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Clayton's Health Facts: Banaba.

Clayton South, SPN (ISSA), is a recognized expert in the bodybuilding / fitness industry with over 150 bodybuilding, fitness and nutrition publications to his credit.

What is it and where does it come from?

Banaba (Lagerstroemia Speciosa) is a leaf bearing medicinal plant that grows in Southeast Asia and India. Banaba has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine.

What does it do and what scientific studies give evidence to support this?

Banaba has been used in traditional medicine as a treatment for diabetes mellitus.1 It is effective for this purpose because of its ability to regulate blood sugar,2,3 and act in a way that is similar to insulin.4 In trials banaba's blood glucose lowering effect was dosage dependant.

Banaba may prevent hyperuricemia5, curb appetite and cleanse the liver. Banaba contains the triterpenoid compound corosolic acid, and this ingredient has shown promise in animal trials in the fight against obesity.6 Corosolic acid helps to promote the use of glucose as fuel, and promotes weight loss. Consequently, banaba is a popular ingredient in weight loss nutritional supplements.

Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency?

All persons can benefit from banaba supplementation. Its ability to favorably impact blood glucose levels makes it ideal for dieting bodybuilders, diabetics, and those looking to improve body composition and overall health.

How much should be taken? Are there any side effects?

There are no known side effects from supplementing with banaba.

Strictly adhere to label recommendations.


1. Liu F, Kim J, Li Y, Liu X, Li J, Chen X. An extract of Lagerstroemia speciosa L. has insulin-like glucose uptake-stimulatory and adipocyte differentiation-inhibitory activities in 3T3-L1 cells. J Nutr. 2001 Sep;131(9):2242-7.

2. Judy WV, Hari SP, Stogsdill WW, Judy JS, Naguib YM, Passwater R. Antidiabetic activity of a standardized extract (Glucosol) from Lagerstroemia speciosa leaves in Type II diabetics. A dose-dependence study. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Jul;87(1):115-7.

3. Hayashi T, Maruyama H, Kasai R, Hattori K, Takasuga S, Hazeki O, Yamasaki K, Tanaka T. Ellagitannins from Lagerstroemia speciosa as activators of glucose transport in fat cells. Planta Med. 2002 Feb;68(2):173-5.

4. Hattori K, Sukenobu N, Sasaki T, Takasuga S, Hayashi T, Kasai R, Yamasaki K, Hazeki O. Activation of insulin receptors by lagerstroemin. J Pharmacol Sci. 2003 Sep;93(1):69-73.

5. Unno T, Sugimoto A, Kakuda T. Xanthine oxidase inhibitors from the leaves of Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Aug;93(2-3):391-5.

6. Suzuki Y, Unno T, Ushitani M, Hayashi K, Kakuda T. Antiobesity activity of extracts from Lagerstroemia speciosa L. leaves on female KK-Ay mice. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 1999 Dec;45(6):791-5.