Health | Science

What are the Health Benefits of Monk Fruit?

Monk fruit might make things sweet, but can it help improve your health? I've done the research!

Lowers blood glucose

For most people the primary benefit of monk fruit sweeteners is reduced blood glucose. It is extremely important for diabetics or those on a ketogenic diet to maintain low blood glucose.

Monk fruit helps lower blood glucose in two ways.

First, it can directly replacing sugar in the diet. According to the Diabetes Council Americans consume over 120 grams of sugar per day. This excess sugar induces insulin resistance that causes diabetes, obesity and cancer. A high quality monk fruit based sweetener can reduce this sugar consumption without compromising taste.

Excess blood sugar also feeds pathogenic bacteria, yeast and even increases influenza virus replication.

Second, monk fruit mogrosides are able directly affect gluconeogenesis. Scientists have shown that the mogrosides from monk fruit are able to inhibit the high blood sugar associated with diabetes and help prevent diabetic complications.

Lowers cholesterol

Statins are a multi-billion dollar business and are proven to lower cholesterol. Unfortunately, many people are unable to tolerate their side effects.

It’s been shown that monk fruit is able to lower both total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in diabetics. An improved triglyceride to HDL ratio strongly correlates with reduced coronary artery disease and overall health.

The study used doses of 100 milligrams per kilogram and up. It wasn’t shown if lower levels of consumption would have a similar effect.

Anti-inflammatory

Inflammation is linked to everything from depression to cancer to weight gain. Reducing your inflammation is an important long term health strategy.

Monk fruit has been shown to slow the release of inflammatory modulators such as IL-6 and prostaglandins. Even better, it seems to up-regulate inflammation protective genes such as PARP1BCL2l1 and TRP53.

It has been postulated that the strong anti-inflammatory effects of monk fruit might be partly responsible for its anti-cancer effects.

Good oral health

An unhealthy mouth is both unattractive and a danger to your health. Gingivitis has been linked to cardiovascular disease and it’s recommended to brush and floss regularly to keep your heart healthy.

Monk fruit has been shown to suppress the growth of Candida albicans, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Streptococcus mutans. These pathogenic bacteria and yeast are responsible for cavities, bad breath and gingivitis.

This effect is independent of the benefit you’ll see from replacing your sugar intake with a monk fruit based sweetener.

Antioxidant

Monk fruit has been shown to reduce lipid peroxidation which is used as a marker for free radicals. Oxidized lipids are in part responsible for heart disease., however, they also cause premature aging and wrinkles.

DNA damage is linked to cancer and aging. This same study has shown that the sweet mogrosides also help block DNA damage from reactive oxygen species. Reducing DNA damage not only keeps you looking younger but it may be another of the mechanisms that monk fruit uses to combat cancer!

Increased endurance

Monk fruit extract has been shown to increase muscular endurance by changing muscle function to reduce lactic acid build up and improve liver and muscle glycogen regulation.

This process takes several weeks to develop which indicates that it’s causing the body to adjust over time to increase endurance. It seems possible that long term monk fruit consumption could improve your resistance to all types of fatigue.

Anti-histamine

Monk fruit has strong anti-inflammatory properties that are further evidenced by its anti-histamine abilities.

A study has shown that at the same doses that increase physical endurance monk fruit will also reduce the immune response to allergens. However, the response is not immediate – it will take about a month for the full effect.

Reduce Alzheimer’s disease

A recent 2019 study has shown that monk fruit may be able to significantly alleviate the memory impairments, inflammation and neuron death in Alzheimer’s patients caused by amyloid beta plaques in the brain.

It appears that three weeks at 20 milligrams of monk fruit extract per kilogram of body weight was sufficient to limit the effects of the amyloid beta plaques.

Anti-cancer

Cancer is scary. It can strike regardless of how healthy someone is. Monk fruit has been shown to strongly resist cancer.

A 2015 study has shown that monk fruit extract can be used to induce leukemia cancer cell death. Mogrosides were also shown to enhance p21 expression which further impedes leukaemia progression.

A 2016 study has demonstrated that monk fruit can suppress both colorectal and throat cancers. The mogrosides caused some of the cancer cells to spontaneously die. It appears that these mogrosides act on at least three different metabolic pathways of cancer cells.

In mouse testing, those mice treated with mogrosides had tumours less than half the size of the controls. The researchers also found that monk fruit could inhibit metastasis.

These results seem to indicate that monk fruit could be a good adjunct to conventional cancer treatment.

Leave a Comment