Health & Wellness Indian Gooseberry Weight Loss

Indian Gooseberry (Amla) lowers cholesterol; may reduce body weight

Emblica officinalis, Indian Gooseberry, Amla Benefits And Uses

Indian gooseberry (or Phyllanthus emblica Linn) is a tree that grows in India and its fruits are used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Its fruits contain a mixture of phenolic compounds and is known as rich source of vitamin C (amla pulp is contains 600 mg of vitamin C per 100 g [7]) [1] and are commonly used to treat anorexia, constipation, piles, leucorrhea, inflammatory bowls, cough, hemorrhoids, fever, thirst, toxicity of blood and atherosclerosis [2].


Reports suggest that it contains tannins, alkaloids, and phenolic compounds. The fruit also contains gallic acid, ellagic acid, chebulinic acid, chebulagic acid, emblicanin A, emblicanin B, punigluconin, pedunculagin, citric acid, ellagotannin, trigallayl glucose, pectin, 1-Ogalloyl-b-D-glucose, 3,6-di-O-galloyl-D-glucose, chebulagic acid, corilagin, 1,6-di-O-galloyl-b-D-glucose, 3 ethylgallic acid (3 ethoxy 4,5 dihydroxy benzoic acid), and isostrictiniin [13].

Cholesterol Lowering Properties

In hypercholesterolaemic animals Indian gooseberry was found to be effective for the reversal of dyslipidemia and intima-media thickening and plaque formation [3,4]. Rabbits fed with 10 mg and 20 mg/kg of Indian gooseberry for 4 months exhibited significant reduction in total cholesterol and triglycerides as well as increase in HDL [3]. Indian gooseberry juice administered to rabbits at a dose of 5 ml/kg body weight for 60 days lowered serum cholesterol, TG, phospholipid and LDL levels by 82%, 66%, 77% and 90%, respectively [4].

A human pilot study demonstrated a reduction of blood cholesterol levels in both normal and hypercholesterolemic men with treatment [5]. During supplementation phase both normal and hypercholesterolaemic subjects showed a decrease in cholesterol levels which returned to initial levels 2 weeks after cessation [5]. A combination of Ginger and Amla was reported to exhibit significant decrease in serum total cholesterol and serum triglycerides [7]. The two drugs seem to have sinergetic effect as chemical constituents in ginger inhibit absorption of dietary fat by inhibiting its hydrolysis and excretes cholesterol via activation of hepatic enzyme 7-alpha hydroxylase while flavonids in amla decrease enzyme HMG-Co A reductase and increases the degradation and elimination of cholesterol from the body [7].

Possible Benefits for Treating Obesity

Indian Gooseberry has many claimed benefits, traditionaly it is also used for the purpose of reductiong body weight and treating obesity. In streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats Indian Gooseberry extract slightly improves body weight gain [8]. In rats Indian Gooseberry significantly inhibited body weight gain as well as adipose tissue weights with unchanged daily food intake [9]. Suggested mechanism of action is that Amla normalized adipose mRNA expression of nuclear transcription factor, peroxisome proliferator-associated receptor gamma (PPAR{gamma}) [9].

Promising Efficacy for Diabetes

Indian Gooseberry (amla) showed some promising efficacy against streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats [8]. Rats were fed 20 or 40 mg/kg of body weight/day of amla extract for 20 days and exhibited improved glucose metabolism in diabetes [8]. A potent antidiabetic activity of aqueous fruit extract of P. emblica was also reported in another animal study where rats had alloxan-induced diabetes [10]. Since diabetes was induced by alloxan, significant decrease of the blood glucose shown was probably extra-pancreatic either by inhibiting glycogenolysis, hepatic gluconeogenesis and glucose absorption from intestine or by increasing glucose absorption in cells of peripheral tissues (muscles and adipose tissues) and hepatic glycogenesis [10]. It is also possible that a dose of 120 mg/kg body weight of alloxan tetrahydrate was not enough to completely destroy beta-cells as administered chlorpropamide (known for stimulating the release of endogenous insulin) demonstrated similar antidiabetic effects [10].

