Antioxidant and Ex Vivo Immune System Regulatory Properties of Boswellia serrata Extracts

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017;2017:7468064. doi: 10.1155/2017/7468064. Epub 2017 Mar 13.

Abstract

Boswellia serrata (BS) is an important traditional medicinal plant that currently represents an interesting topic for pharmaceutical research since it possesses several pharmacological properties (e.g., anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antitumour). The safety and versatility of this dietary supplement should allow for its use in numerous pathological conditions; however the quality of the extracts needs to be standardized to increase the clinical success rate resulting from its use. In the present study, different commercially available B. serrata extracts were employed to compare their AKBA content and in vitro antioxidant power. Furthermore, their ability to modulate the immune system regulatory properties was investigated. Our results showed that the AKBA content varied from 3.83 ± 0.10 to 0.03 ± 0.004%, with one sample in which it was not detectable. The highest antioxidant power and phenolic content were shown by the same extract, which also exhibited the highest AKBA concentration. Finally, the BS extracts showed the ability to influence the regulatory and effector T-cell compartments. Our results suggest that frankincense should be further investigated for its promising potentiality to modulate not only inflammation/oxidative stress but also immune dysregulation, but attention should be paid to the composition of the commercial extracts.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Boswellia / chemistry*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immune System / drug effects*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / drug effects

Substances

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts