Euromed’s ABAlife® fig extract increases muscle metabolism and promotes insulin sensitivity in new study

A recently published study by the NIMML Institute and Biotherapeutics (Blacksburg, VA, US) found that Euromed’s ABAlife® fig extract promotes glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity while decreasing obesity related systemic inflammation in mice.[1] The proprietary fig extract is purified using a patent-pending carefully controlled process to achieve a high, standardised ABA content.

ABA is a phytohormone found in fruits as well as vegetables and is also produced in mammals. In humans and mice, lanthionine synthetase C-like 2 (LANCL2) has been characterized as a natural receptor for ABA. This new study shows that oral ABA administration improves glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity and fasting blood glucose in two different mouse models of type 2 diabetes by modulating the metabolic activity of skeletal muscle. ABA increases the expression of glycogen synthase, glucose, fatty acid and mitochondrial metabolism genes and increases direct measures of fatty acid oxidation, glucose oxidation and metabolic flexibility in muscle cells from ABA-treated obese mice.

The results of this study postulate ABA as a new preventive or therapeutic intervention to improve glycaemic control and decrease obesity related systemic inflammation in patients with chronic metabolic diseases. The researchers are planning to advance ABA to Phase II clinical trials in prediabetic and type 2 diabetes patients later this year.

“This study is the culmination of decades of research regarding how ABA exerts its antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory properties, and the validation of LANCL2 as the molecular target for ABA in skeletal muscle,” said Dr Josep Bassaganya-Riera, one of the authors. “We already validated the safety and tolerability of fig extract-derived ABA in a Phase I clinical trial in healthy people, during which we demonstrated glycaemic improvements.2 These new insights further support the clinical development of ABA and take us one step closer to Phase II clinical testing in prediabetic patients.”

About 84 million of Americans have prediabetes, which is associated with a high risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Therefore, there is a crucial need to develop more effective dietary interventions that can avoid prediabetes and prevent the progression from prediabetes to diabetes.

Euromed’s ABAlife® recently has obtained Self-Affirmed GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) designation. A GRAS expert panel of independent scientists concluded unanimously that ABAlife® is recognised as safe under the conditions of intended use as described in its dossier in a wide range of food and beverage categories.

In addition, the American Botanical Council (ABC) welcomes the adoption of fig (Ficus carica) by Euromed through its Adopt-an-Herb botanical research and education programme. It is Euromed’s second adoption through ABC’s programme, with milk thistle (Silybum marianum) being the first.

[1] Leber, A., Hontecillas, R., Tubau-Juni, N. et al. Abscisic acid enriched fig extract promotes insulin sensitivity by decreasing systemic inflammation and activating LANCL2 in skeletal muscle. Sci Rep 10, 10463 (2020). Published 26 June 2020.

[2] Atkinson FS, Villar A, Mulà  A, et al. Abscisic Acid Standardized Fig (Ficus carica) Extracts Ameliorate Postprandial  Glycemic and Insulinemic Responses in Healthy Adults. Nutrients. 2019 Jul 31;11(8):1757.