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Corosolic acid is a substance extracted from Lagerstroemia speciosa and has been reported to have biological activities in in vitro and experimental animal studies, particularly due to its influence on blood sugar. Thus, it may have an influence on diabetes. It is found in many plants, particularly banaba, but also in almond hulls, Weigela subsessilis, Perilla frutescens, Campsis grandiflora and other herbs. It is a pentacyclic triterpene and inhibits glycogen phosphorylases.
Corosolic acid research - Blood sugar and diabetes
Effect of corosolic acid on postchallenge plasma glucose levels.
Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2006. Department of Diabetes and Clinical Nutrition, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.
In this study, 31 subjects were orally administered 10mg corosolic acid or a placebo, on different occasions, in a capsule 5 min before the 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Nineteen subjects had diabetes, seven had impaired glucose tolerance, one had impaired fasting glucose, and four had normal glucose tolerance. There were no significant differences in plasma glucose levels before and 30min after the administration. Corosolic acid treatment subjects showed lower glucose levels from 60min until 120min and reached statistical significance at 90min. In this study, we have shown for the first time that corosolic acid has a lowering effect on postchallenge plasma glucose levels in vivo in humans.
Antidiabetic effects of corosolic acid in KK-Ay diabetic mice.
Biol Pharm Bull. 2006. Miura T, Ueda N, Yamada K, Fukushima M, Ishida T. Department of Clinical Nutrition, Suzuka University of Medical Science, Mie, Japan.
The antidiabetic effects of corosolic acid were investigated in KK-Ay mice, an animal model of type 2 diabetes. Corosolic acid (2 mg/kg body weight) reduced the blood glucose levels of KK-Ay mice 4 h after a single oral dose. Corosolic acid (2 mg/kg) reduced the blood glucose levels in KK-Ay mice 2 weeks after a single oral dose and also significantly lowered plasma insulin levels were in KK-Ay mice under similar conditions. Corosolic acid -treated KK-Ay mouse blood glucose significantly decreased in an insulin tolerance test. These results support the hypothesis that corosolic acid improves glucose metabolism by reducing insulin resistance. Therefore corosolic acid may be useful for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Corosolic acid induces GLUT4 translocation in genetically type 2 diabetic mice.
Biol Pharm Bull. 2004. Department of Clinical Nutrition, Suzuka University Medical Science, Mie, Japan.
The effect of corosolic acid on blood glucose was studied in KK-Ay mice, an animal model of type 2 diabetes. Corosolic acid (10 mg/kg) reduced the blood glucose (p<0.05) of KK-Ay mice 4 h after single oral administration when compared with the control group. However, corosolic acid did not change the plasma insulin. The muscle facilitative glucose transporter isoform 4 (GLUT4) translocation from low-density microsomal membrane to plasma membrane was significantly increased in the orally Corosolic acid -treated mice when compared with that of the controls. These results suggest that the hypoglycemic effect of corosolic acid is derived, at least in part, from an increase in GLUT4 translocation in muscle. Therefore, it may be that corosolic acid has beneficial effects on hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes.
Antidiabetic activity of a standardized extract (Glucosol) from Lagerstroemia speciosa leaves in Type II diabetics. A dose-dependence study.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2003. Judy WV, Hari SP, Stogsdill WW, Judy JS, Passwater R. SIBR, Bradenton, FL
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. Glucosol in a soft gel capsule formulation showed a 30% decrease in blood glucose levels compared to a 20% drop seen with dry-powder filled hard gelatin capsule formulation suggesting that the soft gel formulation has a better bioavailability than a dry-powder formulation.
What's the right dosage of corosolic acid to treat diabetes or blood sugar problems?
Since so little research has been done with banaba, corosolic acid, and diabetes, that it is very difficult to say at this time what the ideal dosages should be, or how often to take these supplements, and how effective they are in the long run.
Corosolic acid isolated from the fruit of Crataegus pinnatifida is a protein kinase C inhibitor as well as a cytotoxic agent.
Planta Med. 1998.
Corosolic acid isolated from the fruit of Cratoegus pinnatifida var. psilosa was tested for anticancer activity. It displayed about the same potent cytotoxic activity as ursolic acid against several human cancer cell lines. In addition, the compound displayed antagonistic activity against the phorbol ester-induced morphological modification of K-562 leukemic cells, indicating the suppression of protein kinase C (PKC) activity by the cytotoxic compound. Corosolic acid showed PKC inhibition with dose-dependent pattern in an in vitro PKC assay.
Side effects and safety
Thus far no major side effects have been reported in medical literature studies but we need more time to find out. There is one anecdote of concern.
Am J Kidney Dis. 2010. Corosolic acid-induced acute kidney injury and lactic acidosis in a patient with impaired kidney function.