Gymnema – the ‘sugar destroyer’
Ancient herb can help you reduce sugar cravings and lose weight
What is Gymnema Sylvestre?
Gymnema sylvestre is a woody climbing herb found in the forests of India and Asia. The gymnema sylvestre plant has a history in traditional Ayurvedic medicine – an ancient Indian practice – for over 2,000 years. It has been used as a treatment for arthritis and diabetes, and as a therapy for weight management.
Gymnema extract from the plant’s leaves and roots carries the active ingredient, gymnemic acid, which is used to make gymnema tablets, capsules or pills, making it easier to control dosage. It is also available as gymnema leaf powder.
How does Gymnema work for weight loss?
Gymnema’s Hindi name, gurmar, means ‘destroyer of sugar’, as it has a reputation for reducing sugar cravings and sugar absorption during the digestive process. It is said to also help regulate blood sugar levels.
The bioactive components of gymnema, gymnemic acids, are sweetness inhibitors. They block the ability to taste sweetness and act as an appetite suppressant for sweet foods in particular.
Gymnemic acids also appear to decrease the absorption of sugar from the intestine. They are similar to glucose and behave in the intestine in a similar way. When gymnemic acids lock into intestinal receptors, they effectively lock out glucose, which prevents sugar from being absorbed. This also helps balance blood sugar, and it promotes lean body mass by lessening the amount of sugar that gets stored as fat.
Benefits of Gymnema
Gymnema is believed to play a beneficial role in weight control by doing the following:
- Curbing cravings and appetite. Gymnema is thought to help reduce the sensation of sweetness, which in turn lowers sugar cravings and the attraction of high-sugar and high-calorie foods.
- Reducing weight gain. Studies suggest that the consumption of gymnema sylvestre extract reduces the desire to eat food and decreases body weight.
- Lowering LDL cholesterol. Research indicates that gymnema sylvestre can improve the ratio of HDL ‘good’ cholesterol to LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol.
- Blocking sugar absorption. Gymnemic acids are believed to have a ‘sugar blocking’ property during digestion.
Studies suggest that gymnemic acid decreases blood glucose levels and increases insulin levels. It is also believed to repair and regenerate pancreatic cells.
Studies on Gymnema
A number of research studies suggest the efficacy of gymnema sylvestre as a weight loss treatment, as well as providing other health-related benefits.
- A study from Physiology & Behavior suggests gymnema may have value as an appetite suppressant. Researchers tested the effects of gymnema on fasting patients of average weight. They found that those who took gymnema one hour before being offered snack foods ate less food and fewer sweet foods than participants who didn’t.
- A study from the International Journal of Crude Drug Research found that rats fed gymnema leaves showed a decreased interest in, and consumption of, sweets.
- The U.S National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) both say that gymnema has “good scientific evidence” showing it helps control blood sugar levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes (when used in conjunction with insulin and other medications as prescribed by a doctor). One study in particular seems to support this. In it, 22 people with type-2 diabetes who were taking conventional oral diabetes medication were also given 400mg of gymnema per day for 18 to 20 months. At the end of the study period, 16 of the 22 participants were able to reduce their medications, while five stopped using them altogether.
- Research also shows gymnema improves the ratio of HDL (good) to LDL (bad) cholesterol, which is one of the strongest predictors for developing heart disease. The same researchers also suggest the herb lowers ‘bad’ cholesterol. The U.S NLM and NIH acknowledge these studies, but say more research is required.
How safe is Gymnema?
Gymnema appears to be safe for use by most people, if used at recommended doses. It has few, if any, side effects. However, it is advised that the following groups of people should show caution before consuming the herb:
- Anybody experiencing hypoglycaemia.
- Those on diabetes medication. It is important that this category of people obtain medical advice before considering taking any treatments containing gymnema, due to potential blood-sugar lowering effects.
- Pregnant or lactating women.
- People allergic to milkweed.
- Those taking prescription antidepressants.
- It is recommended to take any treatments containing gymnema with food, due to possible stomach upset.
Although research appears to support the weight loss and other health benefits of gymnema, it is important to continue with a balanced diet and regular exercise.
How can I get more Gymnema?
Gymnema is a key ingredient in Vivano Appetite Manager, which is a research-based supplement to help manage normal food cravings and impulse eating.
What is Vivano Appetite Manager?
Vivano Appetite Manager’s formulation works to:
- Support weight goals to help you reach ideal weight targets and manage carb cravings.
- Improve mental focus and energy and calm impulse eating to help you feel better.
Vivano Appetite Manager contains three key ingredients:
Key herb number 1 – Gymnema
Gymnestra is the active ingredient in Gymnema and gained its reputation as a sugar destroyer in traditional Indian medicine. Since the 1930s, medical journals have established that Gymnestra is able to decrease sugar cravings while helping stabilise blood sugar levels.
Key herb number 2 – Vanadium Sulphate
Maintaining a good balance between blood glucose and insulin is essential for supporting a healthy metabolism and managing weight. According to a 1998 review, Vanadium helps maintain this balance by supporting the healthy metabolism of glucose, fat and protein. Better glucose metabolism, in turn, can lead to improved energy production and may aid in weight management.
Key herb number 3 – Chromium Polynicotinate
Chromium is a trace element that supports healthy metabolism by regulating the way the body uses carbohydrates. Studies show Chromium helps metabolise fat and protein more effectively.
The Vanadium and Chromium found in Vivano Appetite Manager both support the effective control of carb and sugar cravings.
Vivano products are manufactured in New Zealand to the highest standards with thorough testing and guarantees of no adulteration or undeclared ingredients.
Vivano products are most effective when combined with healthy eating and moderate exercise.
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Disclaimer. This information is provided for general informational purposes only and does not substitute for the advice provided by your medical professional. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.