Amla extract supplement health benefit and medical uses, review of research studies, side effects and safety, proper dosage, also known as Amalaki
March 28 2014


Amla, or Indian gooseberry, has been used by Indian doctors for many chronic conditions including blood sugar control.  Amla is the Hindi name while in Sanskrit, the term used is Amalaki. This edible fruit is well-known for its high content of vitamin C and its potent antioxidant activity, more potent than many other herbs.

Botanical name
The botanical names are Emblica officinalis and Phyllanthus emblica. We have seen both of these names written on amla supplement bottles.

Amla products
There are dozens of these products available without a prescription and you can find them in vitamin stores, some pharmacies, and certainly on the internet.

Amla benefit
Although Ayurvedic doctors have a great deal of experience with the use of Amla, little human research is available in the West. Research has been done with amla evaluating its role as an antioxidant, in ulcer prevention, for people with diabetes, for mental and memory effects, and its anti-inflammatory benefits. Unfortunately, most of this research has been done with animals and there are very few human studies that tell us in what conditions this herb is of most benefit. 

In rodent studies, amla has been found to be helpful as an antioxidant, for cholesterol and blood sugar control, for memory, and the use of amla was helpful in delaying development of diabetic cataract in rats.

Purchase Amla (Emblica Officinalis) 250 mg
ALMA-400MG-DR-SAHELIAN-F.JPG


Equivalent to 5000 mg whole fresh fruit) 250 Milligrams, 45% tannins 112 Milligrams

Purchase Amla fruit extract  (Phyllanthus emblica)

 

 

Antioxidant
Due to its high content of vitamin C and polyphenols, amla extract is a potent antioxidant.

Antioxidative activity, polyphenolic content and anti-glycation effect of some thai medicinal plants traditionally used in diabetic patients.
Med Chem. 2009.
Ethanolic extracts of 30 Thai medicinal plants, traditionally used as alternative treatments in diabetes, were evaluated for antioxidative activity. Five plants had strong antioxidant activity: Amla Phyllanthus emblica, Terminalia chebula, Morinda citrifolia, Kaempferia parviflora and Houttuynia cordata, respectively. Amla had stronger antioxidative activity than the other plants. The investigation showed that total polyphenol and tannin content of Amla and the flavonoid content of Houttuynia cordata were the highest. The results imply that these plants are potential sources of natural antioxidants which have free radical scavenging activity and might be used for reducing oxidative stress in diabetes.

Chemical and antioxidant evaluation of Indian gooseberry amla supplements.
Phytother Res. 2009. Poltanov EA, Shikov AN, Dorman HJ, Pozharitskaya ON, Tikhonov VP. Open joint-stock company 'Diod', Moscow, Russia.
This study evaluated the chemistry and antioxidant properties of four commercial amla fruit extracts. All extracts produced positive responses in the total phenol, total flavonoid and total tannin assays. The presence of predominantly polyphenolic analytes, e.g. ellagic and gallic acids and corilagin, was confirmed.

Blood clot
Q. I read that there was a European Medical Study on blood-clot medications where they tested amla fruit to see whether it helped prevent blood clots. The report said that they were surprised to find that it prevents blood clots as well as the medication they were testing. I have atrial-fib and do not take medications well - I have been taking Amla fruit for vitamin C as I am allergic to orange juice and many Vitamin C's have orange juice in them. The doctor wants to put me on an anti-clot medication but am afraid to take as I react so badly. I am taking Cardizem CD and have enough problems taking that medicine.
   A. We have not seen enough human studies to determine how well it compares to Coumadin (warfarin), aspirin, or Plavix.

Blood vessel health
Menopause. 2012. Amla extract is effective in preventing high fructose diet-induced insulin resistance and atherogenic dyslipidemic profile in ovariectomized female albino rats.

Amla for cholesterol
Influence of amla (Emblica officinalis) on hypercholesterolemia and lipid peroxidation in cholesterol-fed rats.
J Nutr Sci Vitaminol 2005.
Institute of Natural Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, 2630 Sugitani, Toyama, Japan.
The effects of amla on low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation and cholesterol levels were investigated in vitro and in vivo using Cu(2+)-induced LDL oxidation and cholesterol-fed rats. SunAmla and ethyl acetate (EtOAc) extract of amla significantly inhibited thiobarbituric acid (TBA)-reactive substance level in the Cu(2+)-induced LDL oxidation and the effects were stronger than those of probucol. These results suggest that amla may be effective for high cholesterol and prevention of atherosclerosis.

Cancer protection
Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2012. Chemopreventive efficacy of Phyllanthus emblica fruit extract on 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene induced oral carcinogenesis--a dose-response study. Department of Biochemistry & Biotechnology, Annnamalai University, Annamalainagar, India.

Nutr Cancer. 2013. Anticancer activity of Phyllanthus emblica Linn. (Indian gooseberry, amla): inhibition of transcription factor AP-1 and HPV gene expression in cervical cancer cells.

Diabetes
Is diabetes control a benefit of amla herb or amla extract?
     A study in animals shows this herbal supplement to play a role in reducing the oxidative damage from high blood sugar.

Food Funct. 2014 Feb 28. Anti-diabetic effects of the Indian indigenous fruit Emblica officinalis active constituents and modes of action. Important constituents (including gallic acid, gallotanin, ellagic acid and corilagin), possess anti-diabetic effects through their antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties. Amla has also been reported to prevent/reduce hyperglycemia, cardiac complications, diabetic nephropathy, neuropathy, cataractogenesis and protein wasting. However, clinical trial data with human subjects are limited and preliminary.

