The leaves of Gymnema sylvestre (family: Asclepiadaceae) is used in making of the extract Gymnemagenin, the main sapogenin in the leaves, yields gymnemic acids which is a chemically complex mixture of saponins and gurmarin, a polypeptide of 35 amino acids Gymnemic acids are anti-sweet principles that shows inhibitory effect on plasma glucose. The extract of dried leaves, given to diabetic rats, was found to bring about blood glucose homoeostasis by increasing serum insulin levels. The leaf extract when orally administered to experimentally induced hyperlipidaemic rats reduced the elevated serum triglyceride and total cholesterol in a dose-dependent manner A blood sugar lowering effect in both normal and diabetic subjects has also been reported with the use of Gymnema sylvestre extract.
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