EktibaFlex® High Concentration Boswellic Acid (AKBA)
Plant Part Used
EktibaFlex® is an extremely enrichedand bioavailable extract of the gum resin of the Boswellia serrata tree.
The resin of the Boswellia serrata tree is called Indian frankincense and has been burned as incense in religious ceremonies since antiquity. Boswellia has also been used for centuries in several folk medicine traditions, including Ayurveda, in order to promote a healthy inflammatory response.*
There are many constituents in Boswellia, including monoterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenes, tetracyclic triterpenic acids, and several pentacyclic triterpenic acids. One of these pentacyclic triterpenic acids — acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid, or AKBA — is most responsible for Boswellia’s ability to modulate inflammation.*1Siddiqui MZ. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2011 May:73(3):255-61.
When they first entered the marketplace, Boswellia extracts were standardized to 65% flavonoids, with only 3-5% AKBA. Improvements in processing across the industry increased the concentration of AKBA to 20-30%. EktibaFlex® Boswellia extract has the highest concentration of AKBA on the market by far, at an impressive 90%. A bioavailability study showed that EktibaFlex® is 8x more bioavailable than conventional Boswellia extracts.
- Promotes a healthy inflammatory response*
- Reduces post-exercise muscle soreness (in combination with Curcumin)*
- Helps protect muscles from overexertion (in combination with Curcumin)*
- Increases joint comfort*
- Supports joint function*
- May help preserve cartilage*
Multiple placebo-controlled human clinical studies have shown that Boswellia modulates the body’s inflammation response.*2Sengupta K, et al. Int J Med Sci. 2010 Nov 1:7(6):366-77. 3Morillon JJ, et al. J Complement Integr Med. 2013 July 10(1):1-10. 4Vishal AA, Mishra A, Raychaudhuri SP. Int J Med Sci. 2011;8(7):615-22. Epub 2011 Oct 12. In fact, a review of studies comparing six herbs used to promote a healthy inflammation response found that Boswellia was the most effective.*5Di Lorenzo C, et al. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(5):507-16.
A combination of EktibaFlex® plus Curcumin was found to reduce muscle soreness after intense exercise in a blinded, placebo-controlled, 7-day study.* Researchers also found reductions in markers of muscle overexertion, as well as a more balanced inflammatory response.*6Modulating exercise recovery with a soothing composition of Curcumin and EktibaFlex®. Unpublished paper.
Three double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical trials of Boswellia serrata extract, enrolling a total of 195 participants, found that taking Boswellia promoted joint health.*7Sengupta K, et al. Arthritis Ther Res. 2008;10(4):R85. 8Sengupta K, et al. Int J Med Sci. 2010 Nov 1:7(6):366-77. 9Vishal AA, Mishra A, Raychaudhuri SP. Int J Med Sci. 2011;8(7):615-22. Epub 2011 Oct 12. All three studies found improvements in both joint comfort and function.* The studies lasted 30 to 90 days, but some people noticed effects in as little as 5-7 days.
Two of these studies noted decreases in matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP3) in the synovial fluid of participants’ joints.* This indicates a possible cartilage-protecting effect, as MMP3 is an enzyme that breaks down the extracellular matrix of connective tissues like cartilage.*
An earlier double-blind, placebo-controlled, 8-week human study with 30 participants found Boswellia increased joint comfort and flexibility and helped participants walk longer distances.*10Kinmatkar N, et al. 2003 Jan;10(1):3-7.
Animal research echoes these findings. In two rat studies, Boswellia serrata was found to provide antioxidant protection and improve joint health.*11Umar S, et al. Phytomedicine. 2014 May;21(6):847-56. 12Kumar R, et al. Int J Appl Basic Med Res. 2019 Apr-Jun;9(2):100-06.
Mechanism of Action
AKBA inhibits the 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) enzyme. Because 5-LOX and its byproducts are indicated in overreactions of the body’s inflammation response, this action helps promote a more balanced, healthy inflammation response.* Boswellia extract has also been shown to reduce synovial fluid matrix mellatoproteinase-3.*
Boswellia extracts standardized to various concentrations of AKBA are typically taken at doses of 100-250 mg daily with the first meal of the day.
Several human clinical trials of different Boswellia serrata extracts noted the herb had no adverse effects, either in blood or urine tests.13Sengupta K, et al. Arthritis Ther Res. 2008;10(4):R85. 14Sengupta K, et al. Int J Med Sci. 2010 Nov 1:7(6):366-77. 15Vishal AA, Mishra A, Raychaudhuri SP. Int J Med Sci. 2011;8(7):615-22. Epub 2011 Oct 12. Animal tests at 2,000 to 3,000 times the equivalent human dose found Boswellia to be non-toxic.16Patel K. Boswellia serrata. Examine.com. 2018 Sep 30. https://examine.com/supplements/Boswellia-serrata/