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Amla Berry: Beyond Vitamin C

Miracles can come in small, quiet ways, like the Indian gooseberry amla. The many health benefits of vitamin C are wrapped in this tiny package.

indian_amla_berry_gooseberry_picEven people who don’t study nutrition seem to know that vitamin C boosts the human immune system. They know that when a person is dangerously deficient, scurvy is a distinct possibility. However it seems that the majority of people don’t know that each vitamin comes in many forms and that all forms are not equally functional in the human body.

Some forms of vitamin C supplements are manufactured in a lab like a pharmaceutical and others are derived from food. It is logical to most people that our bodies have developed to recognize food-sourced vitamins and that laboratory created synthetic vitamins are a very new thing to the human body. Yet those same people don’t usually realize that the bulk of nutritional supplements on the market are synthetically derived.

For thousands of years, the people of India have been using amla berry as a nutritional and medicinal agent. Amla is known by many names including gooseberry and emblica. Although vitamin C was not discovered until the 1900’s, the ancient health practitioners of India knew that taking amla had many useful medicinal benefits. Today we know amla is a great source of vitamin C. Let’s explore what else science has discovered about the humble amla fruit.

A published study done on the ability of amla to treat cancer cells concluded that amla exhibits anticancer activity against selected cancer cells.[1]

Another published study found that amla berry exhibits some antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.[2]

Amla berry_indian_gooseberry_amla_picAmla treatment was found to be beneficial in acute pancreatitis in laboratory rats.[3]

A study done in Japan concluded that amla is a very useful antioxidant for the prevention of age-related kidney disease.[4]

Scientific studies now support the efficacy of amla for relieving oxidative stress and improving glucose metabolism in diabetes.[5]

A pilot study found that supplementation with amla berry reduced serum blood cholesterol levels in men with elevated levels of cholesterol. When the amla was discontinued, the cholesterol levels rose again.[6]

When you take a plant form of vitamin C such as amla berry, you gain all the benefits of a vitamin C supplement plus the benefits of the other phytonutrients contained in the amla berry. There are many products on the market today that contain amla berry. I get my daily dose of amla berry by taking the Raw Vitamins from SUNWARRIOR.

[1] Ngamkitidechakul, C.; Jaijoy, K.; Hansakul, P.; Soonthornchareonnon, N.; Sireeratawong, S. (2010). "Antitumour effects of phyllanthus emblica L.: Induction of cancer cell apoptosis and Inhibition of in vivo tumour promotion and in vitro invasion of human cancer cells". Phytotherapy Research 24 (9): 1405–1413.doi:10.1002/ptr.3127.PMID 20812284.

[2] Saeed S, Tariq P (Jan 2007). "Antibacterial activities of Emblica officinalis and Coriandrum sativum against Gram negative urinary pathogens". Pak J Pharm Sci 20 (1): 32–5.PMID 17337425.

[3] Sidhu, S.; Pandhi, P.; Malhotra, S.; Vaiphei, K.; Khanduja, K. L. (2011). "Beneficial Effects ofEmblica officinalisinl-Arginine-Induced Acute Pancreatitis in Rats". Journal of Medicinal Food 14 (1–2): 147–155. doi:10.1089/jmf.2010.1108.PMID 21138365.

[4] Yokozawa T, Kim HY, Kim HJ, et al. (Sep 2007). "Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) attenuates age-related renal dysfunction by oxidative stress". J Agric Food Chem. 55 (19): 7744–52.doi:10.1021/jf072105s.PMID 17715896.

[5] Rao TP, Sakaguchi N, Juneja LR, Wada E, Yokozawa T (2005). "Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) extracts reduce oxidative stress in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats". J Med Food 8 (3): 362–8.doi:10.1089/jmf.2005.8.362.PMID 16176148.

[6] Jacob A, Pandey M, Kapoor S, Saroja R (Nov 1988). "Effect of the Indian gooseberry (amla) on serum cholesterol levels in men aged 35-55 years". Eur J Clin Nutr 42 (11): 939–44. PMID 3250870.

Understand the differences between synthetic and natural vitamin C!

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