove that mice that eat a lot are protected against diabetes by a daily dose of stevia. Strengthening the operation of TRPM5 stimulates taste perception explaining the sweet taste of stevia and its bitter aftertaste.

However, researcher Koenraad Philippaert warns that despite the opportunities a lot of work still needs to be done.

"This is fundamental research. Other studies will have to show whether our findings are valid for humans too. New drugs will not be available tomorrow."