Boswellia serrata may be most well known as the go-to herb for supporting joint health in Ayurveda. It is a powerful inhibitor of the 5-lipo-oxygenase enzyme, which is an underlying factor in aging, metabolic issues, and joint achiness and stiffness. In fact, studies on Boswellia and joint health show it may support joint health even more effectively than turmeric and fish oil. While many agents that support joint health have side effects that irritate the intestinal lining, Boswellia actually works to protect the gut lining. It is in this role, as an intestinal protector, that Boswellia can also support healthy weight, blood sugar, and more.
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According to Ayurveda, imbalances in digestion are said to cause 85% of the body’s health concerns. Digestive health starts with your intestinal lining. A healthy intestinal lining is responsible for maintaining the necessary environment for a healthy microbiome, proper assimilation of nutrients, protection from leaky gut syndrome, and detoxification through the intestinal epithelial lining. Poor digestive health is responsible for poor metabolic health, including weight gain, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol issues.
While Boswellia is a hard-to-digest resinous gum of a tree, it has been shown to have naturally occurring digestive enzymes, which may be part of why it is so helpful for digestion.
One study showed that the antioxidant activity of Boswellia is specifically used by the body to maintain the function of the intestinal epithelial barrier during episodes of stress and inflammation. Boswellia was also shown to support the body’s natural antimicrobial activity as part of its role as the protector and maintainer of intestinal health. Another study found that Boswellic acids were effective at breaking up biofilm in the intestines. This biofilm can alter the microbiome with colonies of bacteria that can cause a host of digestive and metabolic concerns.
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Supporting Healthy Weight with Boswellia
The optimal function of the digestive tract, which includes the complete breakdown and assimilation of nutrients, is a common source of imbalance. This imbalance is linked to the accumulation of incompletely digested fat stored around the belly, as well as imbalances in blood sugar and cholesterol levels. In a rodent-based study, Boswellia was shown to curb appetite by suppressing leptin (also known as the appetite hormone). This effect was likely due to the restoration of a healthy gut environment and microbiome, resetting the upper digestive function in the stomach, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. In the same study, the Boswellia-fed rodents experienced less weight gain and abdominal belly fat while supporting healthy blood sugar and lipid levels.
Supporting Blood Sugar with Boswellia
Blood sugar is another topic where Boswellia has documented influence. A 2020 research review evaluating Boswellia found that it supported the natural proliferation of beta cells in the pancreas. It did so while also reducing blood sugar and cellular resistance to insulin to healthy levels. Another study focused on adults with blood sugar imbalances. Researchers found that taking Boswellia for six weeks supported healthy blood sugar and insulin levels.
Supporting Healthy Lipid Levels with Boswellia
As a part of Boswellia’s resume for metabolic health, an animal study found that it supported healthy cholesterol levels and HDL and LDL levels. It is suggested that the antioxidant properties of Boswellia are responsible for supporting healthy lipid levels. Another study focused on adults with blood sugar imbalances. Researchers found that taking Boswellia for six weeks supported healthy blood sugar and insulin levels. The suggested dose used in these studies was 900 mg each day.
Boswellia Supports Healthy Lifespan and Longevity
As mentioned, Boswellia is a potent inhibitor of the 5-LOC enzyme (also known as the aging enzyme). A diet high in animal protein and meat raises omega-6 blood levels, which can convert into excess amounts of arachidonic acid. At low levels, arachidonic acid can be beneficial, but at higher levels, it can trigger the release of proinflammatory leukotrienes. These proteins are linked to a host of age-related degenerative health concerns. While Boswellia helps block this conversion, striving for a more plant-based diet with only 10-15% animal protein is an ideal goal. This is the diet of the centenarians of the “Blue Zones,” where a high percentage of folks are living to 100 years and beyond.
LifeSpa’s Boswellia Plus Formula
To access these powerful benefits, LifeSpa’s Boswellia Plus formula combines Boswellia, ginger, turmeric, and black pepper. Since Boswellia is the gum of a tree, it can only be encapsulated as an extract. Even as an extract, the bioavailability of Boswellia is best when enhanced with ginger, black pepper, and turmeric. It is suggested to take three capsules daily with or after food. Once the desired effect is achieved, slowly wean off. Boswellia has the ability to restore function rather than create a dependency on joint or metabolic health.