Effects of Stevia Extract on Postprandial Glucose Response, Satiety and Energy Intake: A Three-Arm Crossover Trial

Nutrients. 2019 Dec 12;11(12):3036. doi: 10.3390/nu11123036.


Non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) are suggested to lower energy intake in the diet, but they have been paradoxically involved in the epidemic of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Stevia is the least studied sweetener. This study aims to investigate the effect of stevia on postprandial glucose levels, appetite and food intake.

Methods: 30 participants (20 females/10 males; 26.1 (10.56) years; body mass index (BMI) 23.44 (3.42) Kg/m2) took part in a three-arm crossover trial where they received preloads of water, sugar (60 g) and stevia (1 g) on three different days, followed by an ad libitum pizza lunch. Breakfast was standardised. A one-day diet diary was collected on each test day. Visual analogue scales (VAS) were used to assess subjective feelings of appetite. Blood glucose samples were collected at 30-min intervals until 120 min post lunch.

Results: Energy intake did not significantly differ between preloads for ad libitum meals (p = 0.78) and overall day (p = 0.33). VAS scores for hunger and desire to eat (DTE) were lower following stevia preload compared to water (p < 0.05). After adjusting for the sugar preload and calorie content, postprandial glucose levels did not significantly differ between interventions.

Conclusion: Stevia lowers appetite sensation and does not further increase food intake and postprandial glucose levels. It could be a useful strategy in obesity and diabetes prevention and management.

Keywords: appetite; diabetes; food intake; glucose; non-nutritive sweeteners; obesity; stevia.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Appetite / drug effects
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Energy Intake / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lunch
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Postprandial Period / drug effects
  • Satiety Response / drug effects*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Stevia*
  • Sweetening Agents / pharmacology*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Plant Extracts
  • Sweetening Agents