More Evidence that Lecithin Delivery System Boosts Boswellia Bioavailability


Boswellic acids have historically been shown to be poorly bioavailable when ingested orally.

The resin of the Boswellia serrata tree and its active boswellic acids are commonly sold in the dietary supplements market as an ingredient for promoting anti-inflammation and joint health; however, boswellic acids have historically been shown to be poorly bioavailable when ingested orally. Now, ingredient supplier Indena (Milan) says it has new human clinical evidence that its Phytosome bioavailability-enhancing technology can improve Boswellia serrata absorption.

The company presented the data at the 2015 Pharma-Nutrition Conference held in Philadelphia in April. The randomized, double-blind crossover study was conducted in 12 healthy human subjects. According to Indena, subjects in the study were given either 500 mg of Indena’s Boswellia serrata extract, or 500 mg of Casperome, a new ingredient blending Boswellia serrata extract with Indena’s Phytosome technology. Bioavailability in the Casperome group was enhanced. “Plasma levels of the most relevant boswellic acids measured after Casperome administration, in particular beta-boswellic acids, were in the range of expected biological activity, thus representing strong support for a rational dosage regimen in clinical testing,” the company commented.

Casperome is a 1:1 ratio of Boswellia serrata extract and Phytosome, a non-GMO soy lecithin carrier that helps shuttle the active ingredient for enhanced absorption. The company says there is a difference between Phytosomes and liposomes, which are commonly used to encapsulate ingredients to make them more bioavailable. While both comprise micelles, the difference, as the company describes, is this: “With liposomes, the ingredients are dissolved in the central part of the cavity, with limited possibility of molecular interaction between the surrounding lipid and a hydrophilic substance. In a Phytosome, the ingredient is dispersed into lecithin, a dietary surfactant, and can be compared to an integral part of the lipid membrane.”

Preclinical animal studies, including a January 2013 Fitoterapia study (J Hüsch et al., vol. 84), showed that Phytosome technology helped significantly improve Boswellia serrata absorption in rats. This new human data, which Indena says it is submitting for journal publication, would further support these findings.

Indena has already used Phytosome technology to improve the bioavailability of other herbal extracts, including ginkgo, milk thistle, and green tea, as well as phytochemicals like curcumin and silybin. Casperome, standardized to a minimum of 25% Boswellia serrata triterpenoid acids, was launched earlier this year.

Of the latest human study, Christian Artaria, Indena’s marketing director, said, “We are excited for the results we achieved, as for the first time, with a single dosage of 500 mg of Casperome, relevant plasmatic levels could be reached and measured in humans.”


Pictured: Boswellia serrata tree resin


Jennifer Grebow
Nutritional Outlook magazine


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