Review of Gymnema Sylvestre
- What is Gymnema Sylvestre?
- Who Should Consider Taking Gymnema Sylvestre supplements?
- Summary of Gymnema Sylvestre Physiological Effects
- Gymnema Sylvestre Research
- Is Gymnema Sylvestre effective?
- How to take Gymnema Sylvestre
- Gymnema Sylvestre References
Gymnema Sylvestre is a natural herb traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to support healthy glucose metabolism and promote weight loss. Gymnema sylvestre suppreses the sweet sensation in sugary foods and helps to reduce sugar cravings.
Gymnema Sylvestre may be of benefit to people looking to control/ reduce cholesterol levels and body-fat levels.
- Normalises and Lowers blood sugar levels
- Reduces the sweet sensations of foods
- Inhibits glucose uptake
- Decreases body fat
- Reduces the amount of "bad" LDL cholesterol
- Increase the amount of "good" HDL cholesterol
The active ingredient in Gymnema Sylvestre are known as gymnemic acid IV. This compound is known have an antihyperglycemic effect (helps to normalise blood sugar levels), to reduce the sensations of sweet foods, blood sugar lowering effect, and an inhibitory effect on glucose uptake (Kimura, I. 2006).
By normalising and lowering blood sugar levels Gymnema sylvestre helps to reduce the amount of blood sugar being converted to fat. One of the most interesting effects is its ability to reduce the sweet sensations of carbohydrate rich foods. This should help to control food cravings and reduce excessive consumption of carbohydrate.
Researchers have found that Gymnema Sylvestre is an effective weight loss supplement particularly when combined with other weight loss supplements like Hydroxycitric Acid (Preuss et al., 2004). In this 8 week study subjects showed an average 5-6% reduction in their Body Mass Index indicating a significant reduction in body fat.
Recent research has also shown Gymnema Sylvestre to be an effective weight loss supplement (Luo et al., 2006). As well as reducing body fat Gymnema Sylvestre significantly reduced the bad "LDL" cholesterol whilst increasing levels of the good "HDL" cholesterol. This means that Gymnema could prove to be a useful tool for controlling/reducing blood cholesterol levels.
Gymnema Sylvestre appears to be effective at reducing both body fat levels and blood cholesterol levels.
Most research has shown Gymnema Sylvestre to be effective when taken at a dose of around 400-600mg per day - normally divided into three smaller doses.
Kimura, I. (2006) Medical Benefits of Using Natural Compounds and Their Derivatives Having Multiple Pharmacological Actions. Yakugaku Zasshi. 126 (3), 133-143.
Luo, H., Kasiwagi, A., Shibahara, T. and Yamada, K. (2006) Decreased bodyweight without rebound and regulated lipoprotein metabolism by gymnemate in genetic multifactor syndrome animal. Moll Cell Biochem. [Epub ahead of print].
Preuss, H. G., Bagchi, D., Bagchi, M., Sanyasi Rao, C. V., Satyanarayana, S. and Dey, D. K. (2004) Efficacy of a novel, natural extract of (-)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA-SX) and a combination of HCA-SX, niacin-bound chromium and Gymnema Sylvestre extract in weight management in human volunteers: a pilot study. Nutrition Research. 24, 45-58.