Fact or Myth: Is Truvia Toxic?

This is a FACT.

Well, at least for fruit flies it is. A 2014 study published in the journal PLOS ONE showed how fruit flies fed Truvia died in less than a week—an average of 5.8 days to be exact. Flies normally live between 39 and 51 days, and the other sweeteners tested, including sucrose and corn syrup, did not affect the lifespan of the flies. It appears that the culprit is erythritol, a sugar alcohol that’s the main component of Truvia.

truviaWhat’s the Link?

Truvia is made up of 99.5% erythritol and 0.5% rebiana, an extract from the stevia plant (researchers determined that it was not the stevia extract that killed off the flies). A large food manufacturer called Cargill markets Truvia. Cargill recently came under fire for falsely labeling Truvia as “natural.” Their erythritol is derived from a yeast organism fed GMO corn maltodextrin, and as such loses its “natural” status.

CBS news reported: Erythritol, the main component of the sweetener Truvia, has a new, unexpected application—it may be used as an insecticide. …Researchers found that fruit flies fed with food that included erythritol or the erythritol-containing sweetener Truvia died much sooner than flies fed with food containing other types of sweeteners.

Truvia also affected the motor coordination of the flies before their death. Researchers hope to develop a human-safe insecticide from the Truvia compound.

Is Truvia Safe for Human Consumption?

Researchers have yet to determine if it’s an unknown toxin in erythritol or the GMO link that caused the flies death, but according to the FDA, Truvia is safe for human consumption. Although some scientists may say that a fly’s physiology is different from a human’s, and what’s dangerous for them is safe for us, it might be altogether more health-conscious to trade in the Truvia for a truly natural sweetener.

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