Transcript: Amla vs. Diabetes
Dripping plant extracts on cancer cells in a test tube is a far cry from testing whole foods on whole people. Another amla study published recently, though, tried Indian gooseberries on patients with diabetes.
A normal fasting blood sugar is considered under 100. Between 100 and 125 is called pre-diabetes, and over 125, you are, essentially, by definition, diabetic. So, they took people with diabetes and put them on a diabetes medication like glyburide, sold as Diabeta or Micronase. It brings down their blood sugars.
Then, researchers compared that leading diabetes drug to a just three-quarters of a teaspoon a day of dried powdered amla—that’s less than 2 berries a day worth. They just gave them a tiny bit of this fruit, and it worked even better than the leading drug. So they tried half a teaspoon a day of gooseberry powder; a quarter teaspoon a day. That’s less; that’s not even one berry, and it still brought their sugars down into the normal range.
Here are the potential side effects of the drug, glyburide: most commonly weight gain, feeling like you’re going to throw up, or (rarely), your skin starts to fall off, or your liver fails, or it poisons your bone marrow. Side effects of gooseberries? Well, I don’t know, they taste kind of sour.
Amla has been used safely for centuries, but these researchers did actually find three dramatic side effects. In addition to bringing their blood sugars down, amla lowered their bad cholesterol straight from the danger zone into the happy zone. One gooseberry a day cut their bad cholesterol in half in three weeks. Boosted their good cholesterol, and cut their triglycerides in half!
Yeah, but how expensive is this amla stuff? How expensive are Indian gooseberries? Most of the diabetes drugs are generic now. You can get a three months’ supply for only like $50. So I biked over to an Indian spice store I actually have in my neighborhood to see if they had amla, Indian gooseberries. I was afraid they’d be like, uh, what? Instead, they were like, uh, do you want frozen, dried, sweetened, salted, pickled, packed in syrup, packed in nitrogen? I bought all these in a tiny little store in a strip mall a couple blocks away from where I live. You can tell I liked the sweet the best. And yes, they had powdered too. A three months’ supply—three dollars!
Am I recommending people treat their diabetes with gooseberry powder? No, I recommend curing your diabetes with a plant-based diet. Why treat anything when you can get at the root cause and reverse it, in the first place?
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by MaryAnn Allison.
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