Gymnema sylvestre is a type of climbing shrub that is woody in nature and is found primarily in Africa. It is the leaves of this shrub that are used to make medicine designed to counteract the effects of diabetes. This is a type of herbal supplement commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, popular in India, where it has been used for centuries. The Hindi name for Gymnema sylvestre is gurmar, which stands for “destroyer of sugar”.
In today’s time, Gymnema sylvestre is used in the management of metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus, cough, and weight loss. In Africa, it is used to treat malaria and as an antidote for snake bites. Some Ayurvedic doctors use Gymnema sylvestre as a laxative, a diuretic, an appetite suppressant, and as a stimulant for the digestive tract.
Needless to say, Gymnema sylvestre is not in common use for the treatment of diabetes in Western medical circles. Much of what we know about the leaves and the extracts made from the leaves of the shrub can be found in research studies that have been done on both animals with diabetes and, in some cases, humans with diabetes.
No one knows the whole function of Gymnema sylvestre in the management of diabetes but, according to the latest research, it is believed to contain chemicals that decrease the amount of glucose that is absorbed into the bloodstream from the intestines. It is also believed to stimulate the secretion of insulin in the pancreas by regenerating the Islets of Langerhans cells, which are the cells in the pancreas that make insulin for the body.
Research on Gymnema Sylvestre
There have been several research studies on the use of Gymnema sylvestre in the management of high blood sugar and diabetes in humans and rats. The outcome of these studies is demonstrated here:
One study looked at the effectiveness of GS4, which is an extract from the Gymnema sylvestre leaves, in the management of hyperglycemia. The study was a small one, looking at only 22 patients with type 2 diabetes who were also taking regular oral medications to control their diabetes. GS4 was given at 400 milligrams per day to each of the study’s participants for 18 to 20 months. Each participant was on both the supplement and their conventional Western medical treatment for diabetes. During the supplementation of GS4 in these participants, it was discovered that the fasting blood glucose levels, the hemoglobin A1c levels, and the glycosylated plasma protein levels all decreased after Gymnema sylvestre was added to their diabetic regimen. The supplement was so successful that 5 of the participants of the study were able to stop taking their conventional drug treatment for diabetes and were able to maintain normal levels of glucose and normal hemoglobin A1c levels even after their conventional treatments were discontinued. The researchers determined that the beta cells of the pancreas may have been repaired or regenerated in those participants who took GS4 as a supplement for their diabetes mellitus. The insulin levels were found to increase in those patients who took the GS4 supplement.
A study was performed on the water soluble extracts from the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre, which were labeled GS3 and GS4. The extracts were tested on rats treated with streptozotocin who subsequently developed diabetes. The researchers looked for the effect of the extracts on the blood sugar levels and the pancreatic tissues in rats who took the supplements as part of their daily diet. In the rats, who all had diabetes from streptozotocin, had abnormal blood glucose levels before the study and had fasting blood sugar levels return to normal after being given 60 days of GS3 and after being given 20 days of GS4 by mouth. Blood from the rats was collected to check the levels of insulin in the blood as well as to perform an oral glucose tolerance test on the rats. In the diabetic rats, both GS3 and GS4 were found to increase the number of islet cells and beta cells in the rats. These are the cells that make insulin for the body. The conclusion of the researchers was that Gymnema sylvestre was able to cause normalization of blood glucose levels because the extract increased the pancreatic beta cell production so that more insulin was available in these diabetic rats.
In another study, GS4, which is a water soluble extract from the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre, was given to 27 participants who had insulin-dependent diabetes medication and who were also on insulin treatments for their diabetes. Each participant took 400 milligrams per day of the extract along with their insulin. After taking the GS4 extract, the participants needed less insulin to control their diabetes and had reductions in both the fasting blood sugar and the glycosylated hemoglobin levels (hemoglobin A1c). In addition, those participants who had increased blood cholesterol levels had a normalization of their levels after taking the Gymnema sylvestre extract. Those patients were followed for 10-12 months after being given the extract and it was felt that the reason behind the normalization of blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1c levels was due to a regeneration of the beta cells in the pancreas of participants with type 1 diabetes mellitus.
