Gymnema sylvestre (Retz.) R.Br. ex Sm. (Asclepiadaceae) is a well-known Ayurvedic anti-sweet plant for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Although it was previously proposed that
G. sylvestre exhibits chemical variation based on geography, most research on
G. sylvestre has used material originating from India. Morphological and anatomical descriptions, ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 DNA sequencing, and acid hydrolysis analyses showed that G. sylvestre samples from Vietnam are distinguishable from those of Indian origin and thus suggest a dissimilarity among
G. sylvestre samples with different geographic distributions. An LC-MS-guided strategy targeting 3β-glucuronide oleane-triterpenes in the Vietnamese G. sylvestre variety led to the isolation of four known compounds and nine previously undescribed compounds, named gymnemosides ND1-ND9. None of the isolated compounds were reported in the Indian sample, further supporting the geo-diversity of
G. sylvestre. Three compounds, gymnemosides ND7-9, exerted significant stimulatory effects on the uptake of 2-NBDG in 3T3-L1 adipocyte cells and thus have potential as lead molecules for anti-diabetes agents.