IMMULATE is a locally produced distilled plant extract from Mangifera indica, Acacia nilotica, and Azadirachta indica. IMMULATE is a product that is meant to support the immune system through immune modulation, antioxidant effect, and anti-inflammatory properties. This article examines the scientific aspects of the ingredients.
Immulate – the science
Two studies (Batool et al. 2018; Zhang et al. 2019) confirmed that the leaves of Mangifera indica have been used in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine for many years in naturopathic healing. Zhang et al. (2019) explained that the leaves, especially, have been used in naturopathic practices to treat diabetes and many other health conditions as compared to other parts such as the stem, bark, roots and fruit.
Mangifera indica – the science
Loaded in plant compounds
One study by Ediriweera et al. (2017) found that the leaves of mango are loaded with diverse significant plant compounds such as polyphenols and terpenoids. One such is Terpenoids, which another study by Grassmann, J (2005) found they are good for eye health and immunity. Terpenoids also act as antioxidants, which protect our cells from harmful activities.
Two other studies (Fraga et al. 2019; Cory et al. 2018) also found that the polyphenols in Mangifera indica are also loaded with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These polyphenols enhance gut bacteria and help treat or prevent conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
One specific polyphenol found in Mangifera indica, called mangiferin, is linked with several health benefits (Du et al. 2018; Matkowski et al. 2013; Barreto et al. 2008). For instance, Du et al. (2018) found that mangiferin acts as an anti-microbial agent and potential treatment for tumors, diabetes, heart disease, and fat digestion abnormalities. However, more human studies are needed (Batool et al. 2018).
Mangifera indica – anti-inflammatory properties
Though more human studies are needed, three studies have demonstrated the potential anti-inflammatory properties in mango leaves (Saha et al. 2016; Pan et al. 2016; Fomenko and Chi, 2016). Though inflammation is part of the body’s normal immune response, chronic inflammation can increase the risk of various diseases.
However, this can be dealt with by using mango leaves. One animal study (Omairi et al. 2018) found that mango leaves’ anti-inflammatory properties could protect the brain from conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. In this study, a mango leaf extract given to rats at 2.3 mg per pound of body weight (5 mg per kg) helped counteract artificially induced oxidative and inflammatory biomarkers in the brain.
Mangifera indica and weight loss
One study by Zhang et al. (2013) found that the mango leaf extract could manage obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome by interfering with fat metabolism. Additionally, three other animal studies (Zhang et al. 2013; Guo et al. 2011; Sferrazzo et al. 2019) have found that the mango leaf extract inhibits fat accumulation in tissue cells. The studies further found that cells treated with a mango leaf extract had lower levels of fat deposits and higher levels of adiponectin.
Two studies (Nigro et al. 2014; Achari and Jain, 2017) explained that Adiponectin is a cell-signalling protein that plays a role in fat metabolism and sugar regulation in your body. Higher levels could protect against obesity and obesity-related chronic diseases. In another study of rats (Ramírez et al. 2017) which were obese, those fed mango leaf tea in addition to a high-fat diet had less abdominal fat as compared to those given only the high-fat diet.
In another study, which happens to be in humans ( Na et al. 2015), conducted for 12 weeks in 97 adults with excess weight, those given 150 mg of mangiferin daily had lower fat levels in their blood, and better insulin resistance index as compared to the placebo. This means that mango leaves are better for blood sugar management.
Mangifera indica – Blood sugar, blood pressure management
Studies have confirmed that mango leaves have a better score in the management of blood sugar due to their effects on fat metabolism. For instance, Zhang et al. (2019) study used the mango leaf extract administered to mice for 2 weeks, and found that it has lower triglyceride and blood sugar levels.
In another study in rats by Sandoval-Gallegos et al. (2018). They administered 45 mg per pound of body weight (100 mg per kg) of mango leaf extract and found that it decreased hyperlipidemia, a condition characterised by abnormally high levels of triglycerides and cholesterol.
