Can amla help control diabetes? (Disease query of the day)
Can amla help control diabetesAmla (scientific name Phyllanthus emblica) or Indian gooseberry is one of the most powerful herbs used in Ayurveda. It has been recommended by doctors for several chronic conditions, especially diabetes. But, before analysing whether or not amla helps in reduction of sugar levels, let’s take a look at its nutritional facts.
Amla is low in calories and is a rich source of Vitamin C. One small amla has as much Vitamin C as 2 medium-sized oranges. Amla is also rich in phenolic compounds like flavones and anthocyanins that have strong antioxidant capacity. It is fairly rich in minerals like calcium, iron and phosphorous and also contains B complex vitamins. So, overall the nutritional value of amla makes it a medicinal herb promoting good health in all individuals.
According to studies, it’s the antioxidant property of amla that makes it useful for diabetic individuals. The polyphenol-rich fruit actually has properties that can protect the body from oxidative properties of high blood sugar. The same compound is also effective in preventing insulin resistance caused due to a high fructose diet. This means that the fruit can actually assist in proper absorption of insulin leading to a drop in blood sugar in diabetics.
Here’s some evidence supporting the link between amla and diabetes control.
A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Foodshowed that amla extract significantly reduced sugar levels in induced diabetic rats. The study suggests that the strong free radical scavenging activity of amla and its efficacy in reducing oxidative stress helped in improving glucose metabolism in diabetic rats.
Another study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition evaluated sugar lowering property of amla in humans. It was observed that diabetic individuals who were given 1, 2 or 3 gm of amla powder everyday had decreased levels of fasting and 2 hour post-prandial blood glucose levels after 20 days. But individuals who received 3gm of amla powder showed significantly reduced sugar levels.
Additionally, there are various studies which show that amla also prevents the development of complications like diabetic neuropathy and diabetes-induced heart dysfunction in type-2 diabetic individuals. All in all, amla has a positive effect on people with diabetes. But you need to consult your doctor to know the quantity of amla you can have and a suitable time to consume it.
Prasan R Bhandari, Mohammad Ameeruddin Kamdod. Emblica officinalis (Amla): A review of potential therapeutic applications.
Rao TP et al. Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) extracts reduce oxidative stress in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.
Akhtar MS et al. Effect of Amla fruit (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) on blood glucose and lipid profile of normal subjects and type 2 diabetic patients.
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