Improved glucose metabolism as evident by significant fall in blood glucose was reported by a pilot study in normal and hypercholesterolaemic men aged 35-55 years [5]. Better glucose metabolism of Amla, as evident by significant fall in blood glucose, was also reported in another pilot study in 26 subjects both male and female [3]. Recent rewiev on role of Amla in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus concluded that more research and large clinical trials are needed to prove the beneficial effects of Amla [7]. However, it may be used as a supportive therapy for diabetics.

Other Indian Gooseberry Benefits

Some preliminary research demonstrated in vitro antiviral and antimicrobial properties of Amla extract [11]. Indian Goosebery may prove to have potential activity against some cancers [12].

Indian Gooseberry Side Effects

Indian Gooseebery extract is commonly used as a traditional Ayurvedic drug without any reported side effects [1,2]. A dose of 200mg/kg body weight of P. emblica (Amla) Linn did not show any toxic effect and was even found to improve the liver function [10].

(Other common names: Emblica officinalis, Emblica officinalis Gaertn, Phyllanthus emblica, Emblic, Emblic myrobalan, Arbre myrobolan, Malacca tree, Aovla, Aonla, Amla, Amla extract, Amla Berry, Aamalaki, Amalaki, Amblabaum)


  1. Charoenteeraboon, Juree, et al. “Antioxidant activities of the standardized water extract from fruit of Phyllanthus emblica Linn.” Sonklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology 32.6 (2010): 599.
  2. Thakur, C. P., and K. Mandal. “Effect of Emblica officinalis on cholesterol-induced atherosclerosis in rabbits.” The Indian journal of medical research 79 (1984): .
  3. Antony, B., et al. “Effect of standardized Amla extract on atherosclerosis and dyslipidemia.” Indian journal of pharmaceutical sciences 68.4 (2006): 437.
  4. Mathur, Ritu, et al. “Hypolipidaemic effect of fruit juice of Emblica officinalis in cholesterol-fed rabbits.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 50.2 (1996): 61-68.
  5. Jacob, A., et al. “Effect of the Indian gooseberry (amla) on serum cholesterol levels in men aged 35-55 years.” European journal of clinical nutrition 42.11 (1988): 939-944.
  6. Kamal, Rihana, and Shagufta Aleem. “Clinical evaluation of the efficacy of a combination of zanjabeel (Zingiber officinale) and amla (Emblica officinalis) in hyperlipidaemia.” Indian journal of traditional knowledge 8.3 (2009): 413-416.
  7. Walia, K., and R. Boolchandani. “Role of Amla in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus-A Review.” Research Journal of Recent Sciences ISSN 2277: 2502.
  8. Rao, T. P., et al. “Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) extracts reduce oxidative stress in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.” Journal of medicinal food 8.3 (2005): 362-368.
  9. Sato, Ryuei, Lance Martinez Buesa, and Pratibha Vivek Nerurkar. “Anti-obesity effects of Emblica officinalis (Amla) are associated with inhibition of nuclear transcription factor, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR {gamma}).” The FASEB Journal 24.1_MeetingAbstracts (2010): 661-4.
  10. Qureshi, Shamim A., Warda Asad, and Viqar Sultana. “The effect of Phyllantus emblica Linn on type-II diabetes, triglycerides and liver-specific enzyme.” Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 8.2 (2009): 125-128.
  11. Saeed, Sabahat, and Perween Tariq. “Antibacterial activities of Emblica officinalis and Coriandrum sativum against Gram negative urinary pathogens.” Pakistan journal of pharmaceutical sciences 20.1 (2007): 32-35.
  12. Ngamkitidechakul, Chatri, et al. “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 (2010): 1405-1413.
  13. Baliga, Manjeshwar Shrinath, and Jason Jerome Dsouza. “Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn), a wonder berry in the treatment and prevention of cancer.” European Journal of Cancer Prevention 20.3 (2011): 225-239.

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