What Filipino banabá extract can do for a man’s penis

Man testing glucose level with a digital glucometer, sensor checkup glucose levels without blood. Diabetes treatment.

This strange natural cure has been around for more than 50 years, and its potency will surprise you…

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What filipino banabá extract can do for a man’s penis

The banabá tree can be found growing throughout East Asia.

In the Philippines, its leaves have traditionally been used to treat diabetes.

The first scientific verification of its antidiabetic activity was reported back in 1940.

Yet research on banabá was at a standstill until its effects were rediscovered 53 years later.

Dozens of experiments followed the renewed interest in banabá.

The reports that specified its active agents were divided between corosolic acid and lagerstroemin.

“However, it could not represent the whole activity of the banabá extract.” (Hayashi, 2001)

And since then, starting around the late 1990s, both corosolic acid and lagerstroemin were verified as antidiabetic agents in their own right.

Yet this knowledge did not exactly end the uncertainty because each molecule had unknown modes of action.

So this only stimulated the controversy surrounding banabá…

Despite its clear antidiabetic activity, it still remains misunderstood and underutilized.

Moreover, since each component has different pharmacokinetics, it remained unclear which was responsible for the banabá’s effects in vivo.

Was it corosolic acid, lagerstroemin, or some combination of both?

Yet banabá leaf really isn’t as enigmatic as it may initially seem.

After taking into account all conflicts of interest, egos, claims of priority, and financial incentives, there is good indication of its efficacy and data to back that up.

Antidiabetic activity of a standardized extract (GlucosolTM) from Lagerstroemia speciosa leaves in Type II diabetics.

Inspired by previous animal studies, these researchers decided to test banabá extract on adult humans.

They assigned 56 diabetics to three groups, all receiving a different amount of ethanolic banabá extract for two weeks days.

The doses given were relatively modest to say the least, ranging from 16 to 48 mg per day.

Yet despite these low doses, the researchers observed relatively large reductions in blood glucose in all study groups…

Those receiving a hard gel capsule of 48 mg showed a 20.2% reduction in blood glucose.

And those receiving the soft gel formulation had a 30.0% reduction.

Percent reduction in basal blood glucose levels in Type II diabetics after 15 days of treatment

Despite the fact that one of the authors is a co‑holder for multiple patents on Glucosol, some of which predate this study, there’s good reason to believe the results.

This is because a later Korean study on diabetic rats showed a similar change with a similar dose.

Using just .8 mg⁄kg per body weight, they reported a 26.3% decrease in blood glucose after four weeks.

This dose corresponds to 62 mg for a 170-pound human.

By the way, this was the very same extract used in the previous study and was ordered by mail from the manufacturers in California.

“Banabá extract containing 1% corosolic acid was provided by Soft Gel Technologies, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA).” –Hong, 2004

An earlier study (Kakuda, 1995) reported similar results.

This study used an in‑house extract of banabá leaf.

A hot-water extract of banabá leaf added to the diet at 5% progressively reduced blood glucose as compared to controls…

Right up until the point when their diets were swapped.

Plasma glucose progressively decreases in diabetic rats given banaba leaf extract.

Considering the average daily intake of food, this would correspond to 21 mg per day of banabá extract.

The researchers subsequently divided this extract into two subfractions, a methanol and water extract.

The methanol subfraction had a similar effect, at only 2% of the diet (corresponding to 8 mg per day).

And the water subfraction had less activity despite being given at 3%.

The water subfraction actually had a greater effect initially, but this mostly wore after five weeks.

Other researchers noted a similar efficacy loss over time using certain banabá extracts (Hong, 2004).

On the other hand, the methanolic extract kept on working progressively with every coming week.

This is no surprise because a methanol extract was responsible for the rediscovery of banabá’s antidiabetic effect in the first place:

Screening of Plant Constituents for Effect on Glucose Transport Activity in Ehrlich Ascites Tumour Cells

These researchers extracted 23 different plant species with methanol and assayed their effects on cellular glucose uptake in vitro.

