Hi I was wondering if any of the Type 1's have been taking Gymnema Sylvestre. It's an herb that has been used for 1000's of years in India to naturally lower blood glucose. Seems to be very effective at lowering the A1C. Has anyone heard of a 12 year old taking it? What were the results?
Just so its clear. There is some (limited) evidence of a minor decline in type 2 diabetics over the short run. Perhaps a short 10-15 point drop in blood sugar. No evidence it is applicable to type 1's and none that it is a long lasting effect. And there is a great difference between type 1 and type 2 causes. Hence the reason a drug like Actoes is not used in type 1's.
Here is what Jenny Ruhl has to say about Gymnema Sylvestre:
"Gymnema Sylvestre is an herb used in Aryuvedic and Chinese medicine. It appears to lower blood sugar, and claims are made that it lowers sugar cravings.
"Unfortunately, most of the research investigating this herb is rodent research, which is often misleading because rodent blood sugar control works very differently from that of humans. That's why the press has reported hundreds of times that diabetes has been 'cured' in mice though there's never been a hint of a cure that works in humans.
"As is the case with so much research on supplements, most of the studies on this supplement were conducted in the Third World and published in obscure journals. This suggests it is vanity research commissioned by companies that sell the supplement. The most enthusiastic report touting the effects of Gymnema Sylvestre was published only in a newsletter run by the authors of the study, though it must be said that their newsletter is considered a reputable source . . .
"What peer-reviewed research I can find that explores the mechanisms by which this herb might work suggests that it increases insulin secretion and blocks the action of the same starch-digesting enzymes that Precose and the over-the-counter starch blockers block. (Persaud, 1999 and Ramkumar,2010)."
Jenny Ruhl, Diet 101: The Truth About Low Carb Diets (Turners Falls: Technion Books, 2008), Pp. 178-179
I haven't tried that one, I have tried other herbs such as ala and it seems to drop me low sometimes if I take it so I stopped. I would never use it as a substitute for insulin though, and since it was unpredictable, like much else to do with D for me, it wasn't all that helpful.
We're giving gymnema a trial (teen w/ T1D) using a standardized extract formula along with the usual insulin doses. So far, so good... we're 1.5 weeks into the trial. We see more readings in the good range this week, with fewer spikes, overall. The current spikes are in the low 200s. A few weeks ago, before the trial, the spikes were more frequent and reaching into the low 300s. No problems with lows, so far. Hope this helps answer your question.
We used to see better readings by adjusting Lantus, but lately that doesn't seem to work as well as it did. Maybe the honeymoon period is completely over? We're wary of lows because of hypoglycemic unawareness (no CGM or pump to help out). We're hoping the gymnema will help stabilize things.
Thanks for the information everyone! It has been very helpful! I would love to hear updates as you go along with it.
"What peer-reviewed research I can find that explores the mechanisms by which this herb might work suggests that it increases insulin secretion....... (Persaud, 1999 and Ramkumar,2010)."
Not going to be much use for Type 1 then....