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This research suggests a beneficial effect of Gymnema sylvestre in the management of diabetes mellitus.
An open label study on the supplementation of Gymnema sylvestre in type 2 diabetics
Smriti Nanda Kumar, Uliyar Vitaldas Mani, Indirani Mani
Diabetes mellitus is a complex metabolic disorder characterized by chronic hyperglycemia, and associated with long-term damage and dysfunction of various organs. Management of diabetes is therefore vital and involves maintaining euglycemia as much as possible by reducing blood glucose and by increasing insulin sensitivity and peripheral glucose uptake. Ayurveda has promoted the management of diabetes by regulating carbohydrate metabolism using several medicinal herbs, one of which is Gymnema sylvestre (GS). GS has been used in parts of India as a hypoglycemic agent and the results have been encouraging. Accordingly, we planned a quasi-experimental study to investigate the efficacy of the herb among type 2 diabetics. Patients enrolled from free-living population were purposively assigned to experimental or control groups, based on their willingness to participate in the study. The experimental group was supplemented with 500 mg of the herb per day for a period of 3 months, and the efficacy of the herb was assessed through a battery of clinical and biochemical tests. Supplementation of the diet with GS reduced polyphagia, fatigue, blood glucose (fasting and post-prandial), and glycated hemoglobin and there was a favorable shift in lipid profiles and in other clinico-biochemical tests. These findings suggest a beneficial effect of GS in the management of diabetes mellitus.