Gymnema Sylvestre

Is Gymnema Sylvestre
An Effective Weight Loss Remedy?

[Murray Naditch, Ph. D.]
Weight Research Institute

How Long Has Gymnema Sylvestre Been Used as a Natural Weight Loss Supplement?
Gymnema is a woody climbing shrub indigenous to the tropical forests of central and southern India. Gymnema has a long history as a natural weight loss supplement in India’s Ayurvedic medicine.
The Hindi name, gurmar, means "destroyer of sugar." Gymnema has been as a safe weight loss method by people in India for 5,000 years.
It is recognized in the traditional medicinal literature of many countries, including Australia, Japan, and Vietnam.
Image credit -
How Does Work as a Natural Weight Loss Remedy?
Gymnema contains substances that decrease the absorption of sugar from the intestine.
Is Gymnema Sylvestre an Effective Weight Loss Remedy?
A study of a combination of niacin-bound chromium, hydroxycitric acid and gymnema reported that its use may lead to a reduction in body mass index and weight, according to the May 2004 issue of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Another study found that taking Gymnema, hydroxycitric acid, and niacin-bound chromium for eight weeks may reduce body weight in people who are overweight or obese.

A study in India of sixty moderately obese subjects found that gymnema facilitated a reduction in excess body weight and body mass index.

A study using rodents, published in the December 2013 issue of Drug Research, found that gymnema may prevent weight gain when used over the long term even while consuming a high-fat diet.

Is Gymnema Sylvestre a Safe Weight Loss Method?

Gymnema Sylvestre is safe when used as directed.

People allergic to milkweed, have diabetes, or who are pregnant or breast feeding should consult their doctor before using Gymnema. Stop using Gymnema at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery because it could interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgical procedures.

What’s the Best Way to Take Gymnema Sylvestre on a Regular Basis?

One easy way to do this is by taking a daily weight loss supplement such as Why Not Me manufactured by Pure Balance (
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Apple cider vinegar

Does Apple Cider Vinegar
Really Help to Reduce Weight?

[Murray Naditch, Ph. D.]
Weight Research Institute

Apple cider vinegar, made from fermented apples, has been used for healing since Hippocrates.  Cider vinegar has been used as a weight-loss remedy for centuries, and appears to work by increasing satiety, allowing dieters to feel fuller with less food.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Effect in Reducing Weight?
A Japanese study of 175 obese people gave subjects either vinegar or water daily for 12 weeks. Those whose drinks contained vinegar had lower body mass index (BMI), less visceral fat, and lost more weight than those whose drinks didn't contain vinegar.
Image credit -
A study, printed in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that people who were given small amounts of white vinegar along with a piece of bread felt fuller than those who just ate bread.

A Japanese animal study found that mice whose high-fat diets were supplemented with acetic acid (the main ingredient in vinegar) developed up to 10 percent less body fat than control mice.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe?

None of these studies found any adverse consequences associated with apple cider vinegar. This isn’t surprising, after all apple cider vinegar is a food not a drug. You wouldn’t need to consult your doctor if you ate a turnip.

What’s the Best Way to Take Apple Cider Vinegar on a Regular Basis?

Health Experts recommend taking a tablespoon of vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water before meals.
Rather than drinking vinegar, I prefer to take my apple cider vinegar in powered forms. One easy way to do this is by taking a daily weight loss supplement with apple cider vinegar in it such as Why Not Me? manufactured by Pure Balance (
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Depression and obesity

Does Obesity Cause Depression?

[Murray Naditch, Ph. D.]
Weight Research Institute

A Billion Obese People

Obesity and depression are both serious and potentially deadly endemic conditions.

Obesity is defined as an abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) tells us that there are more than a billion adults and 22 million obese children in the United States. All of these people are at serious risk for developing chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Thirty Million Depressed People

The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that one in ten people in the United States suffer from clinical depression.
Depression is the leading cause of disability for people in midlife and for women of all ages according to the World Health Organization.
Antidepressants are the best-selling prescription drugs in the United States. Approximately 10% of women and 4% of men take antidepressant medications in the United States.

