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5 HEALTH BENEFITS OF GYMNEMA
WHAT IS GYMNEMA
Gymnema sylvestre is a plant commonly found in the regions of Asia, Africa, and Australia. It has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine, a holistic approach to medicine created thousands of years ago in India. Gymnemahas been used as a dietary supplement due to its numerous properties such as been used in the treatment of diabetes, asthma, eye complaints, inflammation, snakebite, liver disease, cardiac disorders, and family planning. However, its main property has been stated in its Hindi name, “gurmar”, meaning destroyer of sugar, thus been acknowledged as one of the greatest supplements for controlling diabetes.
How much Gymnema Should I take?
The dosage of Gymnema will depend on the age, overall health, or the property that is been targeted. Although Gymnema Sylvestre has long been studied, there is not a defined dosage.
Regarding the diabetes dosage of Gymnema, Dr. Ergin has determined a proprietary dosage that works for most people. As a result, SugarMD Advanced Glucose Support Supplement works so well with the right amount Gymnema as one of the ingredients.
One way Gymnema Sylvestre has been used is by making tea or by chewing the leaves as stated previously. It can also be commonly found as an extract or leaf powder. The tea version is commonly used in people trying to lose weight due to its appetite control. However, it is recommended to take in a supplement version since there is more accurate control of the dosage used
Gymnema Sylvestre has been considered possibly safe in long-term use. Even though there has not been a dosage stated, an intake of 200 to 400 milligrams per day has been established as safe. Excessive use can lead to liver toxicity especially in patients that have diabetes mellitus.
What are the Side Effects of Gymnema Sylvestre?
Due to its blood sugar lowering effect the side effects seen are linked to hypoglycemia if you are also taking insulin or sulfonylurea drugs. The most common side effects include:
Are There Contraindications to the ITS Use?
Even if Gymnema Sylvestre has been recognized as generally safe for most of the population there are contraindications for certain group demographics. In case you are in one of the groups stated below, it is best if you ask your current physician if you can take the supplement.
- Children and infants
Gymnema Sylvestre can improve insulin levels which can potentially help lower insulin use. You will need to work with your diabetes doctor to adjust your medications if necessary. In case you are starting to take the supplement, remember to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly to prevent them from dropping to low levels.
There have been several studies conducted to determine the health properties that Gymnema Sylvestre brings. Here we are going to discuss the 5 most common health benefits this plant provides.
Does Gymnema Sylvestre lower sugar cravings?
A component found in Gymnema Sylvestre, the gymnemic acid, is like the glucose molecule. This means that they fill the receptor location on the taste buds hence the sugar molecules found in food would not be able to get to the receptor, thus suppressing the sweet taste Since gymnemic acid blocks the sweet receptors, this means that the ability to taste sweetness is reduced meaning that sweet foods are less appealing.
One way to incorporate the leaves instead of just chewing on them is by making a brewed tea as seen in a study. In the study, 100g of tea leaves were brewed with 1.5L of hot water and stirred for 1 hour. The tea was then stored in the refrigerator and warmed to room temperature before consuming. The subjects held 10mL of tea in the mouth for 30 seconds and then expectorated. A reduction in the perceived sweetness was seen even when taken in this form. Not a tea person? Try SugarMD Diabetes Supplement that has plenty of Gymnema in its formula.
In a study done in fasted individuals, the sweetness perception of food was cut in half on those that were given a Gymnema Sylvestre extract. It was found that these individuals had a lower food intake since they had less appetite for sweet foods
Does Gymnema Sylvestre Lower Blood Sugar Levels
One of the main properties Gymnema Sylvestre is its anti-diabetic property. There are several mechanisms on how Gymnema Sylvestre could have an impact on blood sugar levels. Some of the most studied mechanisms are that it increases insulin secretion, promotes islet/beta cell(pancreatic cells that make insulin)regeneration, increases utilization of glucose by the body tissues( improved insulin resistance), and causes inhibition of glucose absorption from the intestine
In a study conducted for Gymnema Sylvestre on patients with impaired glucose tolerance/prediabetes, there was an improved glucose metabolism, reduction in HbA1c levels, and increase in insulin sensitivity.