In another study, 22 people who were taking medications for their type 2 diabetes also took GS4, which is an extract from the leaves of the Gymnema sylvestre leaves. Each participant took 400 milligrams of the extract per day. At the end of the study, those who took the supplement had significant decreases in the fasting blood sugar level, the hemoglobin A1c level, and the glycosylated plasma protein levels. The study lasted for about 18 months and it was felt again that the reduction in blood sugar levels was directly related to regeneration of beta cells in the pancreas of type 2 diabetic patients.
In short, it can be said that Gymnema sylvestre extract has the possibility to normalize blood sugar levels and decrease the hemoglobin A1c levels by one of two mechanisms. Either the extracts caused a reduction in the amount of glucose absorbed by the intestinal tract or it helped to regenerate the beta cells in the pancreas of both type 1 diabetics and type 2 diabetics.
This has implications for the modern medical treatment for diabetes mellitus. If the glucose reduction and hemoglobin A1c levels decrease in larger studies of diabetic patients, it is possible that more doctors in the Western world will recommend that their diabetic patients take extracts of Gymnema sylvestre as part of their diabetic health care along with or instead of taking conventional medical treatments for their disease.
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Chinese and Indian cultures have cherished tea for its flavor and medicinal properties for centuries.
Today, approximately half of all Americans drink tea on a daily basis. Although black tea, green tea and oolong tea are all made from the Camellia sinesis leaves, the taste and nutritional benefits of the three teas differ because they undergo different manufacturing processes.
Green tea is made with unfermented leaves and is not as highly processed as oolong and black tea. As such, green tea is higher in nutrients, and drinking it daily is associated with myriad health benefits.
Antioxidants are substances that protect your cells and DNA from damage caused by harmful free radicals in your body. Green tea is an excellent source of a specific variety of potent antioxidants known as catechins. According to Harvard Medical School, the catechins in green tea have disease-fighting properties and appear to be more effective than both vitamin C and vitamin E at halting free radical-induced damage to cells.
A large-scale study, published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in 2011, found that the consumption of green tea measurably reduces both total cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol levels. “The Journal of the American College of Nutrition” published an analysis in 2007 of multiple studies, reporting that the regular consumption of green tea reduces high blood pressure, as well as the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. The analysis also revealed that drinking 3 cups per day of green tea vastly reduces the risk of developing atherosclerosis.
Researchers have studied several different cultures and have found that cancer rates tend to be lower in countries where the consumption of green tea is highest. According to a study in the “Clinical Cancer Research Journal” in 2005, the antioxidants in green tea help halt the growth and spread of tumors by cutting off the blood supply they need to thrive. Although studies conducted in the United States have yielded conflicting results, a review in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition” in 2006 stated that green tea may prevent the formation of cancer cells in numerous organs including the skin, lungs, stomach, liver, kidneys and prostate.
According to the 2007 review in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition,” there is clinical evidence that drinking green tea reduces blood sugar levels as well as the risk of developing diabetes in non-diabetic individuals. Drinking 5 cups or more per day is also associated with a reduction in weight and waist circumference — both of which help to reduce the risk of diabetes. In addition, green tea has been found to increase sensitivity to the blood-sugar regulating hormone insulin, and reduce hyperglycemic episodes in Type-2 diabetics.
Cleansing the outside of the body is something most people will do on a regular basis. When it comes to cleansing our internal body, it is not something everyone thinks about or does.
We live in a toxic world, and the toxins are everywhere. Chemicals are processed into our food, they are used in cleaning products, perfumes and cosmetics, and synthetics hormones from plastics leach into our environment. Added to this are unhealthy lifestyles, where too much saturated fat, sugar, salt and white flour products are consumed on a daily basis. Fatty liver disease is becoming more commonplace. As a result, toxins are building up in our bodies, putting extra burden on our organs and making it difficult for cleansing organs like the liver and colon to do their job. So it’s not surprising when people complain of digestive problems, constipation, frequent headaches, fatigue, bad breath and skin disorders. These are all evidence that the body is trying to throw off the toxins it is burdened with.
So the benefits of an internal cleanse are great, especially when herbs are used. Herbs are often utilized in a cleanse as they work effectively to clean the organs and help them perform more efficiently.
Benefits of Cleansing
The benefits of cleansing are significant, especially if this is the first time a person has cleansed.
