Gymnema sylvestre is a medicinal plant whose consumption has demonstrated benefits on lipid and glucose levels, blood pressure, and body weight (BWt). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of G. sylvestre administration on metabolic syndrome (MetS), insulin secretion, and insulin sensitivity. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was carried out in 24 patients (without pharmacological treatment), 30-60 years old, with diagnosis of MetS in accordance with the modified International Diabetes Federation criteria. Patients were randomly assigned to receive G. sylvestre or placebo twice daily before breakfast and dinner in 300 mg capsules for a total of 600 mg per day for 12 weeks. Before and after the intervention, the components of MetS were evaluated as well as BWt, body mass index (BMI), total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). Area under the curve of glucose and insulin, phases of insulin secretion, and insulin sensitivity were calculated. Statistical analysis was performed using Wilcoxon signed-rank, Mann-Whitney U, and chi-square tests; P ≤ .05 was considered statistically significant. After G. sylvestre administration, significant decreases in BWt (81.3 ± 10.6 kg vs. 77.9 ± 8.4 kg, P = .02), BMI (31.2 ± 2.5 kg/m2 vs. 30.4 ± 2.2 kg/m2, P = .02), and VLDL levels (0.45 ± 0.15 mmol/dL vs. 0.35 ± 0.15 mmol/dL, P = .05) were observed, without modifying the components of MetS, insulin secretion, and insulin sensitivity. In conclusion, G. sylvestre administration decreased BWt, BMI, and VLDL levels in subjects with MetS, without changes in insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity.
Keywords: Gymnema sylvestre; Matsuda index; body weight; insulin resistance; insulinogenic index.