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Birch Bark Comes with Metabolic Benefits

Betulin, a compound found in abundance in birch bark, appears to have an array of metabolic benefits. In studies on mice, the substance was found to lower cholesterol, prevent diet-induced obesity, and improve insulin sensitivity.

The betulin-treated mice were also more resistant to developing atherosclerosis.

Eurekalert reports:

"Betulin works by targeting so-called sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs), transcription factors that are known to be important for activating the expression of genes involved in the biosynthesis of cholesterol, fatty acids, and triglycerides ... Although betulin appears to have very low toxicity ... future studies will need to further investigate the safety of betulin and its metabolic effects."

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