The number of clinically depressed people is actually much larger. There are still vast numbers of untreated depressed people in the United States according to epidemiological studies

Studies indicate that depression takes a serious toll on physical health, including increased risk for stroke and coronary artery disease. Patients suffering from depression have a higher risk of death in the first few months after a heart attack.

Does Depression Cause Obesity?
Clinical studies have found that people with symptoms of depression are much more likely to become obese.
Depressed people are more likely to overeat, make poor food choices, avoid exercising, and become more sedentary.
Clinical studies have shown that depressed people with decreased levels of the hormone serotonin are more likely to become obese. People with decreased levels of serotonin tend to eat more in an attempt to self-medicate and restore their serotonin levels to normal.
Researchers have also found that depressed people tend to gain weight faster than people who aren't depressed.
Depression has symptoms that can worsen obesity such as disturbances in appetite, lack of energy, lack of motivation to do exercise.

Are Anti-depressive Medications Responsible for Obesity?
Many prescribed antidepressants have a common side effect of causing weight gain. This results in many people, who desperately need to be taking anti-depression medications, not taking them because tricyclic antidepressants boost appetite which results in weight gain.
On the other hand, depression in some people can cause them to lose weight. Depressed people may lose weight because they’ve lost interest in food. A hallmark of depression is that it results in lack of in pleasure.

Depression can also result in an eating disorder. Patients with anorexia nervosa are often depressed.
The Bitter Depression-Weight-Gain Cycle
Depressed people tend to be inactive, exercise less and eat more. Depressed people take antidepressants that can cause weight gain. Studies have shown that depression and obesity feed off each other in a vicious, self-destructive circle.
Chicken and Egg – Which Comes First?

Do people gain weight because they are depressed? Or do they become depressed because they are obese?

The fact is, no one knows. Researchers aren’t certain if depression causes obesity or obesity causes depression.
The important question is not which causes which but how to break the cycle.

What to Do About This Vicious Cycle

Exercise. That’s right exercise. Exercise may be the best prescription for treating depression.

A 2005 study looked at the effects of exercise vs. Zoloft, a popularanti-depressant medication, on the treatment of depression. Subjects were randomly disturbed between the two groups. The exercise group did 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three to four times a week. The other group received 150 mg of Zoloft per day.
Eight weeks later, the researchers discovered that the exercise was as effective at reducing depression as the Zoloft.
Zoloft not only causes weight gain, it also causes sleep problems and sexual dysfunction. The side effects of exercise are just the opposite.
A Combination of Approaches
In some cases, an effective weight control program can also help. Commercial weight control programs make lot of promises. More often than not the promises are empty.
Choose a program that can show you clinical outcome data demonstrating effectiveness. Ideally, the program should be able to demonstrate that participation results in both weight loss and depression.
The Pure Balance program in Glendale, California ( demonstrates clinical outcome data to potentials clients.


How to choose a weight control clinic

How to Choose a Weight Control Clinic

[Murray Naditch, Ph. D.]
Weight Research Institute

Too Many Choices

If you live in a city, chances are that you’ll have to choose among dozens of clinics in your area.

You’ve picked up too many extra pounds, and you know that an extra ten pounds can result in a variety of illness. The National Institute of Heart, Lung and Blood tells us that excess weight can lead to a coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and cancer.

You want to get serious about losing weight. You’ve tried many times, perhaps years, to try to shed those excess pounds. Nothing has worked. You may lose the weight, but before you know it comes back.

Constantly gaining and losing weight on a diet is known as a yo-yo diet. It is worse for your health than if you did nothing. Every time you gain back that weight you get another layer of fatty cholesterol in your arteries. This greatly increases your chances for a heart attack.

Attention men. Clogged arteries can lead to erectile dysfunction. If the arteries in your penis are too narrow, they won’t be able to pump in the blood you need for an erection.

So here you are, ready to choose a weight control clinic. What is the best weight control program in your area?


This is important factor, but a famous clinic that was good ten years ago may not be as effective today.

Customer Ratings on the Internet

Customer ratings are a lot more powerful than advertising. Unfortunately, many of the reviews you read on the internet are fake. There are companies that do nothing but fake reviews. You can buy a hundred positive reviews at a surprisingly low price.  Anyone can get scores of positive, glowing ratings on their website about their clinic or product. All you have to do is pay for them.


Location is important. You don’t want to drive an hour every time you go to the clinic.  On the other hand, close proximity tells you nothing about the quality of services.

Review Sites

There is no end of review sites on the internet for every possible product.

These sites are useful in discovering who the providers are, and what features they offer. Unfortunately, many of these review sites are affiliates of one or more of the products or institutions they are reviewing. The affiliate gets rave reviews, the competitors get terrible ones.

Does the staff include doctors and other qualified professionals?

This is an important criteria but it doesn’t necessarily correlate with results. How do you choose from among three clinics all of whom seem to have qualified staff?    

There is only one sure way of choosing a clinic.

Do they have clinical outcomes collected and analyzed by an outside non-biased third party?

With outcome data you can answer questions like:
⦁    Is the program effective in helping people lose weight?
⦁    What’s the average weight loss?
⦁    What’s the dropout rate?”
⦁    Does the program produce health benefits that should come with weight loss, such as drop in blood pressure?
⦁    Does weight loss in the clinic result in lower rates of depression?
⦁    How satisfied are patients with the staff and services offered?

The Pure Balance Clinical Outcome Study

The Pure Balance Body and Mind Center hired Clinical Outcome Systems, LLC to do an outcome study based on their existing clinical records.

Sixty patient charts were select at random. Four patients did not complete treatment (7%). The remaining fifty-six patients were used for the analysis.

Weight lost per session is shown in Chart 1.

Chart 1

The average patient lost 23.5 pounds over a ten week period. That’s twelve percent of their starting body weight.

The program worked equally well regardless of gender.

The sample included a wide range of age groups. There were patients in their twenties and patients in their eighties.

As you can see in Table 1, patients lost weight regardless of their age.



Table 1
Weight Lost by Age and Gender

   Age         Men       Women
20 – 39    26.1 lbs    22.0 lbs
40 – 59    22.6 lbs    20.6 lbs
64 – 80    25.9 lbs    25.5 lbs

As you can see in Table 2, patient’s starting weight had some effect on outcomes. As would be expected, high starting weight patients lost more weight than medium or low starting weight patients.

Table 2
Starting Weight by Weight Lost

Initial Weight    Weight Range    Weight Lost
      High                313 - 209                 32
   Medium             199 - 185                 25
      Low                 177 - 141                 22

Weight loss in the program was accompanied by a drop in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Graphs showing drop in blood pressure through the program are shown in Charts 2 and 4.

Chart 2



Chart 3

Both males and female patients evidence approximately the same drop in blood pressure from the being to the end of the ten week program.

How Do These Results Compare with Commercial Weight Programs?


These results compare favorably with commercial weight loss programs.

Characteristics of an Effective Clinical Outcome System

The Pure Balance study was based on clinical records. Clinical records are not constructed for outcome measurement. The data that can be drawn from them is limited.

Continuous Data Collection

A well constructed outcome system should collect data from all the patients who pass through the clinic. The data should be collected continuously. This is the only way the clinic can have an evidence-based practice.

A continuous clinical outcome system enables the clinic to determine what is working and what isn’t, and to make changes in clinical practice to correct and problems. The continuous nature of the data collection enables the practice to test any changes made in the clinical program.  

Valid and Reliable Measures

The measurement instruments used in the system should have a record of reliability and validity published in refereed clinical journals.

What Should an Outcome System Measure?

Three classes of variables should be measured:
⦁    Function Status,
⦁    Quality of Life, and
⦁    Patient Satisfaction.

Functional status variables in a weight control program should include:
⦁    Weight,
⦁    Blood pressure and
⦁    Depression.

An effective weight control program should include a measure of Quality of Life.

A measure of Patient Satisfaction should include the patients’ assessment of the clinical process and the staff.

Choosing a Weight Control Clinic

Outcome data makes choice of clinics a much easier and more reliable process.
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Things never to do to lose weight

Twenty Things You Should Never Do to Lose Weight

[Murray Naditch, Ph. D.]
Weight Research Institute



People are often so eager to lose weight that they make poorly guided choices that can have seriously adverse health consequences.
Here are 20 things you should never do while trying to lose weight.

⦁    Fasting or Starving Yourself on Super Low-Calorie Diets

Don’t cut calories below 1,200 per day. You might lose weight but you’ll also lose muscle and lower your metabolism. You won’t get enough nutrients to fuel your activities and satisfy your hunger.

Starvation diets also lead to a shift toward a higher percentage of body fat. If that’s not enough, you will most likely gain weight lost through fasting.

Weight lost in starvation and fasting diets is a dangerous illusion.

⦁    Cleanses

Cleansing can lead to weight loss, but that loss is mostly water and stool.  Cleansing can lead to electrolyte imbalance and serious dehydration.

Want to cleanse your body? Drink plenty of water and eat lots of high-fiber foods.

⦁    Purging

If you don’t want to gain weight, why not just vomit back up and go eat some more? After all, the Romans did it at their banquets and orgies. You could also eat lots of laxatives and get rid of all that food through the other end.

This kind of weight control poses serious health problems. It’s the first step down the road to eating disorders than can wreck your health and even kill you.

Your stomach is full of extremely strong acid. It has to be there so you can digest your food. The acid soaked food is supposed to stay in your stomach, not be regurgitated up your throat, over your teeth and out your mouth.

That acid really does a job on your tooth enamel. You increase your risk, not only for tooth decay, but for some kinds of cancers. It also causes electrolyte imbalances and serious dehydration.

Keep your food in your stomach.

⦁    Extreme Exercising

If you’re going to exercise, why not exercise until you’re ready to drop? Just think of all the calories you’re burning off.  

Over exercising can cause a lot of wear and tear on your body, cause electrolyte imbalance and increase the risk of serious dehydration. Obsessive exercising to lose weight can turn exercise into punishment for eating.

The Mayo Clinic recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous exercise like running or a game of tennis. Do some strength training a couple of times a week.

⦁    Think Too Much About Exercise
A recent study found that thinking about exercise excessively can cause you to eat 50% more than you would ordinarily. Why could this be true? Because people assume that an upcoming workout gives them a license to snack more.

⦁    Legal and Illegal Drugs

Some people use illegal drugs, such as cocaine or speed, in an attempt to lose weight.
The risks far outweigh any possible weight loss.

Speed increases your heart rate and raises your blood pressure. It can make you nervous, irritable, paranoid, confused, anxious and aggressive.

Speed can damage the blood vessels in the brain and cause a stroke. The damage to the blood vessels in your brain is irreversible. That damage can also result in convulsions and heart failure.

Cocaine use may result in some weight loss. That weight loss comes at the expense of abnormal heart rhythm and strokes (even in young people).

Snorting cocaine will damage you nose and sinuses. Smoking crack cocaine irritates the lungs and can cause permanent lung damage.  

Eat moderately. It’s a lot less risky and a much better way to lose weight.

⦁    Smoking

It’s hard to believe, but some people still work under the illusion that smoking will help them lose weight. This is probably because nicotine can work as an appetite suppressant.

It addition to its appetite suppression qualities, smoking also causes cancer, heart attacks, stroke and kidney problems as well as bad breath and premature wrinkles.

