Banaba leaf extract supplement health benefit and side effects, herb information - Herbal medicine from the Philippines
April 7 2014 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Banaba herb has been used in the Philippines for blood sugar control. See diabetes for information on natural supplements and herbs that have an influence on blood sugar, including lipoic acid. One of the active ingredients in banaba leaf is corosolic acid and there has been some research done with it in Japan. I have not come across any human studies, but there has been at least one human study with corosolic acid that showed improvement in blood sugar control in type II diabetics. At this point it is difficult to predict the blood sugar response to a banaba supplement and it is difficult to know what dosage works best, how often to take it, or how it interacts with other supplements used for blood sugar control. We also don't know how this supplement would interact with oral medicines used in diabetes and how it would interact with insulin. If you are a type II diabetic, discuss with your doctor regarding its use to see if this herbal remedy is appropriate for your particular condition.
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Buy Banaba Leaf Extract supplement, 250 mg per pill, 12 to 1 Extract 60 Capsules
BANABA-250MG-DR-SAHELIAN-F.JPGOther herbs and nutrients involved in blood sugar control include cinnamon, fenugreek, chromium, and alpha lipoic acid. Extracts from banaba possess activities that both stimulate glucose transport into cells and inhibit adipocyte differentiation.

Banaba leaf is naturally extracted using only the finest quality leaves. This potent extract provides active levels of corosolic acid, without isolating, fractionizing or using toxic solvents, harsh chemicals or gases.


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Supplement Facts:
Banaba leaf extract 12:1 Lagerstoemia speciosa 250 mg
    (Equivalent to 3,000 mg whole leaf) 1.5 % corosolic Acid = 3.75 mg

Suggested Use: 1 or 2 banaba leaf extract capsules daily or as directed by a qualified healthcare professional. Since each patient with diabetes is unique, it is difficult to predict the appropriate dosage.

Side effects, safety
No major banaba herb adverse effects have been reported in medical journals as of 2011.

Blood sugar and diabetes research studies
The use of banaba for diabetes in the US is still very new and we don't really know the right dosage or how often to take it and also how it interacts with insulin or hypoglycemic medicines. There is no proof yet that taking a banaba supplement with corosolic acid and other compounds will help those who have diabetes, although rodent studies thus far look promising. We also don't know whether long term use will lead to side effects. I am not aware of any studies combining it with metformin or other medicines used in diabetes.

Effects of dietary mulberry, Korean red ginseng, and banaba on glucose homeostasis in relation to PPAR-alpha, PPAR-gamma, and LPL mRNA expressions.
Life Sci. 2005.
Mulberry leaf water extract, Korean red ginseng, banaba leaf water extract, and the combination of these herbs fed to mice at the level of 0.5% of the diet significantly increased insulin sensitivity and improved hyperglycemia possibly through regulating PPAR-mediated lipid metabolism.

Effects of malted barley extract and banaba extract on blood glucose levels in genetically diabetic mice.
J Med Food. 2004.
This study investigated the therapeutic effects of a malted barley extract (MBE) and of banaba extract on blood glucose, insulin, and other biochemical parameters in genetically diabetic mice. The mice were divided into three groups-control, MBE, and banaba-according to supplementation. Both MBE and banaba extracts were orally administered to the animals for 12 weeks at doses of 62 mg/kg of body weight and 0.8 mg/kg of body weight, respectively. Fasting blood glucose was significantly lower in the MBE group compared with the control. Hemoglobin A1c content was significantly lower in the MBE group compared with either the control or banaba group. There was no significant difference in the serum insulin level among groups. The glucose-6-phosphatase activity in kidney was significantly lower in both the MBE and banaba groups compared with the control group, but there was no significant difference between the MBE and banaba groups. Therefore, the results of this study demonstrate that MBE alleviates many of the symptoms of diabetes in genetically obese mice and may offer promise as a therapeutic supplement for the normalization of blood glucose levels in humans with hyperglycemia and have beneficial effects in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

Antidiabetic activity of a standardized extract (Glucosol) from Lagerstroemia speciosa leaves in Type II diabetics. A dose-dependence study.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2003.
The antidiabetic activity of an extract from the leaves of Lagerstroemia speciosa standardized to 1% corosolic acid (Glucosol) has been demonstrated in a randomized clinical trial involving Type II diabetics. Subjects received a daily oral dose of Glucosol and blood glucose levels were measured. Glucosol at daily dosages of 32 and 48mg for 2 weeks showed a significant reduction in the blood glucose levels.

