Assessment of the carcinogenicity of stevioside in F344 rats

Food Chem Toxicol. 1997 Jun;35(6):597-603. doi: 10.1016/s0278-6915(97)00023-9.


The carcinogenic potential of stevioside, a compound that is used as a sweetener for food and drink, was examined in F344 rats of both sexes. Stevioside was added to powdered diet at concentrations of 0 (control), 2.5 and 5%. The doses were selected on the basis of results from a 13-wk subchronic toxicity study and administered to groups of 50 male and 50 female rats ad lib. for 104 wk. All surviving rats were killed at wk 108. Body weight gains were slightly depressed in line with the dose of stevioside, in both sexes, and a significant decrease in the final survival rate was observed for the 5% treated males. Histopathologically, however, there was no significantly altered development of neoplastic or non-neoplastic lesions attributable to the stevioside treatment in any organ or tissue, except for a decreased incidence of mammary adenomas in females and a reduced severity of chronic nephropathy in males. It is concluded that stevioside is not carcinogenic in F344 rats under the experimental conditions described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Carcinogenicity Tests
  • Diterpenes*
  • Diterpenes, Kaurane*
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Female
  • Glucosides / administration & dosage
  • Glucosides / chemistry
  • Glucosides / toxicity*
  • Kidney Diseases / chemically induced
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Survival Rate
  • Sweetening Agents / administration & dosage
  • Sweetening Agents / chemistry
  • Sweetening Agents / toxicity*
  • Terpenes / administration & dosage
  • Terpenes / chemistry
  • Terpenes / toxicity*


  • Diterpenes
  • Diterpenes, Kaurane
  • Glucosides
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Terpenes
  • stevioside