Indian gooseberry (also called amla) has been popularly used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Although it offers various benefits, excess intake of the Indian gooseberry can have certain detrimental effects.
A lot of research is warranted to establish these side effects. However, it is important that you know what can happen if you consume too many of these gooseberries at once.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Indian Gooseberry?
The high vitamin C content in Indian gooseberry can cause problems if consumed in excess. The nutrient may cause acidity and other issues related to stomach acid. The fiber in the fruit may also cause constipation if you eat too many of them.
1. May Cause Acidity
Indian gooseberry is the second richest natural source of vitamin C. A single fruit contains over 600 to 700 mg of vitamin C (1).
Excess vitamin C intake can cause digestive distress. This may happen if you consume more than 2,000 mg of the nutrient at one go.
Some research suggests that excess intake of vitamin C may lead to acid reflux and other forms of gastrointestinal upset (2). These effects are more likely to occur in individuals with preexisting conditions.
Excess intake of vitamin C may also be accompanied by diarrhea and nausea (3). However, findings are not conclusive and we need more research here.
If you experience symptoms of heartburn, there are certain home remedies to treat it. The simplest of those is using baking soda.
You can add a teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water. Stir well and drink. Baking soda works as a natural antacid and relieves heartburn and other issues related to excess stomach acid (4).
2. May Cause Constipation
Indian gooseberry is a rich source of fiber (1). While adequate fiber can treat constipation, some believe excess of it can lead to constipation. We need more evidence here, though.
Excess fiber can also have negative effects on colonic transit. It can get fermented rapidly in the colon, leading to a surge of microbial activity. This leads to abdominal cramps and bloating (5).
Consuming too many Indian gooseberries can bulk up and harden your stools.
Easing constipation is simple. All you need are a teaspoon of baking soda and a glass of warm water. Mix the soda in the water and drink the mixture. You will find relief in a short span of time.
If you are experiencing a more serious case of constipation, baking soda may not help. In such situations, please visit a doctor immediately to address the issue.
3. May Cause Complications In People With Diabetes
These anti-diabetic benefits of amla may prove detrimental for a few individuals. Excessive or incorrect dosages of amla can cause blood sugar levels to fall too low. This can aggravate the situation if the individual is already on diabetes medications. Though it may not be possible to eat too many amlas (due to their sour taste), it is important to be careful.
There is no research that directly links diabetes complications to amla. But it is better you exercise caution and keep your doctor in the loop.
4. Might Cause Problems During Pregnancy
There is no documented evidence of Indian gooseberries causing trouble during pregnancy. But we suggest you check with your doctor before taking it.
While the Indian gooseberry is among the most nutritious foods, the only concern is the consequences of its excess intake. Hence, consume it in moderation.
How many of these gooseberries can you take in a day? Is there any specific dosage we can arrive at?
What About The Dosage?
One Indian gooseberry a day should be fine. This translates to 10 to 20 ml of the gooseberry juice or 4 grams of the powder.
Anything beyond this may cause side effects. If you have any specific medical condition, please consult your doctor on the dosage.
The Indian gooseberry is rich in vital nutrients. Numerous studies have stated its importance in the human diet. But like any other food out there, moderation is key.
Stick to the dosage mentioned. If you are on any medication or have any health condition, please speak to your doctor as it may have different effects on different people.
Did you experience any of these side effects with amla? What remedies did you follow? Do let us know by leaving a comment in the box below.
- Enhancing the functional properties and nutritional quality of ice cream with processed amla (Indian gooseberry), Journal of Food Science and Technology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Vitamin C in Health and Disease, The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Possible Adverse Health Effects of Vitamin C and Ascorbic Acid, Seminars in Oncology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Sodium Bicarbonate, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Fiber and colorectal diseases: Separating fact from fiction, World Journal of Gastroenterology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Anti-diabetic Effects of the Indian Indigenous Fruit Emblica Officinalis Gaertn: Active Constituents and Modes of Action, Food & Function, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Effect of Amla Fruit (Emblica Officinalis Gaertn.) on Blood Glucose and Lipid Profile of Normal Subjects and Type 2 Diabetic Patients, International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
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