Is Monk Fruit Sweetener Safe?

“Is Monk Fruit Sweetener Safe?” A number of artificial sweeteners have been FDA-approved in North America, including aspartame and sucralose (sold as Splenda). But, there are also natural high-intensity sweeteners found in plants. The global market for non-nutritive sweeteners in general, these non-caloric sweeteners, is in the billions, including all the artificial ones— and two natural ones
extracted from plants: stevia and monk fruit. I’ve done a video about stevia; what about monk fruit? The fruits of Luo Han
Guo—monk fruit in Chinese— have evidently been used for hundreds of years as a natural
sweetener and folk medicine. The non-caloric sweet taste
comes from mogrosides, a group of cucurbitane-type
triterpene glycosides that make up about 1% of the fruit, and are like hundreds of times sweeter than sugar. The mixed mogrosides
have been estimated to be about 300 times as sweet as table sugar, such that an 80% extract was nearly 250 times sweeter than sugar. If you read reviews in
Chinese natural medicine journals, you’ll see pronouncements like this: monk fruit has been shown to have anti-coughing effects, anti-asthma, anti-oxidation, liver-protection, blood sugar-lowering, immuno-regulation, and anti-cancer. But, what they don’t tell you up front is that they’re talking about reducing ammonia-induced mouse coughs. A natural food sweetener with anti-pancreatic cancer properties? Monk fruit “may be used for daily consumption as an additive in foods and drinks to prevent or
treat pancreatic cancer.” Yeah, maybe in your pet mouse. And, the anti-proliferative activity of monk fruit in colorectal cancer and throat cancer was on colorectal and throat cancer cells in a petri dish. Now, they did show mogrosides killing off colorectal cancer cells
and throat cancer cells, and our digestive tract could be directly exposed to these compounds if we ate them, but what’s missing? Right, they didn’t test it
against normal cells. You could pee in a petri dish and kill off cancer cells. The whole point is to find something that kills off cancer but leaves normal cells alone, something that they weren’t able to show here. Are there any human
studies on monk fruit? No, … until now. Owing to the rapidly growing popularity of natural plant-based sweeteners, they thought it would be of interest to determine whether natural sweeteners would be a healthier alternative to sugar or artificial sweeteners. So, they randomized people to drink an aspartame sweetened beverage versus monk fruit sweetened, versus stevia versus table sugar. And then they measured blood sugars over 24 hours, and there was no significant difference found between any of them. But, wait a second. The sugar group was given
16 spoonfuls of sugar, the amount of added sugar in a 20-ounce bottle of Coke. So, the other three groups consumed 16 less spoonfuls of sugar and still had the same
average blood sugars? But, table sugar causes a big blood sugar spike. Here it is; I’ll show you. Drink that bottle of sugar water with its 20 sugar cubes worth of sugar, and your blood sugars jump 40 points over the next hour. Whereas, you give them an aspartame sweetened beverage, or monk fruit, or stevia, and nothing happens, which is what you’d expect, right? These are non-caloric sweeteners, no calories. It’s just like you’re drinking water, right? So, how could your daily blood sugar values average out the same? The only way that could happen is if the non-calorie sweeteners maybe made your blood sugar spikes worse somehow later in the day? Look what happens when you give people Splenda mixed with sugar water. You get a greater blood sugar spike, a greater insulin spike chugging the sugar with sucralose than without, even though Splenda alone causes no spike of its own. So, does aspartame do the same thing? At the one-hour mark, they fed people a regular lunch. And, so, the blood sugars went back up and down as they normally would after a meal. Not spiking as high as drinking straight sugar water, just a gentle up and down. OK, but that was in the group that drank the sugar an hour before. In the group that drank the aspartame, even though their blood sugars didn’t rise at the time, an hour later at lunch, they shot up higher, as if the person had just drank a bottle of soda. OK, but what about the natural sweeteners, stevia and monk fruit? Same thing. Same exaggerated blood sugar spike to a regular meal taken an hour later. So, you can see how it all equals out in terms of average blood sugars even though in these three non-caloric sweetener groups, they took in 16 spoonfuls less sugar, at least in part because they ate more. After drinking a Diet Coke,
you’re more likely to eat more at your next meal than drinking a regular Coke. In fact, so much more
that the energy ‘saved’ from replacing sugar with non-caloric sweeteners was fully compensated for at a subsequent meal; hence, no difference in total daily calorie intake was found. The sugar-sweetened beverage led to large spikes in both blood
sugar and insulin, whereas these responses were higher for the three other beverages following the lunch later. So, when it came to calorie intake, or blood sugars, or insulin spikes, they were all just as bad.

