Effect of Boswellia species on the metabolic syndrome: A review

Document Type : Review Article


1 Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran

2 Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran

3 Pharmaceutical Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Department of Pharmacodynamics and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


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.


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