Antioxidants are compounds that counteract the harmful effects of free radicals. These effects could otherwise negatively affect DNA, fat, and protein metabolism and promote disease .
Furthermore, antioxidants protect your pancreas from free-radical damage — an additional antidiabetic effect.
Banaba leaves can neutralize free radicals due to their high content of antioxidants like phenols and flavonoids, as well as quercetin and corosolic, gallic, and ellagic acids.
One 15-day study in rats found that 68 mg per pound (150 mg per kg) of body weight of banaba leaf extract neutralized free radicals and other reactive species while regulating levels of antioxidant enzymes.
Still, human studies on the antioxidant effects of banaba leaves are lacking.
May offer anti-obesity benefits
Obesity affects about 40–45% of American adults, and it’s a risk factor for chronic disease.
Recent studies have linked banaba leaves with anti-obesity activity, as they may inhibit adipogenesis and lipogenesis — the formation of fat cells and fat molecules, respectively.
Also, polyphenols in the leaves, such as pentagalloylglucose (PGG), may prevent fat cell precursors from transforming into mature fat cells.
However, most research on this topic was conducted in test tubes, so human studies are needed.
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