Diabetes is one of the largest global health emergencies. It is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and, over time, leads to serious damage to many of the body's systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels. According to International Diabetes Federation (IDF), approximately 463 million adults (20-79 years) were living with diabetes in 2019, expected to reach 700 million by 2045. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2018, 34.2 million people of all ages or 10.5% of the U.S. population—had diabetes.
An increase in blood glucose levels can affect the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and teeth. It is also said to have resulted in developing infections in individuals. In most developed countries, diabetes is one of the significant reasons for cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower limb amputation. Moreover, there is an increasing prevalence of obesity. According to the WHO study, worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. If the current trend continues, then by 2025, 2.7 billion adults are estimated to be overweight, over 1 billion affected by obesity, and 177 million adults severely affected by obesity.
Type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset) results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin. The majority of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity. Stevia is a low-calorie sweetener that has antioxidant and anti-diabetic properties. It has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Unlike artificial sweeteners and sugar, stevia can suppress plasma glucose levels and significantly increase glucose tolerance. It is not an artificial sweetener, technically speaking, because it is made from the leaves of the steviaplant.
Increasing health concerns regarding diabetes have forced most of the population to adopt healthy living, including sugar-reduced and low-calorie food. This has resulted in applying natural sweeteners with low-calorie content and low glycemic index, which directly replaces sugar without having any adverse health effects.
Stevia is among the low-calorie natural sweeteners that prevent a rise in blood sugar levels. As per the American Diabetes Association, non-nutritive sweeteners can be several hundred to several thousand times sweeter than sucrose. These benefits are increasing the adoption of stevia among diabetic patients, thereby driving the growth of the stevia market.
Functional foods, including dietary supplements incorporated with reduced sugars and other healthy ingredients, are mostly recommended to health-conscious and diabetic patients. However, the trend of clean label products attracts most of the consumer’s attention towards stevia-based products, having benefitted the diabetic patients. Thus, driving the demand for stevia.
According to Meticulous Research, the stevia market is expected to register a CAGR of 8.8% during the forecast period to reach USD 1.1 billion by 2028.