Recently, a Kansas State University biology professor, Govindsamy Veddiyappan, discovered a breakthrough in treating the common human fugal pathogen, Candida albicans. After noticing that the herb, Gymnema sylvestre, was a common remedy used by diabetics in developing countries, he studied it on a microbiological level. His research showed that Gymnema sylvestre is a nontoxic compound that can curb the virulent properties of the fungus.
Candida albicans is a fungus that can be, most commonly, found in the mouth and intestines, when overgrown; it is often an agent in the progression of genital and oral infections. Organ transplant patients, HIV/AIDS patients, cancer patients, and other people with compromised immune systems are more likely to suffer from infections involving a Candida albicans surplus.
One of the most important implications of Vediyappan’s discovery is that the herb treats the body in a way that doesn’t compromise other cells. For people with weaker immune systems the non-toxic property of gynemic acid compounds is extremely valuable since it doesn’t compromise their heathly cells. It is important to note that Vediyappan and his team are not the first to discover that gynemic acid compounds are nontoxic. They are, however, the first to discover that gynemic acid compounds are effective in blocking the harmful fungal transition of Candida albicans.