Gymnema sylvestre improves insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control and potentially reverses prediabetes

Prediabetes can mature into full blown diabetes, and it carries an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Finding a safe, effective way to stop it would be huge.

Impaired glucose tolerance in prediabetics leads to high blood sugar, insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction, increasing your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Gymnema sylvestre is an important diabetes herb that has been shown to lower blood sugar and improve blood sugar control (J Ethnopharmacol 1990;30:281-94). Type 2 diabetics who add gymnema to their medication have significant improvement in blood sugar control (J Ethnopharmacol 1990;30:295-30). Could gymnema also help people with impaired glucose tolerance and stop progression to diabetes?

A new double-blind study addressed that question by giving either Gymnema sylvestre or placebo to people with impaired glucose tolerance. The dose of gymnema was 300mg twice a day, and the study lasted 12 weeks.

There were no improvements in the placebo group, but there were in the gymnema group. The herb produced significant improvements in glucose tolerance and HbA1c. Improvement in HbA1c is especially meaningful because it is the most important marker of long term blood sugar and diabetes control.
Gymnema also significantly improved LDL-cholesterol, weight and body mass index.

Importantly, at the end of the study, HbA1c levels used to diagnose prediabetes had normalized in 46.7% of people on gymnema but in none of the people on placebo.

This small but important study suggests that the herb Gymnema sylvestre can safely improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control and potentially reverse prediabetes. It may also improve cholesterol and weight loss.

J Med Food. January 2021;24(1):28-32

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