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Boswellia serrata shows benefits for type 2 diabetes

Boswellia Boswellia serrata is widely recognized for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties; now the results of a study published in the “Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders” suggest this plant may also be beneficial in type 2 diabetes.

Type II diabetes is a disorder of the endocrine system characterised by elevated blood glucose levels. Chronically elevated blood sugar causes fatty deposits in the liver, which are likely to increase transaminase activity (ASAT and ALAT). Significant increases in these transaminases and low levels of HDL-cholesterol are therefore generally observed in type 2 diabetics.

Conducted at Iran’s Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, the study involved 60 type 2 diabetics (30 males and 30 females), aged between 30 and 48. Subjects were split into two groups, the first receiving a daily supplement of 900mg of Boswellia serrata for six weeks, divided into three, 300mg doses, and the second serving as a control. Blood samples were taken at the start of the study and after six weeks. Researchers measured blood levels of fructosamine, which indicate average blood glucose levels over a two to three week period, lipid profiles and hepatic enzymes.

At the end of the study, the blood analyses demonstrated significantly elevated HDL-cholesterol levels and decreased levels of total- and LDL-cholesterol, fructosamine and transaminase levels in the diabetic subjects who had received the Boswellia serrata supplements.

The study’s authors suggest that it is Boswellia serrata’s antioxidant effects and its ability to lower blood glucose which may be responsible for the decrease observed in fructosamine, an indicator of glycated serum proteins as a whole.

The study therefore shows that, taken alongside existing drug treatments, daily supplementation with Boswellia serrata offers a safe, effective, side effect-free way for type 2 diabetics to control various blood parameters and reduce associated risk factors.

In addition, it clearly suggests that this plant has properties beyond those already recognized and that it may promote healthy blood glucose and lipid levels, while at the same time conferring liver-protective effects.

Ahangarpour A, Heidari H1, Fatemeh RA, Pakmehr M, Shahbazian H, Ahmadi I, Mombeini Z, Mehrangiz BH. Effect of Boswellia serrata supplementation on blood lipid, hepatic enzymes and fructosamine levels in type2 diabetic patients. J Diabetes Metab Disord. 2014 Feb 4;13(1):29.
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