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Banaba and Diabetes

Banaba and Blood Sugar

Common Names Lagerstroemia speciosa, Banaba , queens crape myrtle , queen's flower , pride of India.

Banaba is a variety of crepe myrtle that grows in the Philippines, India, Malaysia and Australia. A tea made from the leaves is used to treat diabetes. Active ingredients include corsolic acid and tannins, including lagerstroemin. These ingredients are thought to stimulate glucose uptake and have insulin-like activity. The latter activity is thought to be secondary to activation of the insulin receptor tyrosine kinase or the inhibition of tyrosine phosphatase. Banaba has been used for diabetes and weight loss, although information regarding long-term human use is not available. No adverse effects have been reported with its use.

Important Research and opinions on Banaba and diabetes.

Research on Banaba
There has been much research done on Banaba leaves and their ability to reduce blood sugar, and its "insulin-like principle." In the Philippines, Banaba is a popular medicine plant and is used in treatment of diabetes mellitus. It is high in corosolic acid which is used in many treatments for diabetes. It is a natural plant insulin, can be taken orally, and has no side effects, according to Japanese research.

Antidiabetes and Anti-obesity Activity of Banaba Lagerstroemia speciosa
Although tannins were identified as the effective component for the insulin like glucose transport inducing activity in banaba extract, the most effective tannin molecule in the extract has not been identified. A well designed bioassay (glucose uptake assay) guided isolation should be able to complete this task.

In the past 10 years, other studies regarding banaba extracts or chemicals derived from banaba extracts were reported. These studies indicate that banaba extracts contain interesting biomedical substances that have attracted significant scientific attention. More detailed studies at molecular and cellular levels as well as in animal models are required to elucidate banaba extract's antidiabetic activity and other health beneficial activities such as its anti-adipogenesis activity.

Banaba Extract Supports Healthy Blood Glucose and Body Weight
The blood sugar regulating properties of banaba have been demonstrated in cell culture, animal and human studies. In diabetic mice, banaba reduced elevated blood sugar and insulin levels to normal.3-5 Additionally, total blood cholesterol levels were lowered. In a study of humans with type 2 diabetes, Banaba extract showed a 30% reduction in blood glucose levels.
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In one small, randomized clinical trial involving type 2 diabetic patients, researchers found that dosages of 32 and 48 mg of a banaba extract standardized to 1% corosolic acid (glucosol preparation) administered for 2 weeks significantly reduced blood glucose levels.
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