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Indian Gooseberry Extract Linked to Improved Cardiovascular Health

People with type-2 diabetes have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. A recent study suggests that supplementing with an Indian gooseberry extract may boost cardiovascular health and improve function of the endothelium (a thin layer of cells that line and protect blood vessels) in type-2 diabetics.

Specifically, the Indian gooseberry extract significantly improved cholesterol, nitric oxide and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels while decreasing oxidative stress. In addition, endothelial function was measured using a reflective index – and the improvements made by supplementing with Indian gooseberry were comparable to those experienced by subjects taking a statin drug.

Endothelial function is a measure of how well the cells lining our blood vessels are working. Dysfunction can lead to hypertension and hardened arteries.

Participants in the study included 80 individuals with type-2 diabetes. Over the course of 12 weeks, they participated in one of the following four interventions:

1. a placebo;

2. 10 mg of atorvastatin per day (a pharmacological drug prescribed to lower

cholesterol);

3. 500 mg of Indian gooseberry twice daily;

4. 1000 mg of Indian gooseberry twice daily.

At the conclusion of the trial, all of the active interventions showed improvements in endothelial function and reduced markers of oxidative stress when compared with the placebo.

The researchers used the reflection index to measure endothelial function. The 500 mg supplement group went down by 9.1%, the 1000 mg group went down by 10.0%, and the atorvastatin group went down by 11.0% on the reflection index.

Additionally, a marker of oxidative stress called malondialdehyde went down by 23, 28, and 30% in the 500 mg, 1000 mg, and atorvastatin groups, respectively. Additionally, C-reactive protein, a measure of systemic inflammation, was reduced by 44.56%, 63.16%, and 64.9% in the three groups.

All three groups also saw an increase of 35 to 60% in levels of the antioxidant glutathione. Levels of nitric oxide, a vasodilator that widens your blood vessels, increased between 35 and 45%.

Finally, total cholesterol levels improved by 12% and 15% in the Indian gooseberry groups and 26% in the statin group. Similar improvements were recorded for LDL cholesterol as well.

Researchers from the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences in India conducted the study. It was published in the July 2013 issue of Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy.

Previous studies have shown that Indian gooseberry may help reduce pain and swelling in the pancreas, help with upset stomach, eye problems, joint pain, diarrhea, dysentery, obesity, and inflammation. It has traditionally been used in Ayurvedic medicine and can be found in supplement form.

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