Amla extracts reduce oxidative stress in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.
J Med Food. 2005.
The antioxidant properties of amla extracts and their effects on the oxidative stress in streptozotocin-induced diabetes were examined in rats. Amla in the form of either the commercial enzymatic extract SunAmla (Taiyo Kagaku Co. Ltd., Yokkaichi, Japan) or a polyphenol-rich fraction of ethyl acetate extract was given orally for 20 days to the streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Amla extracts showed strong free radical scavenging activity. Amla also showed strong inhibition of the production of advanced glycosylated end products. The oral administration of amla extracts to the diabetic rats slightly improved body weight gain and also significantly alleviated various oxidative stress indices of the serum of the diabetic rats.

Heart system
Pharmacognosy Res. 2014 January. Evaluation of Phyllanthus emblica extract on cold pressor induced cardiovascular changes in healthy human subjects.
Increased arterial stiffness is an independent marker for cardiovascular disease. Cold pressor test (CPT) is known to be associated with substantial activation of the autonomic nervous system. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of amla extract on cold pressor stress test induced changes on cardiovascular parameters and aortic wave reflections in healthy human subjects. This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Participants were randomized to receive either two capsules of P. emblica extract 250 mg (containing aqueous extract of P. emblica, highly standardized by high-performance liquid chromatography to contain low molecular weight hydrolysable tannins emblicanin-A, emblicanin-B, pedunculagin and punigluconin) or two capsules of placebo twice daily for 14 days. Pharmacodynamic parameters such as heart rate, augmentation pressure, augmentation index (AIx), subendocardial viability ratio (SEVR), radial and aortic blood pressure (BP) were recorded before and after CPT at baseline and end of treatment. After washout period of 14 days, subjects crossed over to the other treatment and the same test procedure was repeated again. Safety assessments were done at baseline and at the end of treatment. A total of 12volunteers completed the study. Compared with baseline and placebo, P. emblica extract produced a significant decrease of mean percent change in the indices of arterial stiffness (AIx, radial and aortic BP) and increase in SEVR, an index of myocardial perfusion with CPT. Both treatments were well-tolerated and no serious adverse events were reported. Proprietary amla extract, showed a significant decrease in cold pressor stress test induced changes on aortic wave reflections.

Radiation protection
Would taking amla extract supplements be helpful in those undergoing radiation therapy or would it also protect the cancer cells that the radiation is trying to destroy?

Protective Effect of an Extract of Emblica officinalis Against Radiation-Induced Damage in Mice.
Integr Cancer Ther. 2009.
Swiss albino mice were exposed to gamma rays (5 Gy) in the absence (control) or presence (experimental) of amla extract, orally 100 mg/kg body weight, once daily for 7 consecutive days. A specimen of small intestine (jejunum) was removed from the mice and studied at different autopsy intervals from 12 hours to 30 days. In control animals, crypt cell population, mitotic figures, and villus length were markedly reduced on day 1; these later started to increase progressively but did not attain the normal level even at the last autopsy interval. The animals receiving amla extract prior to irradiation had a higher number of crypt cells and mitotic figures when compared with non-drug-treated control at all the autopsy intervals. Irradiation of animals resulted in a dose-dependent elevation in lipid peroxidation and a reduction in glutathione as well as catalase concentration in the intestine at 1 hour post-irradiation. In contrast, amla extract treatment before irradiation caused a significant depletion in lipid peroxidation and elevation in glutathione and catalase levels.

Skin and collagen
Type I pro-collagen promoting and anti-collagenase activities of Phyllanthus emblica extract in mouse fibroblasts.
J Cosmet Sci  2009.
As part of an ongoing search for the novel pharmacological activities of amla, the present study has shown its type I collagen promoting and anti-collagenase effects on primary mouse fibroblast cells. At a concentration of 0.1 mg/ml, amla extract significantly increased the type I pro-collagen level greater than that of an untreated control. Emblica extract caused an approximately 7.75-fold greater type I pro-collagen induction compared to the known herbal collagen enhancer asiaticoside at the same treatment concentration. Amla extract inhibited collagenase activity in a dose-dependent manner. This herbal extract has a promising pharmacological effect that benefits collagen synthesis and protects against its degradation and could be used as a natural anti-aging ingredient.

Sperm protection from toxins and drugs
Spermatotoxic effect of ochratoxin and its amelioration by Emblica officinalis aqueous extract.
Acta Pol Pharm. 2009.
The present study was carried out to evaluate the spermatotoxic effect of ochratoxin and it's amelioration by Emblica officinalis aqueous extract. When male albino mice were treated with ochratoxin. alterations in various reproductive parameters were observed (sperm count, sperm motility, sperm viability and fertility rate), when further treated with the aqueous extract of Emblica officinalis (2 mg/animal/day for 45 days) amelioration was noted in ochratoxin-induced spermatotoxic effect. When normal human sperm cell suspension was treated with ochratoxin (in vitro), various morphological alterations were observed. These were mitigated further, when treated with aqueous extract of Emblica officinalis.

Chemistry
This herb has many substances, including apigenin, gallic acid, ellagic acid, chebulinic acid, quercetin), chebulagic acid, corilagin, isostrictiniin, methyl gallate, and luteolin. Tannins in amla include Phyllaemblicin B, emblicanin A (37%), emblicanin B (33%), punigluconin (12%) and pedunculagin.

Amla Supplement available in stores or on the internet
Paradise Herbs 100% Amla Extract 20: (similar to 5000 mg whole fresh fruit) - 250 mg.

Amla powder use
Amla powder is light brown colored with an astringent smell. It sold in one pound bags, suggested use one teaspoon daily or as needed

Paste use
Amla paste is touted as an excellent hair conditioner which makes hair glossy and silky.

Questions
Can amla pills be taken the same day as rhodiola pills?
    We suggest you learn how each one works for you separately before combining. Much depends on what other supplements and medications you may be taking, along with your age and overall medical condition.