Weight loss is one effect that is happily reported. When elimination organs like the liver and colon are cleansed, they are able to perform better, resulting in a quicker metabolism. People who do a herbal cleanse also have to watch their diet closer, eliminating foods that got them heavy in the first place. When foods like sugar, saturated fat and white flour products are eliminated, the weight comes off quicker. Sometimes people who do a cleanse report losing 5-10 pounds, depending on the individual.
So weight loss is one important benefit. But perhaps even more important is the extra energy that a cleanse provides. When the body is operating more efficiently, at a higher level, you will feel more energized and able to do things you didn’t feel like doing before the cleanse. Along with the energy is more stamina. Whether it’s walking, dancing, cleaning or going through the day, a person who has cleansed is able to last longer.
Improved digestion is a further benefit to cleansing that is tied to greater energy. When the body is able to digest food more effectively, it results in better use of those nutrients and greater energy. An improved digestion also means people can sleep better, with a more sound, deeper sleep. This means they will wake up feeling refreshed, with greater energy.
Clear skin is another great benefit of a cleanse. Rashes, eczema, acne, psoriasis and other skin disorders are more likely to clear up after a cleanse. The skin is the largest organ of elimination next to the liver and colon. When the liver and colon operate efficiently, toxins won’t need to come out through the skin.
Finally, some individuals report a greater awareness of improved senses. They can hear better, taste better and are more aware of their surroundings.
Little known fact: Gymnema Sylvestre is known as ‘gurmar’ in ancient Indian texts, a word meaning ‘sugar destroyer’, which gives an indication of its uses in medicine.
It is used to reduce the absorption of glucose into the body, and also reduce the sweetness of foods, both of which are desirable for those wishing to lose weight and to reduce the level of sugar in their blood. It was used for this purpose in Ayurvedic medicine, subjects being given the leaves to chew. As with many other ancient Ayurvedic remedies, this use of gymnema sylvestre has passed into modern times, and has sound scientific basis
The main constituents are terpenoid saponins known as gymnemic acids, so one can assume that they were first found in this plant. They are glycosides, including hodulcine and ziziphin, which act as sweetness inhibitors so that there is no sweet taste in anything that is sweetened by sucrose. There are over 20 types of gymnemic acid in the leaves, of which the strongest, Gymnemic Acid 1, can suppress the sweetness even of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.
These are not irreversible effects, and last only about 10 minutes, after which normal sweetness is detectable by your tongue. During the active period, however, a solution of normal sugar will taste like ordinary unsweetened water. However, is this just a matter of taste, or does it affect the sugar itself?
Studies have shown that animals fed the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre develop hypoglycemia, probably because it stimulates the pancreas to generate insulin that reduces the level of sugar in the blood. Further studies have shown the presence in the leaves of a number of types of acylated derivatives of deacylgymnemic acid. There are well over a dozen types of saponins known to be contained within the leaves.
Other chemicals found include anthraquinones, flavanoids, chlorophylls, querticol, phytin, a number of glycosides and anthraquinones. The bush also contains alkaloids, although these are constituents in most plants used in ancient remedies. This is by no means all of the chemicals discovered, and many of the minor benefits of using it could be due to the minor constituents of this amazing little leaf.
A study of the above constituents will reveal a few antioxidants, and it is no surprise that the extract from Gymnema sylvestre also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Gymnemic acid is believed to have a similar chemical structure to saccharose, and the plant extracts can be used not only to reduce a craving for sugar, but also to treat digestive problems and high cholesterol levels.
So what scientific evidence is there other than the obvious effects reported by those that use it?
A study in the UK in 2005 found that an aqueous extract of Gymnema sylvestre caused the secretion of calcium and insulin from mouse and human cells to be increased at a specific concentration without affecting the cellular function. This means that the supplement can be used to stimulate the secretion of insulin with people with Type 2 diabetes without otherwise affecting health. Its usefulness to diabetics is obvious, but there are other health benefits to those that are not diabetic.
Anything that modulates a sweet tooth must be of use to those seeking to lose weight, particularly if they feel the need for sweet foods. In fact Gymnema tends to reduce food cravings for carbohydrates and sweets, and can be used by those seeking a natural means of curbing their appetite for sweet and sugary foods.
Although there have been many discussions about the biochemical mechanism of the gymnemic acids in this effect on taste, recent evidence suggests that the phytochemicals act on both your taste buds and on those parts of the intestine responsible for absorbing nutrients from digested foods.
