Boswellic Acid health benefit for inflammation control and management
Feb 25 2014

Boswellic acids are a pentacyclic triterpene molecules which are produced by plants in the genus boswellia. Boswellic acids appear in the resin of the plant which exudes them; it is estimated that they make up 30% of the resin of Boswellia serrata, an herb used for its anti-inflammatory activity.

Chemical activity
Boswellic acids are the principle anti-inflammatory agents of boswellia species. Boswellic acids inhibit leukotriene biosynthesis and 5-lipoxygenase. Boswellic acids also interfere with platelet-type 12-lipoxygenase and inhibit COX-1 product formation in intact human platelets as well as the activity of isolated COX-1 enzyme in cell-free assays.

Use for arthritis
Boswellic acid and glucosamine may work better together, and may be even more effective when combined with other vitamins and herbal extracts used to provide arthritis relief.

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2014 Jan. Oral and topical boswellic acid attenuates mouse osteoarthritis.

Boswellic acids and glucosamine show synergistic effect in preclinical anti-inflammatory study in rats.
Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2007. Singh S, Khajuria A, Taneja SC, Khajuria RK, Singh J, Qazi GN. Department of Pharmacology, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Canal Road Jammu Tawi, Jammu and Kashmir, India.
The present study revealed the synergistic effect of boswellic acid mixture and glucosamine for anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activities in rats. Two studies were conducted, that is, acute anti-inflammatory by carrageenan edema and chronic anti-arthritic by Mycobacterium-induced developing arthritis. Five groups of animals were included in each of the study: the vehicle control, positive control (ibuprofen 100mg/kg), boswellic acids (250 mg/kg), glucosamine (250 mg/kg) and a combination of boswellic acids (125 mg/kg) and glucosamine (125 mg/kg). Boswellic acids when administered at 250 mg/kg in rats, carrageenan-induced paw edema and Mycobacterium-induced developing arthritis were significantly inhibited. In comparison to boswellic acids, glucosamine when administered at 250 mg/kg showed a mild effect in carrageenan-induced edema and moderate inhibition of paw swelling against developing arthritis. Although the combination of boswellic acids and glucosamine did not affect the acute inflammation to a greater extent yet a significant anti-arthritic activity was observed in rats. In conclusion, a synergistic effect was observed in chronic inflammatory conditions when boswellic acids and glucosamine were administered in combination in preclinical study.

Use for cancer or multiple myeloma
Boswellic acid blocks signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 signaling, proliferation, and survival of multiple myeloma via the protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1.
Mol Cancer Res. 2009; Kunnumakkara AB, Nair AS, Sung B, Pandey MK, Aggarwal BB. Cytokine Research Laboratory, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, Unit 143, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Activation of signal transducers and activators of transcription-3 (STAT-3) has been linked with survival, proliferation, chemoresistance, and angiogenesis of tumor cells, including human multiple myeloma. Thus, agents that can suppress STAT3 activation have potential as cancer therapeutics. In our search for such agents, we identified acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid, originally isolated from Boswellia serrata. Our results show that acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid inhibited constitutive STAT3 activation in human multiple myeloma cells. Our results suggest that acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid is a novel inhibitor of STAT3 activation and has potential in the treatment of cancer.

Lab studies
Boswellic acid inhibits expression of acid sphingomyelinase in intestinal cells.
Lipids Health Dis. 2009; Zhang Y, Duan RD. Gastroenterology and Nutrition Lab, Biomedical Center, B11, University of Lund, Lund, Sweden.
Boswellic acid is a type of triterpenoids with antiinflammatory and antiproliferative properties. Sphingomyelin metabolism generates multiple lipid signals affecting cell proliferation, inflammation, and apoptosis. Upregulation of acid sphingomyelinase (SMase) has been found in several inflammation-related diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases, atherosclerosis, and diabetes. The present study is to examine the effect of 3-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acids (AKBA), a potent boswellic acid, on acid SMase activity and expression in intestinal cells. Both transformed Caco-2 cells and non-transformed Int407 cells were incubated with AKBA. After incubation, the change of acid SMase activity was assayed biochemically, the enzyme protein was examined by Western blot, and acid SMase mRNA was quantified by qPCR. We found that AKBA decreased acid SMase activity in both intestinal cell lines in dose and time dependent manners without affecting the secretion of the enzyme to the cell culture medium. The effect of AKBA was more effective in the fetal bovine serum-free culture medium. Among different types of boswellic acid, AKBA was the most potent one. The inhibitory effect on acid SMase activity occurred only in the intact cells but not in cell-free extract in the test tubes. At low concentration, AKBA only decreased the acid SMase activity but not the quantity of the enzyme protein. However, at high concentration, AKBA decreased both the mass of acid SMase protein and the mRNA levels of acid SMase in the cells, as demonstrated by Western blot and qPCR, respectively. Under the concentrations decreasing acid SMase activity, AKBA significantly inhibited cell proliferation. We identified a novel inhibitory effect of boswellic acids on acid SMase expression, which may have implications in human diseases and health.

5-htp supplement may be taken in the evening while the herbal extract is used in the morning.