Amla: The Ayurvedic Super Berry For Health & Longevity

Amla: The Ayurvedic Super Berry For Health & Longevity

Amla(Emblica officinalis Gaertn) or Indian Gooseberry as it’s commonly known is considered to be one of the most important medicinal plants in the Indian traditional system of medicine called Ayurveda.

Traditional herbalists recommend amla for strengthening the immune system, increasing energy, supporting the adrenal glands through its rich content of Vitamin C, as a liver tonic, to increase vitality and vigor, act as a restorative, to support digestion and as a tonic for the hair/scalp.

Scientific research has confirmed that amla does indeed have many potential therapeutic properties including antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antiulcerogenic, hepatoprotective, hypolipidemic, gastroprotective and chemopreventive benefits.

In this article, we are going to take a look at many of the evidence-based health benefits of Amla.

Amla’s Anti-Diabetic Effects

Preliminary research has found that Amla possesses anti-diabetic effects through the antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties.

Amla has also been reported to prevent/reduce hyperglycemia, cardiac complications, diabetic nephropathy, neuropathy, cataractogenesis and protein wasting. [1]

A study from 2011 evaluated the anti-hyperglycemic and lipid-lowering properties of Amla in normal and Type 2 Diabetic patients.

The results indicated a significant decrease (P <  0.05) in fasting and 2-h post-prandial blood glucose levels on the 21st day in both normal and diabetic subjects receiving 1, 2 or 3 g E. officinalis powder per day as compared with their baseline values.

The study found that consuming 2-3g of Amla powder daily also caused a significant decrease in total cholesterol and triglycerides levels.  Both normal and diabetic subjects had significantly improved high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and lowered low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels. [2]

Amla Protects The Liver

Scientific studies have shown amla to be effective in preventing/ameliorating the toxic effects of hepatotoxic agents like ethanol, paracetamol, carbon tetrachloride, heavy metals, ochratoxins, hexachlorocyclohexane, antitubercular drugs and hepatotoxicity resulting from iron overload.

Amla is also reported to impart beneficial effects on liver function and to mitigate hyperlipidemia and metabolic syndrome. Amla possesses protective effects against chemical-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in animal models of study.

Additionally, the phytochemicals quercetin, gallic acid, corilagin and ellagic acid are also reported to protect against the cytotoxic effects of paracetamol, microcystins, galactosamine and lipopolysaccharide.

The hepatoprotective actions of amla appear to be mediated by its free radical scavenging, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and modulation of the xenobiotic detoxification process and lipid metabolism. [3]

Amla’s Anti-Cancer Properties

Amla is also reported to possess radiomodulatory, chemomodulatory, chemopreventive effects, free radical scavenging, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic and immunomodulatory activities, properties that are efficacious in the treatment and prevention of cancer. [4]

Natural Source Of Vitamin C & Antioxidants

Amla is an excellent natural whole food source of Vitamin C and antioxidant phytonutrients such as tannins and polyphenols such as ellagic acid and gallic acid.

Studies have found that the Vitamin C in amla is around 12 times more potent than synthetic ascorbic acid supplements.

The Ayurvedic method of processing Amla increases the healthy characteristics of the fruit thanks to a higher antioxidant activity and a higher content of ascorbic acid.  It has also been found that Vitamin C accounts for approximately 45-70% of the antioxidant activity of Amla. [5]

The Potent Hypolipidemic Effects Of Amla Berry

Scientific research has found that Amla displays potent hypolipidemic effects, comparable to the statin medication Simvastatin.

A study from 2011 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.

Treatment with Amla produced a significant reduction of Total Cholesterol (P<0.0001), LDL(Low Density Lipoprotein) (P<0.0001), triglyceride (TG) and VLDL(Very Low Density Lipoprotein) (P<0.0002), and a significant increase in HDL(High Density Lipoprotein) levels (P<0.0002).

Similarly, treatment with simvastatin produced a significant reduction of TC (P<0.0001), LDL (P<0.0009), TG and VLDL (P<0.017), and a significant increase in HDL levels (P<0.0001).  Both treatments produced a significant reduction in blood pressure; however, this beneficial effect was more marked in patients receiving Amla.

In view of the above findings, it is suggested that Amla produced significant hypolipidemic effect along with a reduction in blood pressure.

The addition of Amla to the currently available hypolipidemic therapy would offer significant protection against atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease, with a reduction in the dose and adverse effects of the hypolipidemic agents. [6]

References

[1] Anti-diabetic effects of the Indian indigenous fruit Emblica officinalis Gaertn: active constituents and modes of action.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24577384

[2] Effect of Amla fruit (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) on blood glucose and lipid profile of normal subjects and type 2 diabetic patients.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21495900

[3] Hepatoprotective properties of the Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis Gaertn): a review.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23978895

[4] Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn), a wonder berry in the treatment and prevention of cancer.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21317655

[5] Vitamin C content and antioxidant activity of the fruit and of the Ayurvedic preparation of Emblica officinalis Gaertn.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16226416

[5] Therapeutic potential of Phyllanthus emblica (amla): the ayurvedic wonder.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20506691

[6] A comparative clinical study of hypolipidemic efficacy of Amla (Emblica officinalis) with 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme-A reductase inhibitor simvastatin

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3326920/

The information in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and should not be used to diagnose, cure or treat any disease, implied or otherwise.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *