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Nat Prod Commun. 2014 Oct;9(10):1429-32.

History of gymnemic acid, a molecule that does not exist. .


In the literature there are hundreds of articles, the first dating back to 1866 and the last to 2014, on gymnemic acid, isolated from Gymnnema sylvestre, from its isolation to the determination of its biological activities. Gymnemic acid has a CAS number but its structure is not specified. Studies during the second half of the 1970s clearly demonstrated that what was being referred to as gymnemic acid is actually a very complex mixture of dozens of substances, belonging to different classes of natural compounds. This plant, whose infusions or complex mixtures of its metabolites are the basis for many formulas sold in pharmacies and by herbalists, has anti-diabetic and slimming effects. It is certainly misleading to talk about gymnemic acid as a specific molecule. There may be doubts about the exact composition of the products, and consequently about their origin and the claimed effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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