A 'New' Old Weapon in Diabetes Fight

Extract of the Gymnema sylvestre plant has been found to stimulate insulin secretion in recent tests, opening the way for further research into its diabetes benefits.

Gymnema sylvestre is a plant used for centuries in India and Asia as a natural remedy for diabetes. The herb's active ingredient, gymnemic acid, is extracted from leaves and roots, and helps to balance blood sugar levels.

A recent study found that a gymnema sylvestre isolate significantly stimulated insulin production, which may help regulate blood glucose levels. The isolate appears to have a direct effect on the pancreatic beta cells, the cells that secrete insulin.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had previously found "good scientific evidence" that gymnema sylvestre can be helpful in controlling blood sugar levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It is important that people with existing blood sugar issues talk to their doctors before adding gymnema sylvestre to their diet, as insulin or other medications may need to be reduced.

The unique shape of gymnemic acid molecules are similar to that of glucose, allowing it to fill cell receptors in the lining the intestines, which prevents the uptake of sugar molecules. When taken with a high-carbohydrate meal or a meal high in sugar, gymnema sylvestre can aid the body by passing through sugars and making carbs available for burning, rather than turning these into fat stores. In this way it helps to build lean muscle mass.

In healthy adults, gymnema sylvestre is believed to help curb cravings for sweets by temporarily reducing the taste of sugar when it is placed in the mouth.

Preliminary studies with gymnema sylvestre indicate that it may also lower triglycerides and LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, with more research in that area recommended.

If you have blood sugar problems, God has provided countless plants, herbs and natural compound that can be used on your pathway to healing. In addition to gymnema sylvestre, the herbs bitter melon fruit, milk thistle, American ginseng, bilberry leaf and aloe vera leaf have all been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels. These herbs, and essential minerals such as chromium, vanadium, and magnesium, are all part of the Blood Sugar Support formula, a key component of the Blood Sugar Program.

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