A recent animal study by Boas et al. (2020) this time compared mango leaf extract and the oral diabetes drug glibenclamide in rats with diabetes. The study found that the mango leaf extract group experienced lower blood sugar levels than the glibenclamide group after 2 weeks.
A previous human study (Evans et al. 2014) from Oklahoma found that obese adults given mango leaf extract and fruit for 12 weeks drastically decreased blood sugar levels. Finally, another previous study (Lattimer and Haub, 2010) found that the fibre content promotes normal blood sugar levels.
With high blood pressure, one study (Houston and Harper, 2008) found that mango is loaded with high magnesium and potassium, which are two essential nutrients that are vital when it comes to regulating blood pressure. Additionally, Ha. SK (2014) also reports that Mangifera is naturally low in sodium, a micronutrient that should be limited in those with high blood pressure.
Mangifera indica – cancer properties
Two reviews (Vyas et al. 2012; Khurana et al. 2016) found that mangiferin in mango leaves may have an anti-cancer ability as it combats oxidative stress and fights inflammation. One test-tube study by Núñez Selles et al. (2016) found specific effects against leukemia and lung, brain, breast, cervix and prostate cancers.
An earlier study (Youn et al. 2008) found that the mango bark has strong anti-cancer ability due to its lignans, which are another type of polyphenol. Additionally, one significant study by Glinskya and Razc (2009) found mangoes to be loaded with pectin. These pectins, which aid to lower cholesterol levels in the blood, could also fight prostate cancer – in vitro studies.
Another good news for men is that a compound within pectin combines with galectin-3, a protein that is pivotal in fighting inflammation and cancer progression. For instance, an old human study by Daviglus et al (1996) found that higher dietary intakes of vitamin C and beta-carotene, an antioxidant found within the mango, increased survival rates in men with prostate cancer. This means that Immulate supplements could help men diagnosed with prostate cancer improve their quality of life (QOL).
Finally, another in vitro study by Wilkinson et al. (2011) conducted by the University of Queensland also established that extracts of mango flesh and peels were effective at blocking the growth of breast cancer cells. This also suggests that Immulate supplement, formulated in Ghana with mango extract, could be integrated into the natural cancer treatment protocol.
Mango – stomach ulcers, digestive health
Though human studies are limited in this area, some studies (Prabhu and Rajan, 2015; Priya et al. 2011; Lima et al. 2006) found that mango leaf and other parts of the plant have traditionally been employed in naturopathic practice to treat stomach ulcers and other digestive conditions.
Also, one study in rodents (Severi et al. 2009) found that orally administering the mango leaf extract at 113–454 mg per pound (250–1,000 mg per kg) of body weight reduced the number of stomach wounds. Another earlier rodent study (Carvalho et al. 2007) found the same findings, with mangiferin drastically improving digestive damage.
The fibre in mango, (Anderson et al. 2009; Anderson et al. 2009) has been found to add bulk to the stool to increase stool frequency in people with constipation, and also help protect against other gastrointestinal conditions, including hemorrhoids, GERD, intestinal ulcers, and diverticulitis.
Mango – healthy skin, hair
A recent study by Zhang and Duan, (2018) found that mango leaf extract could decrease signs of skin aging due to its antioxidant content. Another earlier study in mice (Song et al. 2013) found that mango extract taken orally at 45 mg per pound (100 mg per kg) of body weight increased collagen production and drastically shortened the length of skin wrinkles.
Another test-tube study by Chirayath et al. (2019) found that the mango leaf extract could have antibacterial effects against Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium that can cause staph infections. In a recent study by Pleguezuelos-Villa et al. (2020) the mangiferin in mango has also been studied for psoriasis, a skin condition that causes itchy, dry patches. A test-tube study using human skin confirmed that this polyphenol encouraged wound healing.
On hair, three studies (Laulloo et al. 2018; Trüeb et al. 2009; Trüeb et al. 2015) confirmed that mango leaves are rich in antioxidants and protect hair follicles from damage. This aids hair growth.
