Overview of Monk Fruit:
Monk fruit, also known as luo han guo, is a small round fruit that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. The fruit comes from a plant that is native to southern China and is known for its sweet taste, which is due to the presence of compounds called mogrosides. These mogrosides are roughly 150-200 times sweeter than sugar, but they do not affect blood glucose levels, making monk fruit an attractive alternative sweetener for people with diabetes or others looking to limit their sugar intake.
The history of monk fruit as a supplement can be traced back to the 13th century, where it was used in traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for various ailments, including sore throat, diarrhea, and heat stroke. The sweet taste of the fruit was also recognized as a natural sweetener, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the fruit started to gain popularity as a sweetener in the western world. Today, monk fruit extract is commonly used as a sweetener in a wide range of foods and beverages, including teas, fruit juices, and baked goods. It is also available in supplement form as a powder, capsule, or liquid extract.
Monk fruit extract is high in antioxidants, specifically mogroside, which are known to have anti-inflammatory properties and to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Mogroside has also been found to possess anti-tumor properties, and to help protect against damage to the liver. Studies have also shown that the extract may have potential as an anti-diabetic agent and may even help to improve insulin sensitivity.
Side Effects of Luo Han Guo:
Although monk fruit extract is considered safe for consumption, it’s always a good idea to talk with a doctor or healthcare professional before taking it, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a medical condition or are taking any medications. The extract has not been extensively studied, so there is not much known about long-term side effects. However, there have been some concerns of food allergies caused by consumption of monk fruit extract, yet it’s extremely rare and uncommon. It is always a good idea to start with small amount and observe any symptoms.
Some people also have had stomach discomfort as a side effect from consuming high doses of monk fruit extract, so it’s a good idea to start with a small dosage and gradually increase it as your body gets used to it.
Monk fruit extract is a natural alternative sweetener that is gaining popularity as a supplement due to its sweet taste and potential health benefits. While the extract is considered safe for consumption, it is always a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional before taking it, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking any medications. Research on monk fruit extract is ongoing, and more studies are needed to fully understand its potential health benefits and side effects.