Banaba Leaf Extract Reduces Blood Sugars
According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million children and adults in the US have diabetes. That’s 8.3% of the population. This high growth has led to growing number of pharmaceutical drugs attempting to treat the problem – and with those drugs, a host of dangerous side effects, such as increased risk of heart failure. (1) It’s no wonder people are looking for safer, and possibly more effective, natural alternatives. The natural ingredient, banaba leaf extract, could be a powerful alternative.
Banaba leaves are from a tropical tree, Lagerstroemia speciosa, which grows naturally in Southeast Asia. The leaves are used in the Philippines and in India as a traditional treatment for diabetes and for kidney and liver health. (1,2) It turns out these cultures were on to something.
The blood sugar regulating properties of corosolic acid, the active ingredient in banaba leaf, have been demonstrated in cell culture, animal, and human studies. In isolated cells, it is known to stimulate glucose uptake.
In diabetic mice, rats, and rabbits, banaba feeding reduces elevated blood sugar and insulin levels to normal. In humans with type 2 diabetes, banaba extract, at a dose of 16-48 mg per day for 4-8 weeks, has been shown to be effective in reducing blood sugar levels 5%-30%, and maintaining tighter control of blood sugar fluctuations.
An interesting “side-effect” of tighter control of blood sugar and insulin levels is a significant tendency of banaba to promote weight loss (an average of 2-4 lbs. per month) – without significant dietary alterations. It is likely that modulation of glucose and insulin levels reduces total caloric intake somewhat and encourages moderate weight-loss.
In folk medicine, the leaves were often brewed as a tea; however, today it can be easily found in supplement form.
Health-e-Solutions comment: The very preliminary research done on banaba leaf extract is limited. We have not used banaba lea extract, but it is a compelling option to discuss with your medical professional to see if I could be acceptable to add to your regimen.
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