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Is Indian Gooseberry (Amla) Good For Diabetes?

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that results either from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the number of diabetics worldwide is estimated to hike to 366 million by the year 2030 from 171 million in 2000.

To manage or prevent diabetes, most of the people, as well as researchers, have shifted their interest to herbal medications due to their long-term effectiveness with no or minimal side effects and low cost.

Talking about herbal remedies for diabetes, amla or Indian gooseberry needs no introduction. The anti-diabetic effects of amla are mentioned in Rasayana, one of the branches of a renowned Indian medical system 'Ayurveda'. Not only in India, but amla is widely used in countries like Iran, Thailand, Germany and China for diabetes and other ailments.

Let's discuss more about amla or Indian gooseberry and its amazing benefits for people with diabetes.

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Active Compounds In Indian Gooseberry (Amla)

It is regarded as the best among rejuvenating herbs by Ayurveda. Indian gooseberry or amla contains two vital polyphenols called tannins and flavonoids. The tannins include gallic acid, esters of gallic acid, methyl gallate, ellagic acid, corilagin while flavonoids include quercetin. Both of the active polyphenols are responsible for the glucose-lowering effect of amla. [1]

Indian Gooseberry (Amla) And Diabetes

According to a study, some of the vital nutrients in Indian gooseberry such as gallic acid, corilagin, ellagic acids and gallotanin have strong antioxidant activities which are responsible for its anti-diabetic effects. They help prevent or reduce hyperglycemia, neuropathy and diabetes-related cardiac complications. [2]

Another study talks about a major metabolic extract from the fruit i.e. quercetin. The antihyperglycemic effect or say, the glucose-lowering effect of quercetin helps in the acute management of diabetes. [1]

A dose of 75 mg per bodyweight when administered can help decrease the blood glucose by 14.78 per cent after the seven days. Also, a dose of quercetin between 50-75 mg/kg body weight helps improve triglycerides and total cholesterol levels.

Therefore, from the aforementioned studies, it can be evaluated that quercetin in amla can help manage diabetes due to its anti-diabetic and antihyperglycemic effects and can also be used as a potential drug.

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Indian Gooseberry (Amla) For Immune System

Diabetes is highly linked to immune system functioning. The production of insulin from the pancreas (type 1 diabetes) as well as the metabolism of glucose by the insulin (type 2 diabetes) are increasingly dependent on the immune system.

Amla naturally contains vitamin C, fibres, tannins, amino acids and polyphenols which are known to support the immune system by their anti-inflammatory and antioxidative mechanisms. [3]

Chronic inflammation causes damage to the pancreatic beta cells which results in insufficient production of insulin and thus, diabetes. The increased concentration of glucose in the body for a prolonged period hampers the immune system which may increase the risk of infections on diabetics.

Indian gooseberry helps in building a strong immune system, lowers glucose levels and prevents infectious diseases and complications related to diabetes.

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Indian Gooseberry (Amla) Juice Recipe For Diabetics

Ingredients

  • Half cup of chopped amla (with the seed removed)
  • A small slice of ginger
  • Half cup of water
  • Pinch of black salt (optional)
  • Lemon juice (optional)

Method

  • Blend together chopped amla, water and ginger.
  • Pour the mixture in the glass after passing it through the strainer.
  • Squeeze lemon juice and add black salt as per your taste
  • Serve.

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Common FAQs

1. Can diabetics drink Amla juice?

Amla juice is the best way to add amla or Indian gooseberry to your diet. This is because amlais very tangy in taste and thus, cannot be eaten raw. Preparing juice from amla can help get its health benefits to manage glucose levels and related complications.

2. How many Amla should be eaten in a day?

A dose of 1-2 amla is recommended daily. You can either eat them raw or prepare amla juice. Though amla is good for digestive health, the excess amount of it can make constipation worse and also cause a build-up of acid in the stomach.

3. What are the side effects of Amla?

In people with bleeding disorders, amla can increase the risk of bleeding and bruising. Also, in some cases, amla can interfere with diabetes drugs and cause excess reduction of glucose levels, causing hypoglycemia.

4. Is Amla bad for diabetics?

No, amla is considered as a great herbal remedy in Ayurveda to manage and prevent diabetes. Its immune-boosting effect also helps improve the immunity in diabetics. Well, as it is a herb, it is dose-dependent and therefore, it should be taken in a recommended amount to prevent any complications.

5. What is the best time to eat Amla?

The best time to consume amla or amla juice is in the morning and in an empty stomach. It helps flush out toxins from the body, boost immunity, improve the cell functioning and also takes care of the skin.

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Story first published: Friday, February 5, 2021, 19:00 [IST]