A new study published in the European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology reveals a discovery with the potential to end late stage or chronic Lyme disease.
According to the CDC, Lyme disease is estimated to infect 300,000 Americans per year. While 80-90% of the cases are considered resolved with antibiotic treatment, 10-20% of patients develop the chronic form, a persistent, and sometimes devastating illness that can affect any organ of the body, including the brain and the nervous system.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by a spirochete bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi. Doxycycline and amoxicillin are antibiotics proven to eliminate the spirochetal form of this bacteria, but Borrelia burgdorferi can be found in morphological forms. It exists as spirochetes, spheroplast (or L-form), round bodies, and biofilms. It changes into the dormant round body form under unfavorable conditions and is believed to hide in a biofilm form. When conditions become favorable, it can return to its spirochete form.
Stevia leaf extract contains a number of phytonutrients that are known antimicrobial agents. In this lab study, the antimicrobial effect of stevia extracts was compared to doxycycline, cefoperazone, daptomycin and to combinations of these antibiotics, which had been found to be effective against Borrelia persisters (persistent forms).
The stevia leaf extract was found to be effective against all known forms of the bacteria in the lab tests. It is important to note that four different extracts were tested. One was chosen due to its effectiveness, which was believed to be a result of its growing conditions and the agricultural practices used.
The extract was compared to the three antibiotics and combinations of the antibiotics. The stevia extract alone was able to eliminate the spirochetes and persisters as well as the three antibiotics in combination.
The biofilm form of the bacteria is the most antibiotic-resistant form. The stevia extract was very effective. The individual antibiotics, however, increased the biofilm rather than eliminating it.
In long-term culture studies with persister cells, stevia extract was more effective than the three-drug combination. Doxycycline and cefoperazone were both ineffective.
The study calls for further investigation and clinical trials. This is a promising start given the earlier studies with stevia did not reveal any ill effects from its use, while showing its ability to lower high blood pressure and reduce blood glucose in type II diabetics.
Borrelia burgdorferi is not the only bacteria stevia may be used to fight. In the future, it may be used to treat E. coli, Salmonella and a number of other pathogens.
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- Effectiveness of Stevia Rebaudiana Whole Leaf Extract Against the Various Morphological Forms of Borrelia Burgdorferi in Vitro – NCBI
- About Lyme Disease – org
Lyme Disease – CDC