Mango – Asthma
Senaidy, AM (2009) found that due to the high level of vitamin A and beta-carotene, it lowers the severity in children with asthma. Hence, vitamin A and carotene content in mango could have some impact on allergic diseases, such as asthma.
Azadirachta indica – Neem
The second active ingredient in IMMULATE is an extract of Azadirachta indica, also known as neem. As a tree native to the Indian region, according to Kharwar et al. (2020), different parts of this plant have been used in naturopathic practices around the world to treat pain, fever and infection.
Also, it has been used to clean teeth (National Research Council (US) Panel on Neem. Neem, 1992; Lakshmi et al. 2015). Neem is sometimes called ‘the village pharmacy’ due to its special medicinal benefits from the leaves, flowers, seeds, fruit, roots and bark (Subapriya and Nagini, 2005; Islas et al. 2020). Earlier studies have also confirmed the importance of neem in using flowers to treat bile duct disorders, leaves to treat ulcers, and the bark to treat brain illnesses (Kumar et al. 2013).
Due to the uniqueness of this plant, researchers have been able to isolate more than 140 active compounds. These active compounds give the neem its antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic and wound-healing properties (Subapriya and Nagini, 2005; Lee et al. 2017; Alzohairy, MA, 2016).
Researchers are still examining the mechanism of how neem works due to its arrays of medicinal properties (Islasa et al. 2020; Kumar et al. 2013; Alzohairy, MA, 2016). In this article, I examine the scientific aspects of neem in IMMULATE Supplements.
Neem – science
Immulate uses neem extract. Many studies have been conducted to examine neem extract and the results have been promising. What intrigued me is that most of these studies show promise in diverse areas of health, such as blood sugar management, hair, skin, teeth, liver, and kidneys.
Neem – hair health
As Immulate supplements contain neem extract, one study by (Chaudhary et al. 2017) found that neem seed extract contains azadirachtin, an active compound that could fight parasites that affect hair and skin, such as lice. Azadirachtin works by disrupting parasite growth and interfering with reproduction and other cellular processes.
As an orbiter, two human studies (Abdel-Ghaffar et al. 2012; Mehlhorn et al. 2011) examine the efficacy of a neem-based shampoo for head lice in children, leaving shampoo in the hair for 10 minutes, and found it to kill the lice while being gentle on the skin. Other studies (Alzohairy, MA, 2016; Kaur et al. 2004) found that Neem extract and a specific compound, nimbidin, found in neem oil, could also treat dandruff due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Neem – enhance dental and oral health
It is interesting to know that chewing neem bark to enhance oral hygiene is normal practice not only in Ghana (Almas et al. 1999). Also, one study by Lakshmi et al. (2015) found that neem’s antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune-boosting contents could promote oral health. The study also found that neem could relieve pain and help treat gingivitis, periodontitis and tooth decay.
Moreover, Elavarasu et al. (2012) test-tube studies found that neem could lessen bacteria’s ability to colonise the surface of our teeth, which reduces plaque formation. Another human 21-day study compared neem to pharmaceutical chlorhexidine mouthwash (Chatterjee et al. 2011) in 45 people with gingivitis, the study found neem mouthwash to be as effective as chlorhexidine mouthwash — at reducing gum bleeding and plaque.
Neem – liver and kidney health
Another important study I found was the impact of neem extracts in improving liver and kidney health due to their numerous antioxidant properties.
One study in rats by Bhanwra et al. (2000) found that neem leaf extract decreased liver damage induced by high-dose acetaminophen. Fast forward, another study in rats by Moneim et al. (2014) found the same result, and recommended that neem extract enhanced kidney tissue damage caused by chemotherapy medication. This means that those battling kidney diseases as a result of conventional treatment could incorporate IMMULATE supplements to help improve their kidney health.
Neem – skin health
One study by Lin et al. (2018) found that neem seed oil is rich in fatty acids, such as oleic, stearic, palmitic and linoleic acids. Together, these fatty acids have been found to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that enhance skin health. An earlier study found that Ayurveda practitioners used this plant to treat psoriasis and eczema though few scientific studies support this claim (Thas, JJ, 2008).
