Amla (also popularly known as Indian gooseberry and officially known as both Emblica officinalis and Phyllanthus emblica) has been a staple of Ayurvedic practice for over 2,000 years. During that time, practitioners noted that it sped the healing of wounds, reduced inflammation, strengthened bones, and improved vision.
But one of the most readily used applications is fighting triglycerides, boosting HDL cholesterol, and improving overall cholesterol levels. And it has a marked advantage over statin drugs.
One of the most dangerous results of statins is that they deplete the natural levels of CoQ10 that fuel heart cells, making individuals even more prone to heart attacks. Statins also cause muscle weakness in general, create problems with cognitive health, and may cause more problems than they solve.
Amla can do what statins are supposed to do, but without the risk.
In the most recent placebo-controlled clinical study, amla reduced the atherogenic index of the plasma (AIP), a measure of the ratio of triglycerides to HDL, by 39 percent in 12 weeks. This is an important finding, because high AIP measures are a sign of higher risk for coronary heart disease, and they are a definite marker of atherosclerosis. Amla significantly lowered LDL cholesterol, VLDL cholesterol, and CRP levels as well. Additionally, patients in this study also saw slight reductions in fasting blood sugar levels, and – unlike statin drugs – amla did not reduce levels of CoQ10.
Amla has proved that it is effective for correcting lipid levels in individuals with or without diabetes and without the risks of statin drugs. This makes amla perfectly poised to be an excellent natural medicine for integrative practice. Like many botanicals, it tackles a multitude of health concerns, including its original purpose of recommendation, without causing complications or side effects. Look for a clinically studied amla, with a fruit extract in a 25:1 ratio and standardized to contain at least 35 percent polyphenol content.
Upadya H, Prabhu S, Prasad A, Subramanian D, Gupta S, Goel A. A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, multicenter clinical trial to assess the efficacy and safety of Emblica officinalis extract in patients with dyslipidemia. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2019;19(1):27.
BACKGROUND: Dyslipidemia is one of the most frequently implicated risk factors for development of atherosclerosis. This study evaluated the efficacy of amla (Emblica officinalis) extract (composed of polyphenols, triterpenoids, oils etc. as found in the fresh wild amla fruit) in patients with dyslipidemia.
METHODS: A total of 98 dyslipidemic patients were enrolled and divided into amla and placebo groups. Amla extract (500 mg) or a matching placebo capsule was administered twice daily for 12 weeks to the respective group of patients. The patients were followed up for 12 weeks and efficacy of study medication was assessed by analyzing lipid profile. Other parameters evaluated were apolipoprotein B (Apo B), apolipoprotein A1 (Apo A1), Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP), fasting blood sugar (FBS), homocysteine and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
RESULTS: In 12 weeks, the major lipids such as total cholesterol (TC) (p = 0.0003), triglyceride (TG) (p = 0.0003), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (p = 0.0064) and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C) (p = 0.0001) were significantly lower in amla group as compared to placebo group. Additionally, a 39% reduction in atherogenic index of the plasma (AIP) (p = 0.0177) was also noted in amla group. The ratio of Apo B to Apo A1 was reduced more (p = 0.0866) in the amla group as compared to the placebo. There was no significant change in CoQ10 level of amla (p = 0.2942) or placebo groups (p = 0.6744). Although there was a general trend of FBS reduction, the numbers of participants who may be classified as pre-diabetes and diabetes groups (FBS > 100 mg/dl) in the amla group were only 8. These results show that the amla extract used in the study is potentially a hypoglycaemic as well. However, this needs reconfirmation in a larger study.
CONCLUSIONS: The Amla extract has shown significant potential in reducing TC and TG levels as well as lipid ratios, AIP and apoB/apo A-I in dyslipidemic persons and thus has scope to treat general as well as diabetic dyslipidemia. A single agent to reduce cholesterol as well as TG is rare. Cholesterol reduction is achieved without concomitant reduction of Co Q10, in contrast to what is observed with statins.
Here is the link to the complete study: A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, multicenter clinical trial to assess the efficacy and safety of Emblica officinalis extract in patients with dyslipidemia
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