The History & Background of Banaba Leaf Extract
Banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa) native to southern Asia, is a flowering plant that is best known as a traditional herb used to fight diabetes and kidney conditions in the Philippines. Its leaves contain bioactive ingredients that include ellagitannins and corosolic acid. These bio-active ingredients have an insulin-like effect, which lowers elevated blood sugar levels (the central feature for diabetes).
These compounds may also be able to suppress new fat cells’ formation. As a result, banaba leaf has become a common ingredient for antidiabetic and weight loss supplements.
Back in 1999, an animal study was conducted in Tokyo that used mice as their test subjects. The mice were given banaba extract that resulted in lower cellulose, body weight gain, and tissue weight. 65% decreased in hepatic lipid contents due to a reduction of triglycerides. Low hepatic lipids are related to weight loss, and this suggests that the banaba leaf had a beneficial effect on obese mice.
Use in Supplements
Lagerstroemia or Banaba can restrain the uptake (digestion and absorption) of carbohydrates to a degree and can also help in deposition into cells from the bloodstream, which results in the lowering of blood sugar levels.
Banaba leaf as an herbal supplement has been used for treating minor health ailments to low glucose absorption in the body. It could also be beneficial to those who are suffering from blood sugar-related disorders, like diabetes.
Although banaba leaf is famous for lowering blood glucose, it is also known to suppress fat formation. Adipogenesis or the fat cell formation includes cells that we call preadipocytes, which transition into full adipocytes (fat cells). The ellagitannins found in banaba leaf have been found to suppress this process in isolated cells.
The standard dosage for banaba leaf extract is up to 250-300 mg 1-2 times daily. Banaba is still on the process of being examined as a weight-loss supplement, but doses of 16 – 48 mg have been used for diabetics. 60 -300 mg is usually the doses for banaba leaf extract and may be standardized to contain 1-2% corosolic acid. Banaba leaf extract can also be in the form of herbal tea.
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Potential Side Effects of Banaba Leaf Extract
Although Banaba leaf extract is a natural ingredient, just like any other herbal medicine, moderation in use is still recommended. Knowing the fact that Banaba can affect blood sugar levels and can also lower the blood pressure, it is essential to monitor one’s sugar level and blood pressure when taking it. For pregnant and lactating mothers, it is best to avoid the ingredient.
How to Use Banaba Leaf?
In folk medicine, the leaves were often brewed as a tea, which does work; however, today it can be easily found in supplement form. If you do suffer from blood sugar issues, keep in mind that taking banaba along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. As always, if you are using medication or under a doctor’s care for any medical condition, be sure and check with your doctor before using any herb or supplement.
Does anyone take this supplement, and have you found that it helps?
Banaba, also known as Crepe Myrtle, Queen's Flower and Pride of India, is a medicinal plant that grows in India, Southeast Asia and the Philippines. Banaba Leaf extract contains a compound known as corosolic acid, which can safely lower blood sugar levels. By keeping blood sugar and insulin levels in check, Banaba helps you control food cravings. This makes it useful for anyone who wants to lose weight.
Banaba is a plant that grows in India, Southeast Asia and the Philippines. Traditional uses include brewing tea from the leaves as a treatment for diabetes and elevated blood sugar. Banaba Leaf extract contains a triterpenoid compound known as corosolic acid, which has actions in stimulating glucose transport into cells. Studies show that corosolic acid can safely lower blood glucose levels. 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, taken for four to eight weeks, has been shown to be effective in reducing blood sugar levels (five percent to thirty percent reduction) and maintaining tighter control of blood sugar fluctuations. In one study, subjects who took the supplement over a twenty-two-week period had a thirty percent drop in blood sugar levels. They also averaged a weight loss of 3.2 pounds per month without changing their diet.
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 helps people to lose weight safely and quickly. At suggested doses, no adverse side effects are expected from Banaba. Higher doses should be avoided, however, to prevent dizziness or fatigue, which can happen with extremely low blood sugar levels. Blood sugar control is enhanced with small amounts of Banaba taken one-to-three times daily. Most users report a reduction in food cravings, especially for high-carbohydrate foods like bread, cereal, pizza and cookies. A small loss of weight (three-four pounds per month) is not uncommon, due to the lower blood sugar and insulin levels. Some weight-loss experts believe that Banaba extract is more effective when combined with other ingredients such as Kola Nut (caffeine) and Green Tea.
How Effective is Banaba Leaf For Lowering Blood Sugar & Glucose Levels?
Research has shown banaba leaf is effective for lowering blood glucose in people with regularly high blood sugar levels.
Experts say that the reason banaba leaf can have a positive effect on blood sugar levels is because it contains a natural concentration of corosolic acid. The Corosolic acid can work like insulin to reduce blood sugar levels by transporting glucose into cells and out of the bloodstream. Banaba Leaf has shown to be safe when taken in proper dosages. However, you don’t want to take only Banaba by itself because you would need very high dosages to feel the glucose lowering benefits. It is best to combine Banaba Leaf with other ingredients for improved benefits and reduced side effects.
The ellagitannins from the banaba leaves may suppress fat cell formation and improve blood glucose. This study wants to examine the biological activities of the active compounds found in Banaba. Seven ellagitannin compounds were isolated and then tested for their effects on isolated mouse preadipocytes (precursors to fat cells). Ellagitannins were found to stimulate the uptake of glucose and also to suppress the transition from preadipocytes into fat cells. The researchers concluded that the study provides a potential for banaba-derived compounds as weight-controlling and glucose-lowering supplemental products.
A study on the decreased body weight and fat mass in mice due to corosolic acid was conducted. This animal study examined the effects of corosolic acid in mice that were fed a high-fat diet for nine weeks. The treatment significantly lowered the mice’s blood glucose and triglyceride levels. It resulted in a 10% body weight and 15% fat loss. The conclusion was that CRA treatment could contribute to the reduction of body weight and amelioration of hepatic steatosis in mice fed with a high-fat diet.
Another study was conducted on people with type 2 diabetes on banaba leaf extracts’ effectiveness to reduce blood sugar. It examined the antidiabetic effect of banaba leaf extract. An excerpt of 16-48 mg (standardized to 1% corosolic acid) was given to 10 adults ages 55-70 daily for 15 days. They had their blood glucose measured. As much as 30% of blood sugar was found to be reduced by 32 and 48 mg doses. It was concluded that a marked lowering of blood sugar in people with type II diabetes was exerted by the oral formulations of an extract from the leaves of Lagerstroemia speciosa.
Final Review of Banaba Leaf Extract
Banaba leaf extract is a natural ingredient and is considered safe to use, unlike other supplements. Due to its ability to lower blood glucose, it became popular with diabetes treatment. It also possessed properties that could help in fat loss, which could be helpful for those who want to lose their weight naturally and safely. Overall, the Bacopa leaf extract is a good ingredient. Even though most studies suggest that it is safe for everyone’s use, it is still best to be cautious when using it and stick with it the standard dosage. I recommend those with other health conditions to stay on the safe side and avoid this ingredient.