Of this large array of plants, only six showed significant positive effects – one of them being Lagerstroemia speciosa (banabá).

Five species actually decreased glucose uptake in the cells, while the rest were inactive.

Effects of MeOH extracts of medicinal Plants

The author decided to focus on banabá.

He further separated the methanol extract using chromatography, reducing the effect down to just one molecule.

“Corosolic acid showed a significant glucose transport stimulating activity at a concentration of 1 μM, while maslinic acid was inactive.”

Bitter melon deserves an honorable mention here, showing a dose‑dependent effect on account of polypeptide‑p – an insulin analog.

Banabá and ginseng extracts both demonstrated a similar bimodal dose dependency.

And that is not surprising since they contain similar compounds.

Both of them also appear to work in the same manner via 11β‑HSD1 (cortisone reductase). And they also have similar pharmacokinetics.

11β‑HSD1 is responsible for converting inactive cortisone into active cortisol; inhibitors of this enzyme are a recognized class of antidiabetic agents.

Corosolic acid has been shown to inhibit 11β‑HSD1 at an IC50 of .810 μM (Rollinger, 2010), whereas an acetylated protopanaxadiol derived from ginseng had an IC50 of .101 μM (Shao, 2007).

(IC50 is a measure of the potency of a substance in inhibiting a specific biological or biochemical function.)

Yet that’s not to say that corosolic acid is any less potent…

They modified the ginseng compound slightly.

And IC50 values depend on the specific enzyme concentrations used when determining them.

Precise enzyme concentrations were not reported by Shao, but there’s reason to suppose his enzyme concentrations were lower than Rollinger’s.

This would tend towards lower IC50 values in Shao’s study as there’s less enzyme to inhibit.

In addition to their potent 11β‑HSD1 activities, corosolic acid and protopanaxadiol have both been reported to inhibit PTP1B in higher concentrations.

PTP1B is an enzyme that normally acts to lower glucose flux by inactivating insulin receptor substrate‑1.

(That is the second messenger that mediates insulin’s signal within the cell.)

As with 11β‑HSD1 inhibitors, drugs that bind PTP1B are a recognized class of antidiabetic agents.

Berberine is the most potent natural PTP1B inhibitor.

And it also has greater bodily distribution than ginsenosides or corosolic acid.

For this reason, berberine is probably best drug for targeting PTP1B.

Corosolic acid and ginsenosides are instead ideal for inhibiting 11β‑HSD1, which is also important.

That makes them the go‑to drugs for lowering cortisol.

Ginseng has been shown to lower plasma cortisol specifically…

However, and unfortunately, this parameter hasn’t yet been tested with corosolic acid.

“Glucocorticoid excess causes insulin resistance in skeletal muscle by directly inhibiting the translocation of GLUT4 glucose transporters to the plasma membrane in response to insulin…”

Yet there is every reason to suppose that corosolic acid lowers cortisol as well…

And there is also every reason to believe that this effect is partially responsible for corosolic acid’s success in treating diabetes.

But since banabá leaf fractions without corosolic acid can also lower blood glucose, we can’t just assume that that is responsible for all of its effects.

Ellagitannins from lagerstroemia speciosa as Activators of Glucose Transport in Fat Cells

These researchers investigated banabá leaf further, finding most of the quick‑acting activity in the water fraction.

They further separated this extract using chromatography, eventually isolating the three most potent molecules.

These turned out to be the following ellagitannins:

  • Lagerstroemin
  • Flosin B
  • Regenin A

(Ellagitannins are a class of hydrolyzable tannins. On heating with hydrochloric or sulfuric acids, ellagitannins yield gallic or ellagic acids.)

Since tannins comprise approximately 40% of aqueous banabá leaf extracts, these three molecules taken together could contribute to much of its antidiabetic activity.

These larger tannins may seem to be unlikely agents because they can’t effectively penetrate the cell…

But they don’t need to. Because some have rigorously been shown to bind and activate insulin receptors.

