New Year is a common time for considering a more healthy approach to life, whether that be through exercise, diet or addressing life’s stresses. Many people will try to cut back on sweet food but that can be easier said than done and a sweet tooth may even have been reinforced over the festive season.

There are many possible ways that people use to try and cut back on sweets, but a little known help may come in the form of a herb called Gymnema sylvestre which is used medicinally to help regulate blood glucose (see my post on diabetes). At least some of the benefit of gymnema is due to compounds such as gumarin and gymnemic acid binding and blocking glucose receptors in the gut, however glucose receptors on the tongue are also affected. Consequently, an almost immediate effect of consumption is an inability to taste sweetness. Chocolate tastes rather like lard and sugar like sand and I must admit to finding it rather amusing to see my children unable to eat a chocolate button!