Boswellia for Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome, a combination of high blood pressure, increasing blood sugar levels, out of balance cholesterol levels, high triglycerides, and struggling with extra pounds, is a commonplace condition.

While there are many primary causes behind metabolic syndrome, including sedentary lifestyles, overconsumption of refined foods, family histories, and genetic predispositions, there is one result that holds all of those clustered diseases in common: inflammation.

Boswellia (Boswellia serrata), also known as frankincense, is one of nature’s premier anti-inflammatories. It has been shown to reduce symptoms of bronchitis and asthma, tissue damage and pain associated with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, and can alleviate digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s, and more.

In cases of conditions related to metabolic syndrome, boswellia has been shown to reduce insulin resistance, reduce the potential for harmful blood clots, prevent oxidative damage to blood vessels, inhibit common inflammatory markers to modulate cholesterol, and increase adiponectin levels to fight obesity.

One of the key compounds in boswellia is acetyl-11-keto-β-Boswellic acid, generally known as AKBA. When selecting a boswellia supplement, make sure that it is standardized to contain at least 10 percent of AKBA – up to 10 times that of unstandardized boswellia. It ensures that you get enhanced levels of one of the herb’s component, while also retaining some of boswellia’s other beneficial compounds.


Mahdian D, Abbaszadeh-Goudarzi K, Raoofi A, Dadashizadeh G, Abroudi M, Zarepour E, Hosseinzadeh H. Effect of Boswellia species on the metabolic syndrome: A review. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2020 Nov;23(11):1374-1381.

The metabolic syndrome, a cluster of metabolic disorders, includes abdominal obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and hyperglycemia leading to insulin resistance, development of diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular diseases. For the treatment of metabolic syndrome, traditional herbal medicines such as frankincense or Boswellia species have been used due to their anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-obesity, antidiabetic, antihypertensive, and hypolipidemic properties. Based on the literature, published evidence up to 2020 about the therapeutic effects of Boswellia species on the metabolic disorder among Medline, Scopus, and Google Scholar were precisely evaluated by keywords such as obesity, diabetes, hyperglycemia, hypertension, blood pressure, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, frankincense, and Boswellia. According to the results, Boswellia species have beneficial effects to control metabolic syndrome and its related disorders such as hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and its complications. Boswellia species by reducing the resistance to insulin and restoring pancreatic beta cells decrease blood glucose. Also, Boswellia species has antithrombotic and anticoagulant properties that regulate blood pressure. The anti-oxidant properties of Boswellia species modulate the blood lipid profile via reducing TNF-α, IL-1β levels, and increasing the adiponectin level. The therapeutic and protective effects of Boswellia species on metabolic disorders were remarkably confirmed regarding decreasing hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and obesity.

Here is the link to the complete article: Effect of Boswellia species on the metabolic syndrome: A review