Stevia Metabolism

The backbone of all steviol glycosides is steviol, to which various glycoside (glucose) groups attach to form the variety of sweet compounds in stevia

  1. Steviol glycosides pass through the upper gastrointestinal tract fully intact.
  2. Gut bacteria in the colon hydrolyze steviol glycosides into steviol by snipping off their glucose units
  3. Steviol is then absorbed via the portal vein and primarily metabolized by the liver, forming steviol glucuronide, which is primarily excreted in the urine.
  4. Research shows that there is no accumulation of stevia (or any component or byproduct of stevia) in the body and that it passes through the body during metabolism
  5. Energy from fermentation of glucose units (usually assessed as 2 kcal/g) is so low that it is minimal, and so, effectively, stevia can be said to provide zero calories.