STUDIES ON THE EFFECT OF GYMNEMA SYLVESTRE ON DIABETICS
Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka
Gyntnema sylvesrre: (T. Sirukurincha) is used in indigeneous medicine for control of glycosuria. In this work the hypoglycaemic effect of G. sjlvesrrr was studied in 16 normal subjects and in 43 mild diabetics. Normal subjects anci diabetics were between 43 and 68 years of age. All the subjects were administered with G . Sylvestre leaf powder (10 g/day) for 7 days. Oral glucose tolerance test was performcd on all subjects before the administration of G. sylvesrre leaf powder. Normal subjecrs
... Normal subjecrs had the zero and 2 hour blood glucose levels of 80.8 ( 11.9) mg dl-' and 72.6 (? 14.4) mg dl~'respectively, while 43 mild diabetics had 152.7 (+ 28.5) mg dl-' and 240.0 ( k 22.5) mg dl-'. From 7th day, 36 mild diabetics were treated with tolbutamide for one week as prescribed by their doctors, while the remaining 7 diabetics continued the intake of G . Sylvestreleaf powder for another two weeks. Fasting blood glucose levels of normals, 36 diabetics on G. Sylvesrre and on tolbutamide, and 7 diabetics who continued with G. sylvestre leaf powder, were measured on zero, and 7th days; on zero, 7th and 14th days and on zero, 11th and 21st days respectively. Fasting blood glucose levels on the 7th da for normals K and mild diabetics w'ere 71.6 ( 2 12.9) mg dl" and 136.3 (k 20.3) mg dl7 respectively. The mean fasting blood glucose levels of both normals and diabetics had significantly decreased 7 days after the administration of G . Sylvesrrr leaf powder. Fasting blood ' ' glucose levels of the 36 diabetics on tolbutamide for 7 days (on 14th day of commencement of the experiment) was 131.1 (2 15.1) mg dl-'. Mean fasting blood glucose levels of 36 diabetics on 7th day (136.3 k 20.3 mg dl-') and 14th day (131.1 + 15.1 mg dl-') showed no significant difference. Fasting bldod glucose levels of 7 diabetics who took G. Sylvesrre leaf powder for 3 weeks showed improved glucose tolerance on the 21st day, (101.2 + 31.9 rng dl-'). This indicates that G. Sylvesrre leaf powder has probably had a hypoglycaemic effect comparable to tolbutamide. Serum triacylglycerol, free fatty acids and cholesterol levels of the normals were unaffected by the intake of G. sylvestre leaf powder for one week, whereas that of diabetics had significantly decreased. Serum ascorbic acid and iron levels of normals and diabetics were elevated significantly due to the intake of G. sylvestre leaf powder. Intake of G. Sylvesrre had not affected the excretion of creatine in normals whereas in diabetics it had decreased the excretion of creatine. S G O T and SGPT levels of normals and diabetics, before and after the administration of G. sylvestre, were not significantly different.