Banaba leaf extract contains a triterpenoid compound known as corosolic acid – which stimulates glucose transport into cells. As such, banaba plays a role in regulating levels of blood sugar and insulin in the blood. For some people, fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin are related to appetite, hunger and various food cravings – particularly craving for carbohydrates such as bread and sweets. By keeping blood sugar and insulin levels in check, Banaba is an effective supplement for promoting weight loss in certain individuals.
The blood sugar regulating properties of banaba have been demonstrated in cell culture, animal and human studies. In isolated cells, the active ingredient in banaba extract, corosolic acid, 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 II diabetes, banaba extract, at a dose of 16-48mg per day for 4-8 weeks, has been shown to be effective in reducing blood sugar levels (5%-30% reduction) and maintaining tighter control of blood sugar fluctuations. An interesting “side-effect” of banaba is 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 and encourages moderate weight loss.
At suggested doses, 8-48mg per day, no adverse side effects are expected from banaba extract. Higher doses should be avoided; however, to prevent possible hypoglycemic effects (headache, dizziness, fatigue, etc.) commonly associated with extremely low blood glucose levels.
Doses of banaba extract in the range of 8-48mg per day, consumed in regular doses with meals, are effective in reducing blood glucose and insulin levels. Higher doses should be avoided due to the potential for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
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