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Reader Comments

  1. Kyle Kelly

    Youre joking right? Splenda has dextrose and maltodextrin as additives of course it will spike blood sugar! How about doing a study on liquid sucralose like found in all those water enhancers which i have been using religiously everyday for the last 8 months on a keto diet and yet somehow I have managed to lose 70 lbs…

  2. Matthew Niedbala

    Can someone like this so he mentions these high-antioxidant foods:
    black sorghum
    purple corn
    sumac sorghum
    yellow corn
    einkorn wheat

  3. GreGuaR

    What about the Japanese Natto that prevents skin wrinkling and loss of bone mass? What does the literature say about that? Can you make a video about it?

  4. Pat Dawkins

    My husband ingested Diet Coke throughout the day for years. He developed esophageal cancer and died age 63. He was diabetic. He “craved” Diet Coke ( with Aspertame).

  5. Casey Hunter

    Were the sweeteners actually doing something to spike blood sugar when calories were later consumed or was blood sugar spike just because those people were eating more?

  6. Vince C

    QUESTION: Would water alone give the same spike in blood sugar as much as the zero calorie 'flavored' drinks after the lunch later???

  7. Najeeb Sheikh

    But that did not answer the question whether it is "safe". Regardless of that, why was lunch ad libitum? They should all have been given the same lunch for a fair test.

  8. Ysp

    Interesting stuff. I stopped using sugar in my coffee and tea a while ago and I'm noticing how I don't have these sugar crashes anymore in the late afternoon. People keep telling me I can use stevia or something like that, but I had the feeling just plain coffee (with oat milk) and plain tea (with nothing, because I saw the video about how milk ruins the good effects of tea and I figure it's the same with plant milk) is better. I wasn't sure, until now. Thank you for the info!
    Edit: After reading a lot of the comments I thought of this: Our sense of taste has been corrupted from early on in life by eating too many sweet things. I was using 2 teaspoons of raw cane sugar in my coffee and 1 tea spoon in my tea until a few months ago. It used to be 3 teaspoons in the coffee and 2 in the tea, but I brought that down already a while ago. About 3 months ago, I quit the sugar completely. I already don't eat processed foods, I don't eat cookies, I don't eat sugary breakfast cereals, etc. But the first 3 weeks of no sugar, it felt like giving up a drug. I was cranky from it, I hated the taste of the coffee and the tea, it tasted bitter, it was horrible. But I had promised myself to keep it up for at least a month. And on day 23 I noticed I didn't completely hate the flavor of the tea anymore. After about 6 weeks, I started noticing that especially the tea started to taste better, I was more aware of the whole flavor bouquet in the tea and it started to appeal to me. Right now when I drink a cup of tea I like it again and I don't miss the sugary taste anymore. Whenever I eat something that has sugar in it, it tastes much sweeter to me than it used to, often not in a nice way. I taste the sweetness in a carrot, apples have become a real treat to me, I taste sugar in everything. It's like my brain has learned to find sugar somewhere else. I'm glad I quit using sugar in my coffee and tea and I can really recommend it to people. Just give it a lot of time to get used to, don't give up after a week, it takes longer than that, but it's worth it.

  9. April Hall

    Well, he didn't actually answer the question of whether monk fruit sweetener is safe, just discussing study about it's effects on blood sugar. It should be titled, "the effect of monk fruit sweetener on blood sugar".

  10. DingLabs

    What if they drank plain water, would they have had the exact same large spike later in the day, meaning the artificial sweeteners are as harmless as water?

  11. Edrao Morc

    Hilarious. By this logic, even drinking a glass of water would probably cause a spike in blood sugar and cause you to eat more food.

  12. kemicbi

    Yeah I don't get, do you mean the non sugar sweeteners were increasing people appetite which would result in them consuming more calories not an issue if you stick to a balanced diet

  13. Laurie Paris

    This study bears out a casual observation of mine, in that humans who maintain a stable "set" weigh, tend to self- regulate their caloric intake almost intuitively. So if the are deficient in calories in one meal, they will make up for it in another, and visa versa.
    My take away from this video, is that if you are looking to lose weight, and use sweeteners, don't rely on your normal satiety after a meal, instead carefully plan your meals to create a caloric deficit or just "Hara hachi bu"… eat until ALMOST full .

  14. Jeff L

    The video here as well as the original article on the study are both misleading.

