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From Hobart, Indiana, USA:

I have had type 1 diabetes for 32 years. I recently read an article on an herbal remedy called Gymnema. It says it helps lower the amount of insulin necessary and also helps with the effects of neuropathy. I haven't been able to find much research on it and was just curious.


There have been a number of reports, mostly from Asian centers, that extracts of Gymnema inhibit the absorption of glucose from the bowel and thus lower blood sugar levels. The trouble with products that are designated as 'food additives' rather than drugs is that they do not have to be standardised and consequently can vary greatly in quality. In addition, Gymnema is not recognised by the FDA as a therapy for diabetes. In any case, it is not as effective as diabetes medications such as acarbose (Precose) or pramlintide in deferring glucose absorption.

Just the same, Gymnema is available inexpensively in most supermarkets, and does not seem to be toxic in any way. It may have real value from its placebo effect by restoring some feeling of personal assertion over diabetes care.


[Editor's comment: See Herbal remedies: There's no magic from the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. WWQ]

Original posting 1 Nov 2000
Posted to Alternative Therapies and Explanations


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:14
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