Science

(Emblica officinalis)

I. Introduction

AMLA is the highest antioxidant food in the world. It trumps all fruits, vegetables, teas, and other beloved superfoods. AMLA’s antioxidant ability comes from its high concentration of vitamin C and tannins (emblican A and emblican B).

*The antioxidant values of foods listed are expressed in ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) units, a unit of measurement for antioxidant content which was originally developed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These numbers are measured in 1,000 μ mol TE/100g.

Nutritional Value of our specialized AMLA is so high because we combine BOTH hydrophilic and lipophilic extracts to deliver the FULL nutritional value of the fruit. This provides enhanced solubility providing increased speed of absorption into all the cells of the body and creates enhanced bioavailability.

a. What is AMLA?

AMLA is a magical wonder fruit known as the “Indian gooseberry.” Amla is the single most-mentioned fruit in Ayurveda, an ancient traditional system of medicine indigenous to India for the last 5,000 years. Its botanical name is Emblica officinalis. In Sanskrit, Amla refers to “Fruit of heaven or nectar fruit.”1

b. Its “Uses” in Traditional Medicine

Amla is most popularly known as a potent antioxidant. To understand how important an antioxidant is, let’s review some basic science. When the body utilizes oxygen, it travels through the lungs which oxygenates the blood. This oxygen rich blood is then carried to all the cells of the body. When the oxygen is metabolized in the cells, it releases a harmful by-product known as free radicals, whose continued presence is damaging. This harmful state to the body is known as oxidative stress. Unless the free radicals are neutralized by antioxidants, they will continue to be a threat to the body causing diseases and premature aging.

The antioxidants or the “good guys” are any molecule capable of stabilizing or deactivating the free radicals before they attack the cells, hence reducing the negative effects on our bodies.

According to the Indian Author Mr. Saroja Manohar, “Every single cell of your body is assaulted by free radicals as many as 10,000 times a day. This is why we need to keep our body’s defenses optimized at all times with adequate intake of antioxidants.” This is where Amla our savior comes in with its “powerful and potent antioxidant" properties allowing it to fight against free radicals triggered by environmental factors.3

b. How AMLA acts as an Antioxidant

It is known in traditional medicine for its ability with respiratory diseases, intestinal disorders, liver diseases, stomach ulcers, diabetes, dyslipidemia, inflammatory diseases, skin disorders, burns and wounds. Aside from its therapeutic uses, it is also utilized for aesthetic purposes.2

II. Antioxidant Properties

a. Basic Physiology of an Antioxidant

AMLA acts as an antioxidant through its two main antioxidant components:

(1) The Tannins (particularly emblicanin A and emblicanin B)

(2) the high concentration of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), a well-known anti-oxidant.

First, the emblicanin A and B are its dominant active ingredients. These comprise a large percentage of the extractable portion of the fruit.

Second, the strong antioxidant property of Amla is also due to its rich vitamin C content (ascorbic acid) found in the fruit. Its juice contains the highest concentration of vitamin C of any fruit!4 Antioxidant effects of vitamin C have been demonstrated in many experiments in vitro. Human diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer might occur in part from oxidant damage to tissues.5

Recent American and European peer-reviewed studies have confirmed many of the claims about Amla. In 2006, an Italian study at The University of Bologna, Italy showed a high antioxidant activity and a high content of ascorbic acid in Amla.6

AMLA is the highest antioxidant food in the world. It trumps all fruits, vegetables, teas, and other foods. What is the Indian gooseberry antioxidant content in comparison to other superfoods? The antioxidant value of Indian Gooseberry (Amla Berries), Dried described in ORAC units is: 261,500 μ mol TE/100g. To put it in perspective, it's 75x higher than goji berries, 50x higher than raw blueberries, and 2.5x higher than acai fruit.7

The Department of Nutrition, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences at the University of Oslo, Norway performed a thorough research study looking at the antioxidant properties of different dietary items such as traditional medicine plants, herbs, spices, and supplements. They procured samples from countries worldwide and assayed the samples for their total antioxidant content using a modified version of the FRAP assay. Results and sample information (such as country of origin, product and/or brand name) were registered for each individual food sample and constitute the Antioxidant Food Table. This study to our best knowledge is the most comprehensive Antioxidant Food Database published and it shows that plant-based foods introduce significantly more antioxidants into human diet than non-plant foods. 7

c. How do we get the Nutritional Value and full Antioxidant Potential of AMLA out of the fruit and into our products?