Other studies found that neem is also used to improve skin elasticity and acne. For instance, one test-tube study by Vijayan et al. (2013) found that neem oil could enhance long-term acne treatment when added to solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs), a new type of drug formulation that offers a stable release of active ingredients. More human studies are needed, though.
Neem – wound and ulcer healing
Two animal studies (Alzohairy MA, 2016; Gautam et al. 2015) found that neem leaf extract quickens wound healing via an increased inflammatory response and the formation of new blood vessels. For instance, one review by Koriem, KM (2013) found a 34-day case study, where 100 mg of neem oil was applied topically twice daily to heal chronic skin ulcers.
In another human study (Bandyopadhyay et al. 2004), 6 people with intestinal ulcers took 30 mg of neem extract orally twice daily. After 10 days, acid secretion had reduced drastically, and after 10 weeks, the ulcers were almost completely healed. This means that adding IMMULATE, an extract of neem, could help those with wounds and ulcers.
Neem – anti-malaria
Results have been mixed in this area. However, two studies (National Research Council (US) Panel on Neem, 1992; Nathan et al. 2005) confirmed that neem contains active compounds called limonoids. A study in mice found that limonoids may be as effective at targetting malaria-infected cells as conventional treatments using chloroquine. However, one test-tube study by Farahna et al. (2010) demonstrated no positive effect of neem extract on malaria outcomes.
Neem – fertility management
Neem has also been considered as an alternative to a vasectomy due to its anti-fertility effects. A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that sterilises people with testicles by stopping the release of sperm. Three animal studies (National Research Council (US) Panel on Neem, 1992; Subapriya and Nagini, 2005; Upadhyay et al. 1993) found that neem may immobilise and kill sperm with no long-term consequences.
Neem – Diabetes management
Three animal studies (Subapriya and Nagini, 2005; Islas et al. 2020; Alzohairy, MA et al. 2016) found that neem leaf extract could be a contender for new diabetes medications. This is because neem extract could help revive cells that produce insulin — the hormone that helps control blood sugar — and lower blood sugar levels( Bhat et al. 2011).
The third ingredient in IMMULATE is this important tree, Acacia, which, according to studies, has been used in medicines, baking ingredients, tools and woodwork for centuries. Studies have linked this important plant to the ancient Egyptians and aboriginal tribes of Australia. It has been established that these tribes employed acacia in diverse ways, from making desserts to treating haemorrhoids.
History has it that the first species ever discovered was given the name Acacia nilotica by the Swedish scientist, Carl Linnaeus, in the 1700s; and since then, nearly 1,000 species have been added to the Acacia genus. The name Acacia itself refers to a genus of plants that includes many different types of plants, such as trees and shrubs. They can be used in a variety of applications.
Acacia – the science
WebMD explained that both animals and human studies suggest that benefits associated with acacia may include:
- Giving a source of prebioticsand soluble fibre.
- Enhancing healthy bacteria (probiotics) in the gut.
- Enhancing fullness and satiety.
- Supporting weight loss and the ability to prevent obesity.
- Treating IBS symptomsand constipation.
- Regulate cholesterol levels.
- Fighting insulin resistance, including in patients with type 2 diabetes (Chandalia et al. 2000).
- Decreasing dental plaque on the gums and teeth, plus fighting gingivitis.
- It is anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects due to its tannins, flavonoids, and resins (Al-Majed et al. 2002; Ali et al. 2010)
- Reduce skin inflammationand redness.
Acacia is regarded as natural, edible and generally safe for human consumption. For instance, Anderson et al. (1986) found that it’s non-toxic, particularly when used in normal/moderate amounts and tolerated by people with sensitivities to gluten. Though acacia is known to be indigestible to both humans and animals, it has been regarded as a safe dietary fibre by the United States Food and Drug Administration since the 1970s.
Acacia is a natural prebiotic and source of soluble dietary fibre (a complex polysaccharide), which means that humans cannot digest its carbohydrates. This has benefits when it comes to gut health, digestion, and even cardiovascular health due to how soluble fibre helps bind to cholesterol.
