Monday, June 19, 2017

5-LOX: The Killer Enzyme

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  • Excessive 5-LOX activity is associated with 7 of the leading 10 causes of death in the US, causing more than 1.5 million deaths annually.
  • The activity of an enzyme called 5-LOX leads to excessive release of pro-inflammatory molecules, including leukotrienes.
  • Extracts of boswellia are natural inhibitors of 5-LOX activity and have been used for millennia in treatment of diseases with inflammatory components.
  • An abundance of data demonstrates boswellia extracts' power to combat cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration, cancer, and arthritis through 5-LOX inhibition and other anti-inflammatory characteristics
The 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) pathway is the major source of proinflammatory leukotrienes. 5-LOX breaks down arachidonic acid to pro-inflammatory compounds like leukotriene, a molecule that attacks joints, arterial walls, and other tissues. 5-LOX itself facilitates undesirable cell division changes.

New research into the Boswellia resin has shown that the Boswellic acids found within the resin are powerful inhibitors of pro-inflammatory molecules, and may prove to be more effective than NSAIDs. Specifically, the acid 3-O-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA) has been identified for it's ability to inhibit the enzyme 5-LOX, intervening at the cellular level to block its unwanted effects. Inhibiting this enzyme restricts synthesis of inflammatory signaling leukotrienes.

Various experimentation has illustrated the effect of Boswellic acids on the 5-LOX enzyme:

- When Boswellia serrata was introduced into a 5-LOX test system, where suspensions of rat peritoneal neutrophils were stimulated by calcium and calcium ionophore A23187 to produce leukotrienes, Boswellia serrata significantly decreased production of leukotrienes and total 5-LOX products. There was no effect on cyclooxygenase (COX) activities10. "[Boswellia serrata] is the first selective, direct, non-competitive and non-redox-type inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase, the key enzyme for leukotriene biosynthesis"

- "Boswellic acids inhibit the leukotriene biosynthesis in neutrophilic granulocytes by a non-redox, noncompetitive inhibition of 5-lipoxygenase [5-LOX]12. The effect is triggered by boswellic acids binding to the enzyme"

Legere Pharmaceuticals offers therapeutically dosed Boswella Capsules

10. Ammon, H.P.T., Safayhi, H., Mack, T., Sabieraj, J. (1993). Mechanism of antiinflammatory actions of curcumine and boswellic acids. Journal of Ethnopharmacology.
12.(2002). Boswellic acids (components of frankincense) as the active principle in treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. PubMed
14. Sherman, J. (2011). Neutralize a Lethal Enzyme. Life Extension. Retrieved from:

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