    I share how here:

  15. Zee Zag

    Please please please check this out Dr. Greger
    Chris Walker is someone who I follow his videos and studies almost religiously, and when it started to come towards beans I started to hesitate
    I don't consume soy for several reasons, but I do consume a lot of other kinds of beans on a daily basis as an athletic vegan
    Hormonal balance is something crucial to me, and when he starts to talk about depression of thyroid, reproductive, and elevation of stress hormones… all of this from the consumption of beans, THIS SCARES THE SHIT OUT OF ME
    I thought it's about the omega6 in the beans, and researched until I found that "urad dal / mungo beans" have amazing ratio of omega3 to omeag6
    But now he talks about prolectins, goitrogenic compounds, phytoestrogen thats fucks up our hormones in a way or another, and phytic acid as well

    So please doctor, for the sake of putting an end to this, do some studies and show us any papers, researches, journals that either support his theory or put it down completely

    Thanks a lot

  16. maremacd

    So, if I use stevia and have enough self control not to overeat at my next meal, I’m ok? I am unsubscribing because I absolutely hate the way he bases his conclusions on one or two random studies. He is absolutely full of shit.

  17. Jason Ing

    So the experiment concluded that the blood sugar levels were equal due to participants having a larger lunch? What happens if the participants ate the same meal – would the blood sugar levels be different?

  18. Bernice Anderson

    The people in the study ate whatever they wanted and ended up eating more later so they, at the end of the day, had the same amount of calories as they usually do or as the other group. If you are counting calories and use stevia or monk fruit to keep calorie count done—and by the end of the day you had less calories the you use to eat, you will likely be losing weight and the stevia or monk fruit helped you do that.

  19. Kaarina Biddulph

    Curious, is Synsepalum dulcificum safe as a sweetener? Does it raise the blood sugar like the stevia did after having it then eating foods?

  20. Kurt Zindulka

    My partners and I have begun selling monk fruit tea, the only source of it outside China. Check out if you are interested!

  21. Jon Mallary

    WTF is this mocking shit?
    Not at all impartial science.

    Mouse coughs…
    It's a medical study!
    They can't use thousands of years of use by people as a basis.
    What about the data?

    And pancreatic cancer…

    You're a dummass if you don't know that sugar feeds cancer right?
    Your pancreas makes insulin right?

    Eliminating carbs trips your liver into ketosis. No longer processing carbs into glucose for your body's fuel, it begins processing fat from your body and food.

    The pancreas is given a break, allowed to fight the cancer, no longer fed by sugar.

    Did they say the Chinese use monk fruit to cure or as part of treatment?

    The shit tastes enough like sugar, for its use as a substitute that actually tastes like sugar!

    It's people like you who help keep the price of the limited supply of this substance, affordable.

    Thank you! 👍

  22. yaggle fraggle

    Because the sweetness makes your body think it got sugar, so it releases insulin. But since you have no sugar it makes you hungrier to get some.

  23. agriperma

    This measures insulin spikes, ok, but if there is actually less glucose in the blood because of the actual lack of sugar , the insulin will not be storing this as actual fat, as would be the case when you consume sugar.

    in other words, higher insulin spike does not necessarily mean you will be gaining more weight.

    As for the tests, people have consumed these products for hundreds if not thousands of years, because they have a reputation, people did just not start consuming these because of tests on rats or in vitro studies. just because the test conducted really do not prove anything, it does not means they are not effective against what people have claimed them effective for, which is still up in the air.

  24. bob smith

    so at the normal lunch they ate enough calories to compensate for the fake sugar. what if they ate a high fiber lunch so they get full faster but far fewer calories until there stomach is completely full please answer with your idea

  25. Jelly Draggy

    First, if you count blood sugar level multiply by time, which is “surface area under the curve of graph", drinking sucrose result in more sugar in your blood. Second, to say the cause of eating sweet beverage induces more appetite to eat more, I don't see it mentioned in the particular study. Third, there is no explanation of why taking zero calory sweeteners caused the peak of blood glucose in later. Thank you whoever funding this study, thinking I am idiot in reading.
    I also read the references of this article "THE ROLE OF LOW-CALORIE SWEETENERS IN DIABETES" quotes "The use of LCS can assist individuals in reducing caloric intake and thereby promote a healthier weight" and "Substitution of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages with Other Beverage Alternatives: A Review of Long-Term Health Outcomes" quotes “Although studies on this topic are sparse, the available evidence suggests a potential beneficial effect on body weight outcomes when SSBs are replaced by water or low-calorie beverages”. You have to read more to understand more.