As it turns out, ellagitannins from banabá leaf can also do this:

Activation of Insulin Receptors by Lagerstroemin

This study used:

(1) Lagerstroemin isolated from banabá leaf

(2) Cells overexpressing the insulin receptor

(3) Specific inhibitors of insulin action

In a way similar to insulin, purified lagerstroemin could massively increase glucose uptake in cells and could be blocked by wortmannin.

The effects of Lagerstroemin on the hexose uptake of rat adipocytes.

They also separated insulin-sensitive target proteins by gel electrophoresis…

And they confirmed (using specific antibodies) that the same phosphorylation patterns were induced by both compounds.

This is a convincing demonstration that lagerstroemin is an insulin mimetic…analogous to the similar tannin called pentagalloyl‑ᴅ‑glucopyranose.

“If lagerstroemin functions as an agonist of insulin receptors, it is not surprising that the compound possesses each of the insulin actions examined.”

Yet there’s even more proof of this insulin‑like effect…

Though it’s less direct since it comes mostly from whole extracts of banabá leaf and not from isolated compounds.

In a study using a hot-water extract, researchers found that banabá had virtually identical dose‑ and time‑response curves as insulin.

They also showed that the effects of banabá and insulin were not additive but competitive – above certain concentrations, that is – implying the two were vying for the same receptor.

And if that wasn’t enough to convince a person, they showed banabá extract to be completely without effect on preadipocytes (cells that lack insulin receptors).

The effects insulin has on preadipocytes is instead mediated through the insulin‑like growth factor (IGF‑1) receptor, another one of its targets.

Banabá leaf components ostensibly cannot bind to the IGF‑1 receptor.

Otherwise, they would stimulate preadipocytes, thus making them more selective for the insulin receptor than insulin itself.

So banabá’s insulin‑mimetic activity has now been convincingly proven.

And that makes the conclusion about its mode of action expressed 70 years ago seem not so quaint after all.

“It is suggested that the active principle of the leaves is a plant hormone similar to insulin, but differing from insulin in being thermostable and in being effective when given by mouth.” –Garcia, 1940

So are the high molecular weight ellagitannins absorbed intact?

And, if so, do they take precedence over corosolic acid or synergize with it?

The bioavailability of lagerstroemin has, unfortunately, never been studied.

But a similarly‑sized ellagitannin derived from pomegranates has been detected in the plasma at around 3% to 6% of the ingested dose.

The remainder is extensively degraded by intestinal flora.

Okay, 3% to 6% may not sound like a lot…

But it’s actually about how much corosolic acid is found in the circulation after a large oral dose.

“Corosolic acid does not possess any insulin-like glucose transport stimulatory activity. If its antidiabetic activity can be confirmed, it is likely to be induced via a non‑insulin‑like, indirect mechanism.”

If corosolic acid is anything like the ginsenosides, much higher concentrations should be found in the liver.

The liver is an organ with high concentrations of 11β‑HSD.

And its high blood filtration rate makes it a prime determinant of plasma cortisol.

“It appears likely that corosolic acid exerts its hypoglycemic activity after the metabolic process because it lowered blood glucose levels 4 hr after administration.”

And since banabá extracts lacking corosolic acid undoubtedly do have an effect, and a more immediate one, I think it’s fair to conclude that both compounds should be active in vivo.

“Furthermore, the result could not explain the discrepancy that both the banabá water extract and the methanol extract were active in antidiabetic and anti-obesity animal studies since corosolic acid only exists in the methanol extract.” –Klein, 2007

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Matt Cook is editor-in-chief of Daily Medical Discoveries. Matt has been a full time health researcher for 26 years. ABC News interviewed Matt on sexual health issues not long ago. Matt is widely quoted on over 1,000,000 websites. He has over 300,000 daily newsletter readers. Daily Medical Discoveries finds hidden, buried or ignored medical studies through the lens of 100 years of proven science. Matt heads up the editorial team of scientists and health researchers. Each discovery is based upon primary studies from peer reviewed science sources following the Daily Medical Discoveries 7 Step Process to ensure accuracy.
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