Most fruits and herbs have a variety of compounds that we call actives. These active compounds deliver the nutritional benefit of the fruit and herbs. Like all molecules in the world, actives can be either hydrophilic or lipophilic. Those actives attracted to water are called hydrophilic. Those actives attracted to oil are called lipophilic. Most herbal supplements deliver EITHER hydrophilic or lipophilic actives, but usually not both. The problem is that these single focused extracts don’t deliver the FULL nutritional value of the fruit or herb and tend to be less effective. But there is a new revolutionary delivery system that delivers BOTH hydrophilic and lipophilic extracts from our AMLA fruits. These are called Holistic Extracts. Let’s take a look at how this advanced process works for AMLA.

CO2, which is considered safe, is used in its supercritical state as a solvent to extract oil and fat soluble molecules from herbs. Water and or ethanol are used to extract hydrophilic or alcohol soluble compounds from the same herbs. A special blending technology then combines the CO2 extract and powdered water soluble extract to form a concentrated holistic extract. This holistic extract of AMLA is a free flowing powder that is versatile enough to be used for a wide range of purposes including supplements or health drinks.

A CO2 extract of AMLA can be as potent as 250:1 A water extract of AMLA can be as potent as 10:1. That means 250 pounds of fresh raw AMLA fruit to make 1 pound of CO2 extract!

Since our holistic extracts of AMLA are so concentrated, only small amounts are needed for your daily needs. This process creates the most superior and effective AMLA extract to give the most potent antioxidant delivery system available in the market today.

Holistic extracts have enhanced solubility as they provide both hydrophilic and hydrophobic environments. This allows increased speed of absorption into all the cells of the body and creates enhanced bioavailability.

Since our holistic extracts of AMLA are so concentrated, only small amounts are needed for your daily needs. This process creates the most superior and effective AMLA extract to give the most potent antioxidant delivery system available in the market today.

Holistic extracts have enhanced solubility as they provide both hydrophilic and hydrophobic environments. This allows increased speed of absorption into all the cells of the body and creates enhanced bioavailability.

III. Skin Care: AMLA’s role in Collagen Synthesis and its Anti-Aging Skin Properties

AMLA is known for its skin care role by improving the formation of collagen, the major building block of our skin that protects against disease and injury. 4 Loss of collagen is widely accepted as one of the main causes of the aging process. As we age, collagen formation decreases leading to premature skin wrinkling and loss of elasticity in the skin.

Amla extract has been proven to help boost the body’s ability to create more collagen which protects the skin from wrinkling over time. This also helps keep a natural and youthful appearance to the skin.4

Another extremely important component of Amla’s anti-aging is its miraculous ability to block the harmful UVB sun rays which are the most dangerous cause of cancer. Amla’s ability to neutralize free radicals allows it to help block the dangerous UVB sun rays that could otherwise damage the skin. 5

In 2015, a study from University of Florence, Italy, found that Amla also improved the skin of patients undergoing treatment for a skin disorder known as vitiligo. They found the group of patients receiving Amla had improvement in the their symptoms with less growth of the disease.8

IV. Anti-inflammatory Properties

Among its other magical properties, Amla is widely accepted as a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Inflammation is a critical marker of human health. Acute and chronic diseases usually all have inflammation as part of their manifestation. Certain blood tests show increased levels of inflammation in our bodies. Studies have shown decreases in inflammatory blood levels after intake of AMLA by as much as 40% within 6 months.9 In a 2013 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, it was found that patients taking Amla had a significant decrease in the inflammatory markers in their blood.10

V. Liver Care: Hepatoprotective activity of AMLA

Studies have also shown its positive effect on the liver. The liver rids the body of toxins and is one of the most essential organs in our bodies. It is one of the natural ways that help our bodies stay healthy and function properly. Studies have shown Amla’s ability to help improve the liver’s ability to clear toxins which are otherwise extremely dangerous to our bodies. Its ability to cleanse the filtration system of our body is yet another magical ability of this wonder fruit.11

Amla has also been shown to help control the metabolism of fat in our body which helps protect the liver and our bodies from progressive diseases. 12

VI. Cardio-protective and Anti-Diabetic Properties

Heart health has always been one of the most important concerns for our generation. A 2015 American study from The Ohio State University showed Amla supplementation may provide beneficial effects for overweight adults by lowering many of the heart health risk factors.13 In another 2015 American study from The University of Connecticut, they show Amla increases production of healthy heart markers and decreased the levels of dangerous heart markers like cholesterol and fat in the blood. Remarkable in an animal study, it was found that Amla is capable of improving oxygen flow to the heart during heart attacks.14 In even more controlled studies it was found that Amla had the ability to effect the blood vessels to keep the heart healthier.15 It was even shown in another significant study that Amla helped decrease inflammation and cellular damage in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.16

These type of cardio-protective and anti-diabetic properties show a promising role for Amla in future therapies for long term management of these diseases.