    This study is utter bullshit, if you are keeping track of your calorie intake you should control your portion size and type of food you consume every time you eat! Natural sweetners are way better than table sugar. Table sugar is nothing but empty calories without any fiber, minerals, vitamins and other nutrients.

  27. sus2731

    ok, so is he saying that the ppl who consumed stavia or monk fruit.. ate more during the day than the ppl who consumed regular sugar and thats the reason why their blood sugar went up too?…Does that mean that if all groups ate the same foods (same micros) and same calories and same amount the whole day, the stavia, monk fruit ppl wouldn't have a blood sugar increase?
    Like In my case, it doesn't matter if I use regular sugar or replacements, I will always eat the same calories and the same meal plan sooo according to this video, what would happen to my blood sugar at yhe end of the day?

  28. Nathanxiangdarby

    Excellent so monk fruit is an excellent artificial sweetener as long as I remove carbs out of diet my BS will stay stable….now the real question is what happens with insulin levels?

  29. C Kaya

    I think the video is misleading maybe not on purpose but still. The question still persists. What cause the spike? Is it the consumption of monk fruit or stevia or what people eat afterwards afterwards? Sometimes I think these people just want views. Ver sad.

  30. michigan0207

    So what if you used monk fruit as a water additive during water fasting? Since you do not ingest any food you will not get the additional spikes from binge eating, so would monk fruit during a water fast be a good thing if it allows you to drink more water?

  31. Ron Petruccione

    Boo! I feel bad for having supported you in the past. Your videos are becoming worse. I hope they haven't gotten to you too. "Lunch" is a very vague word. Was it a typical S.A.D. McDonalds lunch, maybe a Plant-based meal, perhaps a Keto meal. A standardized lunch is likely S.A.D.
    Also reverse the order and give the drink after lunch. This study has so many faults you should have known better than to present it.

  32. Happy Homesteader

    We’re all the participants fed the same things? Do we know how the insulin response is effected? Do we know what these peoples base glucose levels are? Last question, if participants who are given a 0 cal sweetener have no meal when the initial testing is done, and subsequently eat a meal, had the elicited an insulin response from the sugars? Or is the resulting spike in blood sugar due to the fact that those participants would have effectively been fasting previous to the latter testing?

    This is all circumstantial the studies you cited were all correlative studies which should be taken… well with a grain of salt.

    I think a safe assumption in your situation would be, “more research needs to be done to be conclusive.”

    There was also no science, or proofs in your video, just nit picking studies that you had no involvement in.

    It’s a stain on society to go around throwing conflicting information just to confuse people. Just because you didn’t find an effective sweetener substitute, doesn’t mean the ones that were found are ineffective, or harmful… lol, and how would you even get the idea that a natural sweetener substitute could somehow be detrimental just on the bases that it doesn’t seem to help the blood sugar levels on individuals of unknown health status. Absence of help == harm.

  33. coco9004

    Can tell you that the study has been falsified to encourage sweetener and sugar industries… off course any fruits is way better and more healthy than sweetener and regular refined sugar… Maybe they think peoples are enough idiots to believe those studies…

  34. brad Morehouse

    is it possible the data you got was from the white sugar industry? False info? Where did you get this info? I would hope monk sugar would be better

  35. CVLS Chucky Ve

    So, Your conclusion is to keep eating sugar aspartame is good for you just as good as a natural stuff Is that your conclusion? Oh and, why do you have white hair?

  36. Abseiduk

    Sorry I'm not a man of science and possibly didn't understand what was being meant here in this video but surly what you choose to eat and it's quantity for the remainder of the day is not the fault of the the sweeteners? Sorry but what are you trying to get at here, that a) there is a biological or chemical residual response from the sweeteners themselves that affect the user hours later or b) a behavioural response from the user that makes him/her lose any benefit gained by the use of sweetener due to complacency that sets in afterwards, c) there is a chemical reaction caused by the sweetener that causes cravings for unhealthy or sugary foods afterwards?

    I would appreciate a response very much and thank you in advance.

  37. Leon

    This video presentation is just confusing, especially your title. Diet has great effect on blood sugar which everyone knows. And the curves presented are skewed exactly because we do not know what people eat after that. In conclusion, this video doesn't show anything.

