Natural Alternative Sweeteners and Diabetes Management

Curr Diab Rep. 2019 Nov 21;19(12):142. doi: 10.1007/s11892-019-1273-8.


Purpose of review: The goal of this review is to discuss the data on natural alternative sweeteners and their effects on glucose homeostasis and other metabolic parameters within the past five years. We sought to answer whether common natural alternative sweeteners have a positive or negative effect on glucose control in both human and animal models, and whether the data supports their widespread use as a tool to help reduce the prevalence of diabetes and associated comorbid conditions.

Recent findings: Recent studies suggest that natural alternative sweeteners may reduce hyperglycemia, improve lipid metabolism, and have antioxidant effects particularly in those that have baseline diabetes. Diabetes and metabolic syndrome have become a global healthcare crisis and the sugar overconsumption plays a major role. The use of artificial sweeteners has become more prevalent to improve insulin resistance in those with diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome, although the evidence does not support this result. There are however some promising data to suggest that natural alternative sweeteners may be a better alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Keywords: Diabetes; Natural alternative sweeteners; Rare sugars; Stevia; Sugar alcohols.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology*
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Plant Preparations / administration & dosage*
  • Stevia*
  • Sugar Alcohols / pharmacology
  • Sugars / pharmacology
  • Sweetening Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Sweetening Agents / pharmacology


  • Plant Preparations
  • Sugar Alcohols
  • Sugars
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Glucose