Not only that, but studies have also indicated that Gymnema sylvestre removes the bitterness of acerbic chemicals such as quinine in the same way that it removes the sweetness form cakes and candies, and if you drank tonic water it would taste just like water. On the other hand, if you ate an orange, you would taste the acidity but not the sweetness.
The way to use this remarkable supplement is to follow the instructions, and within about a week you will be able to control your appetite much better, and any cravings for carbohydrates you previously had will be much reduced. After a month or so, you will notice an accelerated rate of weight loss if you had been overweight, and diabetics will find a significant reduction on blood sugar between insulin shots.
Gymnema sylvestre can take care of any sugar or carbohydrate cravings, and is of significant use to the overweight, obese or to diabetics, and the mechanism by which it works has now been all but understood, although there are still some biochemical secrets that this amazing plant has yet to reveal.
Green tea, native to China and India, has been consumed and hailed for its health benefits for centuries globally, but has only recently gained popularity in the US. All types of tea except herbal tea are brewed from the dried leaves of the Camellia sinensis bush. The level of oxidation of the leaves determines the type of tea. Green tea is made from un-oxidized leaves and is one of the less processed types of tea (with white tea the least) and therefore contains one of the most antioxidants and beneficial polyphenols.
Green tea was used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to control bleeding and heal wounds, aid digestion, improve heart and mental health and regulate body temperature. Recent studies have shown green tea can potentially have positive effects on everything from weight loss to liver disorders to type 2 diabetes.
Unsweetened brewed green tea is a zero calorie beverage. The caffeine contained in a cup of tea can vary according to length of infusing time and the amount of tea infused. In general, green tea contains a relatively small amount of caffeine (approximately 20-45 milligrams per 8 oz cup), compared with black tea which contains about 50 milligrams and coffee with 95 milligrams per cup. Green tea is considered one of the world’s healthiest drinks and contains one of the highest amount of antioxidants of any tea.
The natural chemicals called polyphenols in tea are what are thought to provide its anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects.
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most studied and bioactive polyphenol in tea and has been shown to be the most effective at eliminating free radicals. Green tea is approximately 20% to 45% polyphenols by weight, of which 60% to 80% are catechins such as EGCG. Reported in the journal Metabolomics, the study explores the effect of epigallocatechin gallate or “EGCG,” an active biological agent of green tea.
Possible health benefits of green tea
Listed below are the possible health benefits associated with green tea:
According to the National Cancer Institute, the polyphenols in tea have been shown to decrease tumor growth in laboratory and animal studies and may protect against damage caused by ultraviolet UVB radiation. In countries where green tea consumption is high cancer rates tend to be lower, but it is impossible to know for sure whether it is the green tea that prevents cancer in these specific populations or other lifestyle factors.
One large-scale clinical study compared green tea drinkers with non-drinkers and found that those who drank the most tea were less likely to develop pancreatic cancer, particularly women, who were 50% less likely to develop the disease. Studies have also shown the positive impacts of green tea on breast, bladder, ovarian, colorectal, esophageal, lung, prostate, skin and stomach cancer. Researchers believe that it is the high level of polyphenols in tea that help kill cancerous cells and stop them from growing, however the exact mechanisms by which tea interacts with cancerous cells is unknown.
Other studies have shown a lack of preventative effects of tea on cancer. The amount of tea required for cancer-preventive effects has also varied widely in studies – from 2- 10 cups per day.1 In 2005, the FDA stated that “there is no credible evidence to support qualified health claims for green tea consumption and a reduced risk of gastric, lung, colon/rectal, esophageal, pancreatic, ovarian, and combined cancers.”
A 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that green tea consumption is associated with reduced mortality due to all causes, including cardiovascular disease. The study followed over 40,000 Japanese participants between the ages of 40 and 79 for 11 years, starting in 1994. The participants who drank at least 5 cups of green tea per day had a significantly lower risk of dying (especially from cardiovascular disease) than those who drank less than one cup of tea per day.
Another study found that consuming 10 cups of green tea per day can lower total cholesterol, however, consuming 4 cups or less had no effect on cholesterol levels.
Type 2 Diabetes
Studies concerning the relationship between green tea and diabetes have been inconsistent. Some have shown a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes for green tea drinkers than for those who consumed no tea, while other studies have found no association between tea consumption and diabetes at all.