  38. bev girdner

    So this would mean sugar is still safer because the more intense sweetner would leave you wanting more because of the concentration of sweetner taste

  39. Junior cluck

    Ok you donkey, your body can turn proteins in carbohydrates, (meaning sugars) ! Good way to put out a misinformation video.👎

  40. Mac Mcleod

    The town kind of bothered me so I did research on the background of

    It is a vegan site prone to cherry-picking studies to back the positions that he holds.

    So just take the information with that caveat in mind. The study he's quoting still valid and worthy of consideration. But there may be other studies that contradict the information and certainly the issue of animal vs. Human testing there needs to be human testing at this point. It's clear that monk fruit is not immediately toxic.

  41. Kim McG.

    This is about the STUPIDEST test I've ever seen. SERIOUSLY! Who tf uses BOTH sugar AND non sugar sweeteners? Wtf is the point?? I'm now on the keto diet and use monk fruit sweetener {which is the only one that's decent}. No sugar. If a diabetic is using a sweetener, then then they too arent using both. This is just a test to try to deter people from using something HEALTHY. 🤨

  42. Bernd DasBrot

    A relevant studie would let the group's only consumer the form of sweeteners there supposed to. Why would you only replace sugar with another sweetener for one drink, people want to change there whole sweetener intake.
    If one ONLY eats Monk fruit sweetener with a low carb diet, I'm sure the effects would be much better than the sugar group.

    Oh and the video is completely off topic, seems like a propaganda video.

  43. Angel Martinelli

    Everybody's blood sugar rises regardless as to whether the are diabetic or not. It's how long it takes to come down is which determines a diabetic from a non diabetic and checking blood sugar one hour after eating is not the proper way to do this , you have to check two hours later to determine if there is a problem

  44. J

    90% of people in these comments don't understand the studies. All Greger had to do was reveal the dangers of your miracle sugar-free fixes and it has the majority of you up in arms. 😂 Just learn to give up added sweeteners in foods or use whole plant foods like ground up dates, bananas or apples, because you guys literally sound like a bunch of crack addicts.

  45. Jeremy Lilly

    Load of biased shit. The simple break down of chemicals in each alone show effects of use. There is even an extended documentary on the use of sugars versus natural sugars like monk fruit. "That sugar film" sugar in soda, and every day sauces drinks even healthy proclaimed stuff if horrible for you cause its still the same trash sugars. Monk fruit flavor doesnt come from the same thing.

  46. mrhyde2484

    I just want to know if monk fruit sweetener is the safest of them all ? I was happy with aspartame until I found out its poison. So is monk fruit safest of them all ?

  47. Dr K.

    When non diabetic people drink sugary drinks, you'll not see spikes as crazy high as someone who's body isn't producing insulin properly. How about high fructose corn syrup? The body doesn't recognize it as a sugar, so it wrecks havoc on the body. No extra insulin is produced to combat high fructose corn syrup. So why on earth would western food, in particular the United States, continue to use high fructose corn syrup as its main sweetener?? While type 2 diabetic diagnosis continue to climb up up up…. One may think that money over lives matter more! The money saved by using high fructose corn syrup, or the billions made by pharmaceutical companies, that insulin is not cheap. In fact, when my dog Boo-Boo, was diagnosed with diabetes, his insulin, Humulin-N cost me 185 USD $ per week… nearly $200 every single week. I love my dog, so yes i do buy it. What would you do? He's my responsibility and I took that on when i got him as a 8 weeks old pup! And that's what we do for those we love… Including the pets we call family… But i digress…

    Now, Humulin-N, its an old insulin so old in fact, that its now actually sold over the counter, but you've got to go up to the pharmacy counter to purchase it, but you need no Script!
    And, sadly no, Lilith the maker of Humulin-N, has no generic brand nor will they allow their coupons to be used for pets….
    Pharmacutic corporations depending on your getting sick as their Livelihoods…. Makes you think or it should

  48. Bailey Z. Leone

    this study seems sketch to me. it wasn't a controlled testing? I'm diabetic and monk fruit has never spiked me like coke will. I will hit 480 with a coke from 120 and nothing with monk fruit.

  49. Daniel Newman

    This video left me feeling greatly unsatisfied, and I question it's validity. #1 There was no conclusion about Monk Fruit being any different than aspartame or other low calorie sweeteners like stevia. #2 Sweeteners such as Aspartame especially, have been studied more extensively by the FDA than any other drug EVER STUDIED. The FDA research of aspartame represents the most comprehensive research ever conducted on any substance, and yet you have somehow discovered something new? Or are you just promoting your own website ?

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