Don’t kill yourself in an attempt to lose weight.

Image source:
WebMD ( cessation)

⦁    Eat Standing Up

Eating while you standing in front of the refrigerator, or kitchen counter, lead to mindless eating. You can add a huge number of calories to your daily diet without realizing it.
Designate a time and place for eating meals and snacks. Sit down; savor your food. Take your time. Roll it around on your tongue and enjoy it.

⦁    Sit Too Long at Work

Sit for just a few hours and your body stops making less of a fat-inhibiting enzyme called lipase.
Getting up and stretching, or walking around every hour or so, can boost your metabolism by as much as 13%. Just tap your feet or bounce in your chair. You can burn 54% more calories than if you just sit still.

⦁    Not Sleeping Enough

A recent study found that women who slept less than four hours a night ate 300 more calories and 21 more grams of fat the next day than they would have if they got a good night’s sleep.

Insufficient sleep also increases appetite-stimulating hormones.

⦁    Skip Meals

Many people think that skipping meals, like breakfast, is a good way to lose weight. It isn’t.

Studies have repeatedly shown that people who skip meals wind up eating more calories during the day than people who eat regularly.

An old fold saying says: “Eat breakfast yourself, share lunch with a friend, give away dinner to an enemy.”

What is recommended is not to have any meals after 6-7 PM.

⦁    Oversized Portions

Don’t get too used to those huge portions at restaurants. When you’re home use smaller plates and try leaving a few bites on your plate.
After dinner you should feel a little hungry than too full.
Image source:
The Culinary School of Equestria (

⦁    Not Drink Enough Water
Drinking lots of water facilitates weight loss. Drink before you eat. You’ll fill up faster and eat less.

Experts recommend that you should drink no less than 8 glasses of water a day.

⦁    Think That Walking Your Dog Will Result in Weight Loss

Walking around the block with your dog is better than nothing. Don't expect to see any serious weight-loss.
To burn enough calories you need at least 30 minutes a day of exercise that gets your heart pumping.
⦁    Overeat Healthy Foods    
There are plenty of otherwise healthy foods that are loaded with calories. Olive oil, dark chocolate, whole wheat pasta, nuts and avocados are loaded with calories. Be aware of what you are eating and eat in moderation.

⦁    Exercise on an Empty Stomach
When you exercise without eating, the calories you burn come from muscle rather than fat. Keep those precious muscles. The more muscle mass you have, the better it is for weight loss.

⦁    Skip the Veggies

Eating lots of produce is a good way to lose weight. Veggies have greater variety of nutrients and fewer calories than other food groups. The fiber in veggies keeps you feeling fuller longer.
⦁    Heaping High Calorie Extra Stuff on Your Food or Yogurt

Those high-fat toppings, like croutons, cheese, and creamy dressings add up fast.
Don’t try to lose weight by eating salads and then topping them off with high calorie dressings.

⦁    Spend too Much Time at Your Favorite Restaurant

When you eat at a restaurant, you are much more likely to have more elaborate and higher calorie meals. When you eat at home you are less likely to eat appetizers, fried foods, alcoholic drinks and high calorie desserts.

Restaurants don’t label their food for calories which makes things worse because you don’t realize how many calories you are consuming.

Eat out for celebrations, but eat more of your meals at home when you can control and be aware of what you are eating.
⦁    Drink Diet Soda
Lots of people think that drinking diet soda is a good way to lose weight. After all, its “diet” right?

Think again.  

A twelve year study found that people who drink just two diet sodas a day, had waistlines 300 percent larger than people who avoid them.

How to Lose Weight
Forget trick diets. Eat moderately. Be serious about your exercise regime and stick to it.
In some circumstances a professional diet control clinic can help. When choosing a clinic, ask to see some outcome data that proves their program works.
Here’s some convincing outcome data from the Pure Balance Body and Mind Center ( in Glendale, California.