has a long history of use in the traditional
What Is Salacia oblonga Used for Today?
Since the late 1990's, Salacia oblonga has undergone modern research that has, to a certain highly preliminary extent, substantiated its traditional reputation as a treatment for diabetes
S. oblonga may work similarly to the standard diabetes drug Acarbose, used in type 2 diabetes. Acarbose inhibits the intestinal enzyme alpha-glucosidase, an enzyme responsible for helping to digest carbohydrates. When alpha-glucosidase is inhibited, carbohydrate absorption is slowed, thereby reducing the rise in blood sugar that follows a meal.
Another double-blind study compared the effectiveness of various doses of
extract: 0, 500, 700 or 1000 mg daily.
However, neither of these studies involved people with diabetes. Further research will be necessary to actually determine whether S. oblonga is a useful treatment for people with this this condition.
Besides effects on carbohydrate absorption, some evidence weakly hints that
might inhibit the enzyme aldose reductase.
has been marketed for
type 2 diabetes, as well as for aiding in
A typical dose of S. oblonga is 2.5 to 5.0 grams daily of the whole herb, or a comparable amount as extract. The root bark is the part of the plant used.
is believed to be relatively safe. Some evidence suggests that Salacia oblonga does not damage DNA.
Studies in rats have shown a good safety profile.
Maximum safe dosages are not known for pregnant or nursing women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease.
1. Collene AL, Hertzler SR, Williams JA et al. Effects of a nutritional supplement containing Salacia oblonga extract and insulinogenic amino acids on postprandial glycemia, insulinemia, and breath hydrogen responses in healthy adults. Nutrition . 2005;21:848-54.
2. Heacock PM, Hertzler SR, Williams JA et al. Effects of a medical food containing an herbal alpha-glucosidase inhibitor on postprandial glycemia and insulinemia in healthy adults. J Am Diet Assoc . 2005;105:65-71.
3. Matsuda H, Murakami T, Yashiro K et al. Antidiabetic principles of natural medicines. IV. Aldose reductase and qlpha-glucosidase inhibitors from the roots of Salacia oblonga Wall. (Celastraceae): structure of a new friedelane-type triterpene, kotalagenin 16-acetate. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) . 2000;47:1725-9.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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