Taking acacia ferments in the colon with help from bacteria/microorganisms. This helps to essentially ‘feed’ good probiotic bacteria in the gut that have many important roles in the body. One study (Calame et al. 2008) found that four-week supplementation with 10 grams a day of acacia drastically increases in Bifidobacteria, Lactobacteria, and Bacteroides bacteria, indicating a prebiotic effect.
Due to its intense source of dietary fibre, acacia can help make people feel full, helping curb cravings and overeating, and possibly helping with weight loss and reduced cholesterol levels. This is further supported by one study by Calame et al. (2011), which found that two different blends of acacia were able to decrease participants’ caloric intake drastically three hours after taking acacia. At doses of 40 grams, it produced a drastic decrease in energy intake of 100–200 kcal, while doses of 10 or 20 grams led to a reduction in energy intake of around 100 kcal.
Another study (Babiker et al. 2012) was conducted to examine the impacts of regular acacia ingestion on body mass index and body fat percentage among healthy adult females. This two-arm, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial included 120 healthy females who were divided into two groups: a test group of 60 volunteers receiving GA (30 gm/day) for six weeks, and a placebo group of 60 volunteers receiving pectin (1 gm/day) for the same period.
The authors found that acacia ingestion causes a significant decrease in BMI and body fat percentage among healthy adult females, and that this effect could potentially be used in the treatment of obesity. Acacia is also considered a natural expectorant in Ayurveda.
Immulate, as a natural product, is generally safe and approved by the FDA. It is, however, not advisable for patients with hypersensitivity to active ingredients in IMMULATE, patients on blood thinning medications, and drugs with a narrow therapeutic index. It is not recommended for children below twelve (12) years old, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
In conclusion, all metabolic and disease processes in human beings produce substances called free radicals (Reactive oxygen species). These free radicals are beneficial in some cases when they are produced by our white blood cells to kill disease-causing organisms. In most cases, these free radicals (unstable electrons the body produces) are mopped up or neutralised by the body’s natural antioxidant systems.
However, these free radicals can sometimes be more than what the body can neutralize; hence, the need for external sources of antioxidants to curb the harmful effects of the radicals. This includes DNA mutation, protein destruction, and fat per-oxidation leading to cell membrane destruction which fastens aging as well as injury to blood vessels and acceleration of atherosclerosis (vessel clogging, which is implicated in hypertension, stroke, chronic kidney disease, Diabetes, peripheral artery disease, erectile dysfunction, heart attack, Alzheimer’s, etc.).
Sources of excessive free radicals include the intake of unhealthy junk food (western diet), GMO food; chemical (inorganic) pesticides and weedicides in our food; too much stress from work, mental, financial and social problems; and intake of hormone-treated animal protein sources.
Sources of antioxidants that will neutralise free radicals include the intake of organic food and natural herbal medicine. Natural herbal medicine like Immulate is rich in antioxidants, which neutralises free radicals, and prevents and slow the progression of disease conditions. It is also a good natural reliever of stress.
Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in Immulate also boost the immune system and cause the reversal of several inflammatory disease conditions. What is newsworthy is that: Both human and animal studies have demonstrated the numerous health benefits of the extracts of the three ingredients used in the formulation of IMMULATE. The combination of Mangifera indica (25 percent), Acacia nilotica (55 percent), and Azadirachta indica (20 percent) justify that the product is well-formulated based on scientific justifications in the literature.
Due to the numerous scientific supports backing the ingredients such as kidney and liver support; diabetes, cholesterol, and hypertension management, I have concluded why the formulator – Prof. Emeritus Apostle Ing. Kwadwo Safo, and his medical team in a state-of-the-art research facility took over twenty years of Evidence-Based Plant Medicine Research (EBPMR) to bring this product to the market.
>>>The author is a Professor of Naturopathic Healthcare and President of Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine & Technology (NUCHMT)/African Naturopathic Foundation. E-mail: [email protected]. +233-303-966-429.