Artificial Sweetener Warning


WBF Founding Member & Super Moderator
Apr 20, 2010
Albuquerque, NM
NO, I'm not one of those folks who gets freaked out by conflicting reports of side effects.

Since this is the coffee forum, you should be aware that Starbucks (and probably others) are now offering Truvia sweetener in their coffees. Our next door neighbor called us late last night (we're both in medicine) and begged for help. She described her problem to my wife, who immediately began gathering various medications and topical creams to treat an allergic contact dermatitis. She went next door and the neighbor was covered in rash. The benadryl, etc. did very little but slow the progression of symptoms.

She was seen early in the AM and got steroid and epinephrine injections. Her hands/fingers had swollen so badly the ER staff had to cut off her wedding rings. It turns out she is allergic to stevia (apparently similar to ragweed), from which the Truvia sweetener is derived. She drank only a few sips of the Starbucks frappe in which the Truvia was used. She got nauseous, then threw up. We credit this with removing most of the Truvia from her stomach, otherwise she may have experienced a full-blown anaphylaxis.

So, the morale is to be aware of any existing plant allergies you have and to know what any substitute sweetener you choose contains and its plant origins.


There is a wide variety of adverse side effects being reported, but no substantial studies yet. Simply be aware of how you feel when using these products.



Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
New York City

That's a sad but not unusual story nowadays. Many people have food allergies and have to often ask say if there's some form of shellfish in the dish they're contemplating ordering; or allergy to say peanuts.

I've noticed for instance, when I've gone out lately and order say a tasting menu, the waiter will now ask if there are any food allergies.

But have to admit, handn't heard about the sweetner and will now look for more info or reports about it!


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