Study evaluates the effectiveness of gurmar in reducing symptoms of metabolic syndrome

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(Natural News) A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that people with metabolic syndrome can ameliorate some of the condition’s complications with aid from gurmar (Gymnema sylvestre), a plant whose name literally means “sugar destroyer.”

Metabolic syndrome is a serious health condition involving several metabolic disorders occurring together. These are usually obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. By themselves, each of these three presents a serious health risk and are particularly dangerous when they occur together. People with metabolic syndrome are at a great risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary heart disease and stroke.

Gurmar is a plant that’s highly valued in Ayurvedic medicine. Previous research found that it can help reduce blood glucose and lipid levels. It can also lower both blood pressure and body weight. The researchers wanted to know the extent to which gurmar can help people with metabolic syndrome, specifically, in controlling insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity.

The conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial involving 24 patients who were 30 to 60 years old. To qualify, the participants need to have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome according to the criteria set by the International Diabetes Federation.

The participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group was required to take 300 mg gurmar capsules twice a day (once before breakfast and once before dinner) for 12 weeks. The other group took a placebo.

To determine the effects of the treatment, the authors measured the components of metabolic syndrome before and after the intervention. These included body weight, body mass index (BMI), total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol.


After treatment, the researchers noted decreases in body weight, BMI, and VLDL levels in patients who took gurmar tablets. However, the treatment did not cause any effect on either insulin secretion or insulin sensitivity.

Natural ways to manage metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome involves currently untreatable disorders, but it can be managed effectively. Diet is an important factor in succeeding at this.

A person with metabolic syndrome needs to avoid certain food items that may make their symptoms worse. These include the following:

  • Sugary foods – Too much sugar in one’s diet raises blood glucose levels and contributes to insulin resistance, resulting in Type 2 diabetes. Those with metabolic syndrome are especially at risk. Sugar is not always explicitly named, so beware of other names that manufacturers use in their labels, such as glucose, sucrose, dextrose, fructose, levulose, and maltose.
  • Artificial sweeteners – These are touted as the “healthier” alternative to sugar because they often have little to no calories. However, studies show that even artificial sweeteners can increase one’s risk of developing diabetes. Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin, are often found in diet and energy drinks, among other products.
  • Trans fats – These are harmful fats that raise the levels of bad cholesterol in the body, increasing one’s risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Trans fats are found in margarine, crackers, potato chips, shortening, and others.
  • Sodium – This mineral is essential to good health in limited doses. In high concentrations, it can raise one’s blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of heart disease. Eating less salt and high-salt foods is the best way to reduce one’s sodium levels.

Instead of consuming these foods, a person with metabolic syndrome needs to incorporate more vegetables, nuts, fruits, and seeds into their diet. These supply vitamins, minerals, and other phytochemicals that aid in managing weight and controlling the symptoms of metabolic disorders. (Related: Lack of vitamins C and E linked to metabolic syndrome.)

Apart from diet changes, exercise can also be an effective aid against metabolic syndrome. It does not just help in reducing and maintaining a healthy weight, it also lowers the levels of harmful fats in the body. Exercise also reduces insulin resistance, enabling the body to process sugar more effectively and resulting in more stable blood glucose levels.

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