Elevated blood pressure is a major risk factor for many serious diseases.
This includes heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.
Studies have shown that taking stevioside (one of stevia’s sweet compounds) as a supplement can reduce blood pressure.
One of these studies was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 174 Chinese patients (1).
In this study, patients took either 500 mg of stevioside or placebo (dummy pill), 3 times per day.
These were the results after two years in the group taking stevioside:
In this study, the stevioside group also had a lower risk of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy, an enlarging of the heart that can be caused by elevated blood pressure. The stevioside group also had improved quality of life.
The mechanism is not well understood, but some researchers have suggested that stevioside may act by blocking calcium ion channels in cell membranes, a mechanism similar to some blood pressure lowering drugs (5).
Keep in mind that it would be hard to reach these large daily doses with regular use, so just sweetening things with a little stevia here and there probably won’t have such a potent blood pressure lowering effect.
Bottom line: Studies suggest that stevioside, one of the sweet compounds in stevia, can lower blood pressure when it is unnaturally high. However, these studies used very large doses.