Recent developments on the benefits of green tea:
- Green tea or coffee may reduce stroke risk. Drinking green tea or coffee on a regular basis is associated with a reduced risk of stroke, according to a study published in the journal Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
- Green tea may help fight prostate cancer. British researchers have scientifically proven that broccoli, turmeric, green tea and pomegranate help fight the most common cancer in men in the United States and the United Kingdom – prostate cancer.
- Green tea may boost our working memory. New research published in the journal Psychopharmacology suggests green tea can enhance our brain’s cognitive functions, particularly the working memory.
- Green tea component upsets cancer cell metabolism. A new study reveals how an active component of green tea disrupts the metabolism of cancer cells in pancreatic cancer, offering an explanation for its effect on reducing risk of cancer and slowing its progression. The researchers believe the discovery signals a new approach to studying cancer prevention.
Original Article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269538.php
DIETING SUCKS. It tends to lead to cravings, hunger, unreasonable expectations and let’s not forget empty wallets.
This generally causes people to give up on their diet and gain the weight back.
For this reason, most conventional weight loss methods have a terrible success rate. Very few people keep the weight off in the long run.
This is where healthy coffees and teas with the revolutionary herb Garcinia Cambogia extract step in.
According to many health experts (Dr. Oz included), Garcinia Cambogia can reduce appetite and help you lose weight, pretty much without effort. Let’s take a closer look at the herb that has some of Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars looking sexy and svelte in record time.
What is Garcinia Cambogia?
Garcinia cambogia comes from a tropical fruit grown in India and Southeast Asia. The active ingredient has been identified: hydroxycitric acid (HCA). It is said to block fat and suppress the appetite. It inhibits a key enzyme, citrate lyase, that the body needs to make fat from carbohydrates. It suppresses appetite by increasing serotonin levels; low serotonin levels are associated with depression and emotional or reactive eating.
It allegedly decreases belly fat, suppresses appetite, controls emotional eating, and changes body composition by increasing lean muscle mass. It doesn’t just produce weight loss, but it improves overall health. It is said to decrease cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides by 10-30% and to raise levels of the “good cholesterol” HDL.
Research and clinical studies are on going. Below are a few of the most recent findings. Also included are stories from Javita Members and Customers regarding their experience with coffees and teas that feature Garcinia Cambogia.
(-) Hydroxycitric acid (HCA), an active ingredient extracted from the Garcinia cambogia fruit rind, has been commonly used as a dietary supplement for weight management. Given the controversy over HCA related testicular toxicity in animal studies, we investigated changes in serum sex hormones levels as an extension of our previous double-blind placebo-controlled trial in human subjects, in which 44 participants received either G. cambogia extract (1667.3 mg/day equivalent to 1000 mg HCA/day) or placebo for 12 weeks. Compared to the placebo group, administration of the extract did not significantly alter the serum testosterone, estrone, and estradiol levels. Similarly, hematology, serum triacylglycerol and serum clinical pathology parameters did not reveal any significant adverse effects. The results of this preliminary investigation indicate that ingestion of G. cambogia extract at dose levels commonly recommended for human use does not affect serum sex hormone levels and blood parameters. PMID:18316163 Hayamizu, Kohsuke; Tomi, Hironori; Kaneko, Izuru; Shen, Manzhen; Soni, Madhu G; Yoshino, Gen 2008-06-01
The aim of present study is to evaluate the effects of Garcinia cambogia on the mRNA levels of the various genes involved in adipogenesis, as well as on body weight gain, visceral fat accumulation, and other biochemical markers of obesity in obesity-prone C57BL/6J mice. Consumption of the Garcinia cambogia extract effectively lowered the body weight gain, visceral fat accumulation, blood and hepatic lipid concentrations, and plasma insulin and leptin levels in a high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity mouse model. The Garcinia cambogia extract reversed the HFD-induced changes in the expression pattern of such epididymal adipose tissue genes as adipocyte protein aP2 (aP2), sterol regulatory element-binding factor 1c (SREBP1c), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma2 (PPARgamma2), and CCAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (C/EBPalpha). These findings suggest that the Garcinia cambogiaextract ameliorated HFD-induced obesity, probably by modulating multiple genes associated with adipogenesis, such as aP2, SREBP1c, PPARgamma2, and C/EBPalpha in the visceral fat tissue of mice. PMID:18603810
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