A popular sweetener commercially available in Japan is an exotic fruit extract known as luo han guo....monk fruit.

Could monk fruit be a less bitter stevia alternative?

  • 1.A study from April of 2008 found that a luo han guo extract had a powerful impact on the health of diabetic rats. When given for 4 weeks, the extract decreased blood sugar, total cholesterol, triglycerides and improved liver health in the rats. In addition, there was an increase in HDL (the “good”) cholesterol levels and protective antioxidants found in the rats livers. These results indicate that luo han guo may have a role to play in the management of diabetes and diabetic-related cardiovascular damage.
  • 2. The British Journal of Nutrition reported on another trial conducted on diabetic rats in March of 2007. This experiment lasted considerably longer (13 weeks). An improvement in insulin response and a reduction in blood sugar were found in the treated rats. There was also evidence of lower amounts of lipid peroxidation (an indication of cell damage) and urinary albumin levels in the rats receiving luo han guo. These changes suggest a protective effect on the kidneys which are sensitive to damage caused by diabetes.
  • Source about monk fruit as a stevia alternative: HealthyFellow.com.