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The Stevia rebaudiana plant is likely to become a major source of high-potency sweetener for the growing natural-food market. S. rebaudiana is the source of a number of sweet diterpenoid glycosides, but the major sweet constituents are rebaudioside A and stevioside. These two constituents have similar pharmacokinetic and metabolic profiles in rats and humans, and thus, studies carried out with either steviol glycoside are relevant to both. Other studies illustrate the diversity of voluntary sweet intake in mammals. This study was done using a series of two-bottle tests that compared a wide range of sweetener concentrations versus saccharin concentrations and versus water. Wistar rats displayed preferences for stevia extract and pure rebaudioside A solutions over water at a range of concentrations (0.001% to 0.3%), and their intake peak occurred at 0.1% concentration. They also preferred solutions prepared with a commercial rebaudioside A plus erythritol mixture to water, and their peak was at 2% concentration. The present study provides new information about the responses of Wistar rats to stevia compounds and commercial stevia products such as Truvia. These results could help with the appropriate dosage selection for focused behavioral and physiological studies on stevia.


Paula Núñez Martínez, Juan Argüelles Luis, Carmen Perillán Méndez. Stevia preferences in Wistar rats. Psicothema. 2016 Nov;28(4):442-447

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PMID: 27776614

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