Authors: Marcus Free MD, Rouzbeh Motiei-Langroudi MD, Waqar Ahmad PhD, Kelly Daly RDN, and Don Juravin (Don Karl Juravin).
Abstract (Research Summary)
- Salix alba. L (aka White Willow Bark, active ingredient: Salicin) is a weight loss ingredient obtained from the bark of white willow and has anti-inflammatory actions which reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes (Harbourne 2009).
- Salix alba. L decreases weight by inhibiting the inflammation of adipocytes and release of fatty acids (Shara 2015, Stohs 2012).
- Salix alba. L increases the secretion of insulin, prevents pathological inflammatory responses that increase insulin resistance, and protects the pancreas from inflammatory responses providing a better glycemic control that decreases cravings and promotes weight loss (Baron 1982, Shoelson 2012, Lontchi-Yimagou 2013).
- Salix alba. L reduces cravings by improving glycemic control and increasing brain tryptophan and serotonin (Stohs 2012, Tagliamonte 1973).
Salix Alba. L Effects on Weight
Salicin decreases weight by inhibiting the inflammation of adipocytes and increasing the release of fatty acids.
- Salix alba. L decreases weight by inhibiting the inflammatory effects of adipocytes (Shara 2015, Stohs 2012).
Salix Alba. L Effects on Cravings
Salicin reduces cravings by improving glycemic control and increasing the concentration of tryptophan and serotonin released from the brain.
- Salix alba. L improves glycemic control (Stohs 2012) resulting in better-controlled blood glucose levels and reduced cravings.
- Salix alba. L decreases cravings by increasing the concentration of brain tryptophan and serotonin. Serotonin is released to activate reward centers of the brain in response to sweet food. Low levels of serotonin increase cravings as the reward system demands more serotonin (Wurtman 1989).
Salix Alba. L Effects on Diabetes
Salicin increases the secretion and sensitivity of insulin and protects the pancreas from inflammatory actions resulting in better glycemic control.
- Salix alba. L increases the sensitivity and secretion of insulin from the pancreas resulting in improved glycemic control (Baron 1982).
- Salix alba. L reduces the inflammatory actions which damage the pancreas and its ability to release insulin (Shoelson 2012, Lontchi-Yimagou 2013), resulting in improved glycemic control and insulin resistance.
Benefits, Side Effects, Drug Interactions
- Salix alba. L contains tannins and flavonoids which accelerate the wound healing process and blood circulation (Baron 1982).
Salix alba. L has been used in the past to treat rheumatic pain and inflammation, however, it is not regulated by FDA due it medicinal as opposed to supplemental purposes.
- Flatulence: Salix alba. L increases intestinal and gut gas production resulting in increased flatulence.
- Loose bowel motions: Diarrhea may occur but is expected to subside within a few days.
- Hypotension: Salix alba. L may cause hypotension or decreased blood pressure by decreasing the viscosity of blood.
- Bradycardia: Salix alba. L may decrease the heart beat rate.
- Gastric irritation: Salix alba. L may cause gastric ulcers and gastric irritation.
- Anaphylaxis: may cause anaphylaxis in individuals with aspirin/salicylate allergy history (Boullata 2003).
- Anticoagulants: Salix alba. L may increase the effects of drugs and herbs with blood-thinning properties, and increase the risk of bleeding.
- Beta-blockers: Salix alba. L may decrease the effectiveness of beta-blockers.
- NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs): Taking Salix alba. L with these drugs may increase the risk of stomach bleeds and ulcers.
- Methotrexate and phenytoin: Salix alba. L may increase the serum concentration of these drugs in the body, resulting in toxic levels.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: There is limited research and therefore best to avoid during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
- Gastric ulcer: Salix alba. L may increase complications of gastric ulcers and cause irritation to the gastric mucosa and is therefore strictly prohibited for individuals with ulcers.
- Hypotension: Salix alba. L may decrease blood pressure in individuals having antihypertensive therapy.
- Surgery: Salix alba. L may increase bleeding through surgery and is therefore recommended to avoid prior any surgery.
- Baron, S. (1982). Salicylates as hypoglycemic agents. Diabetes Care [online], 5 (1), pp.64-71. Available from: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/5/1/64.short [Accessed 07.06.2016].
- Boullata, J., McDonnell, P., Oliva, C. (2003). Anaphylactic reaction to a dietary supplement containing willow bark. Annals of Pharmacotherapy [online], 37 (6), pp. 832-5. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12773073 [Accessed 15.01.2017].
- Harbourne, N., Marete, E., Jacquier, J., et al. (2009). Effect of drying methods on the phenolic constituents of meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) and willow (Salix alba). LWT-Food Science and Technology [online], 42 (9), pp.1468-73. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0023643809001297 [Accessed 07.06.2016].
- Lontchi-Yimagou, E., Sobngwi, E., Matsha, T., et al. (2013). Diabetes mellitus and inflammation. Current Diabetes Reports [online], 13 (3), pp.435-44. Available from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11892-013-0375-y [Accessed 07.06.2016].
- Shara, M., Stohs, S. (2015). Efficacy and Safety of White Willow Bark (Salix alba) Extracts. Phytotherapy Research [online], 29 (8), pp. 1112-6. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25997859 [Accessed 15.01.2017].
- Shoelson, S., Lee, J., Yuan, M. (2003). Inflammation and the IKKß/I?B/NF-?B axis in obesity- and diet-induced insulin resistance. International Journal of Obesity & Related Metabolic Disorders [online], 27, pp. S49-S52. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14704745 [Accessed 07.06.2016].
- Stohs, S., Preuss, H., Shara, M. (2012). A Review of the Human Clinical Studies Involving Citrus aurantium (Bitter Orange) Extract and its Primary Protoalkaloid p-Synephrine. International Journal of Medical Science [online], 9 (7), pp. 527-38. Available from: http://www.medsci.org/v09p0527.htm [Accessed 07.06.2016].
- Wurtman, R., Wurtman, J. (1989). Carbohydrates and depression. Scientific American [online], 260 (1), pp. 68-75. Avaialble from: http://wurtmanlab.mit.edu/static/pdf/649.pdf [Accessed 19.05.2016].
This research was sponsored by GLOBESITY FOUNDATION (nonprofit organization) and managed by Don Juravin. GLOBESITY Bootcamp for the obese is part of GLOBESITY FOUNDATION which helps obese with 70 to 400 lbs excess fat to adopt a healthy lifestyle and thereby achieve a healthy weight.
Tags: salix alba L., weight reduction, GLOBESITY FOUNDATION, weight loss, cravings, diabetes, healthy weight