VII. Safety Concerns

Based on the safety assessment of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), AMLA is considered “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). The FDA showed that there has been well documented historical use of Amla in India and South Asia for centuries with no adverse effects. In addition, there is a massive consumption of Amla in the present day by millions of people in India and South Asia. The FDA also obtained safety corroboration from various clinical studies and animal testing on the amla extract.17

This is just the beginning of the journey for this magical wonder fruit of Amla and what it has to offer our world today.

References:

1 Scartezzini, P., Antognoni, F., Raggi, et al. Vitamin C Content and Antioxidant Activity of the Fruit and of the Ayurvedic preparation of Emblica officinalis Gaertn. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2006; 104:113-118.

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2 Dasaroju, S., Gottumukkala, K. Current Trends in the Research of Emblica officinalis (Amla): A Pharmacological Perspective. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research. 2014: 150-159.

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3 Manohar, Saroja J. Discover the Amazing Power of Herbs: Amla (Emblica Officinalis) The Immunity Booster. Unicorn Books Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi: 2010.

4. Fujii, T., Wakaizumi, M., Ikami, T., et al. Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) extract promotes procollagen production and inhibits matrix metalloproteinase-1 in human skin fibroblasts. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2008: 53-57.

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5 Adil, M., Kaiser, P., Satti, N. et al. Effect of Emblica officinalis (fruit) against UVB- induced photo aging in human skin fibroblasts. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2010: 109-114.

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6 Padayatty SJ, Katz A, Wang Y, et al. Vitamin C as an antioxidant: evaluation of its role in disease prevention. J Am Coll Nutr. 2003 Feb; 22(1):18-35.

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7 Carlsen MH, Halvorsen BL, Holte K, et al. The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide. Nutr J. Jan 2010; 9: 3.

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8 Colucci R, Dragoni F, Conti R, et al. Evaluation of an oral supplement containing Phyllanthus emblica fruit extracts, vitamin E, and carotenoids in vitiligo treatment. Dermatol Ther. 2015 Jan-Feb; 28(1):17-21.

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9 Antony, B., Benny M. 2008. A Pilot Clinical Study to evaluate the effect of Emblica officinalis extract on markers of systemic inflammation and dyslipidemia. Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry. 2008; 23 (4): 378-381.

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10 Rao TP, Okamoto T, Akita N, et al. Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) extract inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced procoagulant and pro-inflammatory factors in cultured vascular endothelial cells. Br J Nutr. 2013 Dec; 110(12):2201-6.

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11 Jose, J., Kuttan, R. Hepatoprotective activity of Emblica officinalis and Chyavanaprash. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2000: 135-140.

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12 Koshy SM, Bobby Z, Jacob SE, et al. Amla prevents fructose-induced hepatic steatosis in ovariectomized rats: role of liver FXR and LXRα. Climacteric. 2015 Apr; 18(2):299-310.

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13 Khanna S, Das A, Spieldenner J, et al. Supplementation of a standardized extract from Phyllanthus emblica improves cardiovascular risk factors and platelet aggregation in overweight/class-1 obese adults. J Med Food. 2015 Apr; 18(4):415-20.

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14 Thirunavukkarasu M, Selvaraju V, Tapias L, et al. Protective effects of Phyllanthus emblica against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury: the role of PI3-kinase/glycogen synthase kinase 3β/β-catenin pathway. J Physiol Biochem. Sept 2015.

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14 Thirunavukkarasu M, Selvaraju V, Tapias L, et al. Protective effects of Phyllanthus emblica against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury: the role of PI3-kinase/glycogen synthase kinase 3β/β-catenin pathway. J Physiol Biochem. Sept 2015.

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15 Fatima N, Pingali U, Pilli R. Evaluation of Phyllanthus emblica extract on cold pressor induced cardiovascular changes in healthy human subjects. Pharmacognosy Res. 2014 Jan; 6(1):29-35.

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16 Usharani P, Fatima N, Muralidhar N. Effects of Phyllanthus emblica extract on endothelial dysfunction and biomarkers of oxidative stress in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized, double-blind, controlled study. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2013 Jul 26; 6:275-84.

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17 Mcquate, R., Kraska, R., Bidlack, W. GRAS Assessment. Emblica officinalis: Food Usage Conditions for General Recognition of Safety. Food and Drug Administration. 2009.

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