- September 14, 2013 at 3:59 am #110308
Sep. 12, 2013 — A Kansas State University microbiologist has found a breakthrough herbal medicine treatment for a common human fungal pathogen that lives in almost 80 percent of people.
Govindsamy Vediyappan, assistant professor of biology, noticed that diabetic people in developing countries use a medicinal herb called Gymnema slyvestre to help control sugar levels. He decided to study the microbiological use of Gymnema slyvestre — a tropical vine plant found in India, China and Australia — to see if it could treat a common human fungal pathogen called Candida albicans.
The investigation was successful on two levels: Vediyappan’s research team found the medicinal compound is both nontoxic and blocks the virulence properties of the fungus so that it is more treatable. The results are important for human health, biomedical applications and potential drug development.
“We have shown that this compound is safe to use because it doesn’t hurt our body cells, yet it blocks the virulence of this fungus under in vitro conditions,” Vediyappan said. “Taking the medicine could potentially help patients control the invasive growth of the fungus and also help bring their sugar levels down.”
Candida albicans is one of the major fungal pathogens in humans because it lives in oral and intestinal areas as a normal flora, Vediyappan said. But the fungus can overgrow and can cause oral, intestinal and genital infections. The fungus kills almost 30 percent of people who have it and it is a concern among cancer patients — especially patients with neck or oral cancer — HIV patients, organ transplant patients and other people with compromised immune systems.
The fungus can grow in two forms: a treatable yeast and a difficult-to-treat hyphal form. Once the fungus transforms from a yeast to a hyphal growth it becomes difficult to treat because the hyphal growth has long filament-like structures that can spread into various organs. Vediyappan’s study aimed to block the hyphal growth form.
“Once it gets into the tissue, it spreads like roots and is difficult to contain by our immune system,” Vediyappan said.
If the fungus remains in yeast form, it is easy to manage and does not invade tissues. Vediyappan’s research team purified gymnemic acid compounds that prevented the transition stage from occurring and stopped the fungus spread. The gymnemic acids come from the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre, a traditional medicinal plant.
The research appears in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE in an article titled “Gymnemic acids inhibit hyphal growth and virulence in Candida albicans.”
Gymnema extract is commonly used to treat diabetes and other ailments because it is a cost-effective treatment, Vediyappan said. Often, people drink the extract to control their sugar levels or to lose weight.
Although Vediyappan’s research team is not the first to discover gymnemic acid compounds, the team is the first to discover that the compounds block the fungal transition. The researchers found that the compounds work quickly, too, which was an important characteristic. The treatable fungal yeast can transition to a hyphal growth within 30 minutes of an infection. When the hyphal transition has occurred, it will grow into branched filaments.
The gymnemic acid compounds are nontoxic, which is especially important for cancer patients and other immunocompromised patients. The gymnemic acids can stop the unwanted invasive infection while preserving important healthy cells.
The Candida albicans fungus also makes a biofilm, which is a fungal cell collection that can be difficult to treat. The researchers found that the gymnemic acid compounds converted the biofilm back to treatable yeast cells.
“This compound prevents the biofilm formation because hyphae are the major builders of biofilms and biofilms are resistant to antifungals,” Vediyappan said. “Yeast cells by themselves cannot make biofilms and are sensitive to antifungal treatments.”
Another interesting aspect: The gymnemic acid compounds also stopped the growth of Aspergillus, another fungal pathogen that can affect heart transplant patients and leukemia patients.
Vediyappan plans future studies to research mode of action, potential drug development, diabetes applications and other ways to improve treatment for Candida albicans and other fungal pathogens.September 14, 2013 at 5:07 am #110309
beccana14MemberTopics: 6Replies: 21
Interesting. Thank you so much for sharing this info!September 14, 2013 at 4:22 pm #110315
CiproSucksMemberTopics: 2Replies: 22
I just read this article elsewhere and was coming here to post a link. I think it’s important before we rush out to buy this product that we get our blood sugar levels tested first so we don’t cause ourselves more problems. The Candida diet restricts our sugar intake to nothing and I believe that is why we develop dry mouth, leading to oral thrush. We assume the Candida gives us dry mouth, but I think in most cases it’s the diet. I’m planning to get my blood sugar tested. If it’s low, I’m going to make sure this extract won’t lower it further. It might even level it out and resolve my bad 24/7 dry mouth and allow me to get rid of my thrush. One can hope, at least. If nothing else, I’m glad there’s some solid new research that might very well help us.September 20, 2013 at 7:17 pm #110545
rdj123MemberTopics: 7Replies: 12
Thanks for the sharing the article. I wonder what dosage would be recommended for people suffering from Candida?September 20, 2013 at 8:13 pm #110547
I’m not sure but I bought some from the vitamin shoppe, going to be trying them out in a few weeks. I might get a blood sugar reader just to see what happens while I take them. First I want to do some liver flush/parasite cleanse and I will start taking this afterwards!November 11, 2013 at 11:41 pm #112522
bowiegMemberTopics: 1Replies: 9
Thanks for sharing! I found the abstract:November 12, 2013 at 1:18 pm #112544
TheChosenOneParticipantTopics: 34Replies: 410
Tdog333;49068 wrote: I’m not sure but I bought some from the vitamin shoppe, going to be trying them out in a few weeks. I might get a blood sugar reader just to see what happens while I take them. First I want to do some liver flush/parasite cleanse and I will start taking this afterwards!
Have you tried it yet? I’m kind of curious.November 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm #112547
I have a bottle of it in the cupboard, I’m going to be taking it consistently while rotating antifungals. Right now I feel about 80% better after following the diet for 5 months. I even ate rice and beans /pumpkin a few days ago without any terrible bloating I used to get. But my plan is to take the gymena consistently while hitting some new antifungals hard. Then I’m going to stop and switch over to the s boulardii. I’ll update on this in a few weeksNovember 16, 2013 at 4:53 pm #112652
klips32ParticipantTopics: 65Replies: 183
Thanks, good find!January 3, 2014 at 4:36 am #114019
psalm34810MemberTopics: 0Replies: 15
Looking forward to the updates all. How did it go?January 3, 2014 at 4:41 am #114020
I’ve been taking it for a month straight now. I have been trying lots of new things so it’s hard to say if its the gymnema. But there has been HUGE improvements lately. Id say give this a go.January 9, 2014 at 7:17 pm #114390
flashas9MemberTopics: 3Replies: 9
Will have to try this, seems like a legit hype.
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