An extract of Lagerstroemia speciosa has insulin-like glucose uptake-stimulatory and adipocyte differentiation-inhibitory activities in 3T3-L1 cells.
J Nutr. 2001.
The effects of extracts isolated from banaba on glucose transport and adipocyte differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells were studied. Our results suggest that banaba extract may be useful for prevention and treatment of hyperglycemia and obesity in type II diabetics.

Hypoglycemic effect of extracts from Lagerstroemia speciosa leaves in genetically diabetic KK-AY mice.
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 1996.
The blood sugar lowering effects of Lagerstroemia speciosa, known by the Tagalog name of banaba in the Phillipines, were studied using hereditary diabetic mice. The mice were fed a test diet containing 5% of the hot-water extract from banaba leaves for a feeding period of 5 weeks. It is suggested that extracts obtained from banaba leaves have beneficial effects on control of the level of plasma glucose in non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.

Kidney health
My kidneys are about half as functional due to diabetes. Would banaba product help me without further damage to kidneys. I do take Byetta plus Novalog plus Lantus. Would it conflict with this?
    Banaba supplement has not been tested in combination with Byetta, Novalog, Lantus, or other medications used for diabetes. We are not aware of any kidney damage that would occur from its use, however very little human research is available with this supplement.

Liver effect
I want to know can banaba herb be used as a hepatoprotective herb ?
   We have not seen any human studies evaluating the effect of banaba herb supplementation on liver enzymes.

Obesity and weight loss
Antiobesity activity of extracts from Lagerstroemia speciosa leaves on female KK-Ay mice.
J Nutr Sci Vitaminol. 1999..
Lagerstroemia speciosa has been used as a folk medicine for a long time among diabetics in the Philippines. In the present study, female mice of the same strain showing remarkable body weight gain were used to examine the antiobesity effect of dietary banaba extract. Five-week-old female KK-Ay mice were fed a control diet or test diet containing 5% of a hot-water extract from banaba leaves instead of cellulose for 12 weeks. Neither group showed any changes in diet intake during the experimental period. Body weight gain and parametrial adipose tissue weight were lowered significantly in the banaba diet group. Blood glucose levels were not suppressed in the banaba diet group, but hemoglobin A1C was found to be suppressed at the end of the experiment. No effects on the serum lipids were observed, but the mice fed banaba extract showed a significant decrease, to 65% of the control level in total hepatic lipid contents. This decrease was due to a reduction in the accumulation of triglyceride. These results suggest that banaba had a beneficial effect on obese female KK-Ay mice.

Valoneaic acid dilactone have been isolated from the leaves as potent alpha-amylase inhibitors.

Various forms, brands and availability
How does banaba tea compare to a capsule?
   I really don't know how potent banaba tea is compared to a supplement in capsule form.

I see a product called GlucoTrim which states "Lagerstroemia speciosa extract standardized to 1% corosolic acid, 24 mg." Does this mean this banaba product has 24 mg of corosolic acid, or does it have 1% corosolic acid out of the 24 mg of banaba herb present?
   We are trying to figure this out ourselves. We're not sure if GlucoTrim is 24 mg of corosolic acid or whether it is just a banaba extract with 1% corosolic acid.

Use by animals, pets, dogs, cats
Can you tell me of any studies done with horses using banaba? is it poisonous for horses? where could I look for information using this for a horse with insulin resistance?
   We don't deal with horses so we don't know whether it is helpful to animals. A quick search on Medline did not reveal any studies with the keywords banaba horse or equine.