A new solution in the battle against sugar cravings is hitting store shelves.
“We want people to have more control over their nutrition because we both went through times when we had no control,” said Gitit Lahav, an Israeli psychologist who started the company with her friend Shimrit Lev, a Chinese medicine practitioner.
“We noticed that for most people, especially women, the biggest issue is around sweets,” Lahav said. “Because we are dealing with herbs, we bumped into an Indian plant that is swallowed [in capsule or tea form] and has an effect on glucose metabolism. We also heard it has an effect on the tongue.”
The Gymnema Sylvestre plant is an Indian ayurvedic remedy to stabilize blood-sugar levels. Studies over the past 50 years in several countries have deemed it safe, according to Lahav, who along with Lev tried chewing gymnema leaves.
“It was crazy how much we did not want sweets after that,” she said.
However, chewing the plant leaves behind a bitter taste and ingesting its extracts takes time to have an effect.
“We know that people want something that gives an immediate effect, and this is how we got into three years of development,” Lahav said. “We experimented in our own kitchens with homemade chewing gum until we succeeded in finding the right formula.”
She and Lev received assistance from the Israeli ambassador to India, who helped them find an organic source for the plant. The product was further developed by the Strauss food conglomerate, which includes the Must brand of chewing gum. Its branding and package design was done in Tel Aviv by the Natie Agency.
Because Sweet Victory is a functional food supplement and Israel doesn’t have a gum factory authorized to produce such supplements, the product is manufactured in an approved facility in Italy.
“We just started selling Sweet Victory in December in the Philippines and New Zealand,” Lahav said. “Panama and France are next. By the end of 2021, we are planning on selling in 12 countries.”
An American distributor plans to soon place the product in a few pharmacies in New York for a soft launch in the United States. Sweet Victory is also available online in the Philippines.
A small case study at Sheba Medical Center conducted among people who experience sugar cravings all day long found that chewing a piece of Sweet Victory three times a day was enough to make a difference.
“The gum does not change the taste buds permanently; it just occupies the sweet receptors for a specific time,” Lahav said. “Most people use it during the hours they crave sugar.”
Further clinical research is planned to measure the effect of Sweet Victory on the sugar cravings of people with diabetes at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. Michal Roll, the hospital’s former deputy director general for research and development, will assist in designing this trial.
“I was skeptical because I’ve seen so many claims for new products, but I think this gum really works, and we want to see if it has any effect on diabetes,” Roll, who is now a consultant for Sweet Victory, said, emphasizing that the product contains a very small dose of Gymnema Sylvestre, which is not known to cause any side effects.
“We haven’t done long-term research since it is very new product, and it wasn’t tested on pregnant women or children, so like all food supplements, ask your doctor about it,” Lahav said.
Sweet: New Chewing Gum Turns Users Off To Sugary Treats appeared first on ISRAEL21c.
(Edited by Carlin Becker and David Martosko)
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