Gymnema Supplement Review

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  Evaluated for:
Effectiveness Rating Effectiveness Rating
Blood sugar management
+1 (Slight Evidence)
Metabolic syndrome
+1 (Slight Evidence)


  • Gymnema is a plant from the forests of India. The leaf is used in Ayurvedic medicine for treatment of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and weight loss.
  • Gymnema has been used in Western medicine for the treatment of high blood sugar and high LDL cholesterol. It has been shown in some animal and human studies to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics.
  • It is thought that gymnema reduces absorption of glucose from the intestines. It may also stimulate beta cell growth in the pancreas; these are the cells that secrete insulin. It may, therefore, also increase insulin secretion. It decreases the taste of sweet on the tongue and increases the sense of bitter.
  • Currently gymnema is considered safe for adults.


  • Gymnema’s real benefit is precisely its concern: In small amounts, its blood sugar lowering effect can be beneficial; in larger amounts it can become dangerous.
  • Gymnema may also increase the blood-sugar lowering effects of other diabetes medicines.
  • Gymnema also appears to have the potential for an additive effect when taken with weight-loss and cholesterol-lowering agents.

Gymnema has not been tested in, and should not be used by, children, or by pregnant or nursing women. Gymnema may also increase the blood-sugar lowering effects of other diabetes medicines. Therefore, people who decide to try it must check with their health care providers first, and then monitor their blood sugars very closely, even once they know how much it lowers their blood sugars. Diabetics who use any of the insulins or the class of medicines that includes generic glyburide, glimepiride or glipizide are most at risk of developing sudden and dangerous hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Gymnema may increase that risk. Blood sugar levels should be monitored frequently, and doses adjusted under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Of note, low blood sugars have also been seen in non-diabetic patients

DOSAGE:400 to 600 mg daily.

CONCLUSION:We conclude that while gymnema shows promise for the treatment of metabolic syndrome and lowering blood sugars in diabetics, there is not enough evidence for us to recommend its use. If you do elect to try it, remember to include it in your list of medications when you visit your doctor and other health care providers.

“Gymnema.” Natural Standard –The Authority on Integrative Medicine. Natural Standard, 2013.
“Gymnema.” Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2013. 8 November 2013.
Gymnema. EBSCO Publishing (2010) 1-2
Al-Romaiyan, A. et al. A Novel Gymnema sylvestre Extract Stimulates Insulin Secretion from Human Islets In Vivo and In Vitro. Phytotherapy Research (2010) 24: 1370-1376

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