A growing body of evidence involving animal and human studies as well as in vitro systems indicates that Banaba leaf extracts exert antidiabetic and antiobesity effects. There is strong evidence to indicate that corosolic acid as well as ellagitannins is responsible for these effects. Other polycyclic terpene acids such as oleanolic acid and valoneic acid may also contribute to the antihyperglycemic effects. With the development of techniques to purify various components of Banaba, studies are now being conducted with more highly purified and structurally characterized materials. As a consequence, information is being obtained regarding the specific effects of the various constituents, particularly with respect to corosolic acid.
A number of studies in animals and human subjects using highly purified corosolic acid and corosolic acid-standardized preparations indicate that this component of Banaba exhibits properties that are beneficial in addressing various factors involved in glucose regulation and metabolism, including the enhanced cellular uptake of glucose, improved insulin sensitivity, decreased gluconeogenesis, and inhibited intestinal hydrolysis of sucrose, thereby lowering blood glucose levels. Furthermore, decreased serum cholesterol and triglycerides have been observed in response to corosolic acid.
Based on the studies conducted to date, no adverse effects have been reported in animals using either corosolic acid or standardized Banaba extracts, nor have adverse events been observed or reported in controlled human clinical studies. However, no animal studies have been designed specifically to assess toxicity or LD50 values for corosolic acid or Banaba extracts standardized to specific concentrations of corosolic acid.
The above studies indicate that corosolic acid and corosolic acid standardized Banaba extracts may be beneficial in addressing issues associated with elevated blood sugar levels and obesity. Furthermore, corosolic acid exhibits anti-inflammatory and antihyperlipidemic, antiviral effects. Standardized Banaba extracts, corosolic acid, and/or ellagitannins in combination with other ingredients may be useful in dealing with symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome. Corosolic acid and standardized Banaba extracts may also be highly effective either as stand-alone products or in combination with other natural products possessing hypoglycemic, antihyperlipidemic, and appetite suppressant activities.
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