Health Benefits of Banaba Leaf Extract
Leaves from banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa L) come from trees originating in Southeast Asia and have been used traditionally in the Philippines and India for people with diabetes and weight management problems. The active component in banaba leaves is corosolic acid, which scientists at Arkansas State University are suggesting is a potential treatment for diabetes in the future.
The current treatment for diabetes includes insulin treatment which is very expensive and may increase the production of anti-insulin antibodies. This immune response may cause unwanted side effects, which reduce insulin’s usefulness to function correctly in metabolism. Animal studies suggest that corosolic acid may have some effect in the treatment of diabetes, but without stimulating the production of anti-insulin antibodies. However, human studies still need to be done, to support traditional use of this extract in the regulation of blood sugar.
Byron Richards, a board-certified clinical nutritionist reports that other studies also show that corosolic acid from banaba leaves may also help build up bones. An animal study that shows corosolic acid helps stimulate the formation of osteoblasts, or bone building cells. Studies also suggest that bone health and blood sugar metabolism are highly interdependent.
Another health benefit of corosolic acid is that it can reduce inflammation in heart cells, as shown in an animal study. It was found to preventing heart cell hypertrophy or enlargement, a common problem in diabetes, and in reducing the powerful inflammatory gene signal, NF-kappaB .
Richards, B. Banaba Leaf: Helps Blood Sugar and Bones while Reducing Inflammation. Wellness Resources.