Sunday, September 27, 2009
TruVia and PureVia (Rebiana): The Beverage Industry's New Sugar Substitute
Both contain Rebiana which is derived from Reboside A the chemical in Stevia responsible for the sweetening effect of the plant.
It is the first sweetener used by the agribusiness and beverage industry that is not strictly a chemical. It is a derivative of the Stevia Plant. Stevia has been shown to have some positive benefits related to health. Whether or not this is translated in to newly derived sweeteners is yet to be determined.
The research conducted on Rebiana has been funded by Cargill (a chemical company conglomerate) which is the producer of this synthesized sweetener for the beverage industry.
Much of the research on Rebiana has been deemed poorly constructed scientific data.
Neither of the sweeteners TruVia and PurVia have actually been tested prior to being released by the FDA for use. The science used was that done on Rebiana itself and not the modified forms of Rebiana used by the beverage industry.
The Food and Chemical toxicology report was released at the same time as the Coca Cola PR campaign for TruVia & products containing it.
There appears to be, based on the Cargill funded research, no overtly toxic effects.
Although the research evaluates and suggests there isn't severe toxic effects, there is no research data outlining the side effects. The implications of side effects should not be dismissed lightly. Take for instance Olestra (sucrose polyester) which was a fat substitute developed by the chemical industry. Although it wasn't overtly toxic, it caused several side effects from mild to severe which could also result in nutritional deficiency resulting from malabsorption of nutrients by the body.
The moral of the story: Think Before You Drink. Perhaps these new sweeteners will prove to be the first synthesized sweeteners not to have serious health related complications and even prove to be somewhat beneficial for conditions such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Time will tell as you will be the guinea pigs determining that outcome.