Indian Gooseberry for Cholesterol Reduction
A recent study published in the Asian journal of biochemical and pharmaceutical research in February 2012 looked to evaluate the hypolipidemic effect and antioxidant activity of the combined effect of aqueous extracts of amla and fenugreek in subjects with high cholesterol.
Twenty eight subjects with borderline high cholesterol and triglycerides were selected. Subjects were randomly divided into 2 groups.
Group I received [1000mg Amla + 500mg Fenugreek/day].
Group II received [standard drug Atorvastatin 10 mg daily].
Subjects were evaluated every 4 weeks for 12 weeks.
At the end of 12 weeks, a significant decrease in serum total cholesterol (20-26%), LDL (25-34%), triglyceride (15-30%) and VLDL (15-30%) levels & an increase in the HDL (0-5%) levels in the group receiving amla and fenugreek was noted. The combination showed a similar response on lipid profile as compared to statins.
A significant increase in the levels of GSH (erythrocyte glutathione), an endogenous antioxidant and
A significant decrease in the levels of MDA (Erythrocyte malondialdehyde) – a marker of lipid peroxidation was observed after 12 weeks of treatment with the test formulation.
The study concluded by attributing the steroidal saponins in fenugreek and flavanoids in amla to have exerted the cholesterol lowering effect.
A study recently published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology evaluated the efficacy of amla in patients with type II hyperlipidemia and compared its hypolipidemic effects with those of simvastatin.
Few hyperlipidemia patients were given amla capsule (500 mg) daily for 42 days and few were kept on simvastatin.
Both treatments produced significant reduction in the lipid levels and blood pressure. However, the beneficial effect was more marked in patients receiving Amla.
The study proved the benefits of addition of amla to the currently available hypolipidemic therapy. Amla was seen to offer significant protection against atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease.
According to the findings, amla intake daily, if used as a parallel treatment regime could cause a potent reduction in the dose and adverse effects of the statins too.
Mechanism of cardio protective action
Amla-induced favorable changes in the lipid profile may be attributed to several mechanisms such as:
- An interference with cholesterol absorption
- Inhibition of HMG Co-A reductase activity
- Increase in Lecithin-Cholesterol Acyltransferase (LCAT) activity
- Prevention of LDL oxidation by tannins
- Serum cholesterol reduction via pectins
- Hypolipidemic effect of flavanoids
Amla has been reported to prevent progression of hypertension via modulation of activated Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS), endogenous antioxidants, serum Nitric Oxide (NO), and electrolyte levels.
In a nutshell amla is an extremely effective natural hypolipidemic agent. It works in the following ways to promote heart health:
- Reduces oxidant damage
- Reduces total cholesterol and LDL
- Inhibits production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that contribute to endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis.
- Reduces both serum and tissue lipid levels by mechanisms similar to those of the “statin” drugs minus the adverse effects
- Prevents oxidant-induced thickening of vessel walls
- Chaudhuri ratan k. (2004) pcia conference, guangzhou, china
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- Nampoothiri SV et al. In vitro antioxidant and inhibitory potential of terminalia bellerica and emblica officinalis fruits against LDL oxidation and key enzymes linked to type 2 diabetes. Food chem toxicol. 2011 jan; 49(1):125-31.
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- 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. Int j food sci nutr. 2011 sep; 62(6):609-16.
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- Santhosh J et al. Hypolipidemic activity of phyllanthus emblica linn (amla) & trigonella foenum graecum (fenugreek) combination in hypercholesterolemic subjects – A Prospective, randomised, parallel, open-label, positive controlled study. Asian journal of biochemical and pharmaceutical research issue 1 (vol. 2) feb 2012
- Baliga MS ; Dsouza JJ. Amla(emblica officinalis gaertn), a wonder berry in the treatment and prevention of cancer.eur j cancer prev. 2011 may;20(3):225-39.
- Gopa. B et al. A comparative clinical study of hypolipidemic efficacy of Amla (Emblica officinalis) with 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme-A reductase inhibitor simvastatin. Indian J Pharmacol. 2012 Mar-Apr; 44(2): 238–242.
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