How Does Gymnema Sylvestre Work to Lower Blood Sugar?
Several studies have also studied the blood-glucose-lowering effect of Gymnema Sylvestre. Although the mechanisms have not been established yet one of the hypotheses stated suggests that it can be due primarily to the reduction in the glucose absorption in the intestine(glucose absorption blocker). Gymnemic acid occupies the receptors in the intestine hence it prevents the absorption of glucose molecules
Another possible mechanism for its blood glucose-lowering is its powerful effect on the modulation of gastrointestinal hormones, also called incretins. Incretins are a group of hormones that are released after eating and increase the secretion of insulin. If more insulin is released, glucose levels are decreased.
Inflammatory cytokines are known to be responsible for mediation the death of pancreatic beta cells in diabetes mellitus. This means that if we protect the beta cells from dying it could potentially improve the high blood sugars. In a study done in rats with Gymnema Sylvestre extract was given, Researchers found protection against beta-cell(pancreatic cells that make insulin) death by increasing the expression of survival pathways and decrease of free radicals
Does Gymnema Sylvestre Help Lose Weight?
Studies indicate that Gymnema Sylvestre extracts aid in weight loss in animals and humans. In a study done on rats, results showed a significant decrease in weight. Another study done in rats on high-fat diet animals who consumed Gymnema extract gained less weight than the ones that Didn’t.
In a study on humans that were moderately obese, Gymnema Sylvestre extract administration after 8 weeks of intervention resulted in in6% reduction in body weight. Reduction in food intake was one of the primary factors in weight loss (11).
As seen before, due to its sweet reducing properties, people consuming the plant extract seem to have a reduced food intake. A reduction in food means a reduction in caloric intake and hence a weight reduction.
Does Gymnema Sylvestre Improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels?
Gymnema Sylvestre may help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In the study, we discussed above where people saw a6% weight reduction same people also saw decreased triglyceride levels by 19% and cholesterol levels by 20%. HDL cholesterol levels, which is the “good” cholesterol, was higher by 22%
In another study done on rats, they were fed a high-fat diet. When they were given a Gymnema Sylvestre leaf extract, it was detected that it significantly lowered the level of cholesterol, LDL and triglyceride levels.
How does It Reduce Inflammation?
Inflammation plays an important part in the formation of several diseases. Although some inflammation is beneficial to the body, high and chronic inflammation can be the culprit of generating certain ailments. As commonly known, high sugar levels cause inflammation in the body. An uncontrolled blood sugar level will cause the commonly known consequences of diabetes such as kidney problems, eye problems, and possible amputations to name a few. Since Gymnema Sylvestre reduces the sugar found in blood, there is an anti-inflammatory effect.
Gymnema Sylvestre has also been studied for its antioxidant levels. Free radicals found in the body can create damage to several body organs. Several of Gymnema Sylvestre found powerful antioxidants in it. It contains phenolic acids and flavonoids that have potent antioxidant activities Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it could potentially have anticancer properties.
In a study done in rats where they have induced inflammation, they were given a methanoic extract of Gymnema Sylvestre. The results showed a decrease in their inflammation levels when given the plant extract
Gymnema Sylvestre has an established beneficial role in the treatment of diabetes mellitus since it helps stimulate insulin secretion and fight sugar cravings. It also has other benefits such as improving cholesterol and triglycerides levels, aiding in weight loss, and reducing inflammation. SugarMD Advanced Glucose Support Supplement has just the right amount of Gymnema to achieve these goals. Want to learn more about diabetes. Check out The Ultimate Diabetes Book sold on this website and amazon as well.
AHMET ERGIN, MD, FACE, CDCES, ECNU
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