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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7468064, 10 pages
Research Article

Antioxidant and Ex Vivo Immune System Regulatory Properties of Boswellia serrata Extracts

1School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Camerino, Camerino, Italy
2Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Ozzano Emilia, Italy
3Rheumatology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy
4School of Pharmacy and Health Product Sciences, University of Camerino, Camerino, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Daniela Beghelli

Received 14 December 2016; Revised 4 February 2017; Accepted 20 February 2017; Published 13 March 2017

Academic Editor: Ilaria Peluso

Copyright © 2017 Daniela Beghelli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Boswellia serrata (BS) is an important traditional medicinal plant that currently represents an interesting topic for pharmaceutical research since it possesses several pharmacological properties (e.g., anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antitumour). The safety and versatility of this dietary supplement should allow for its use in numerous pathological conditions; however the quality of the extracts needs to be standardized to increase the clinical success rate resulting from its use. In the present study, different commercially available B. serrata extracts were employed to compare their AKBA content and in vitro antioxidant power. Furthermore, their ability to modulate the immune system regulatory properties was investigated. Our results showed that the AKBA content varied from to %, with one sample in which it was not detectable. The highest antioxidant power and phenolic content were shown by the same extract, which also exhibited the highest AKBA concentration. Finally, the BS extracts showed the ability to influence the regulatory and effector T-cell compartments. Our results suggest that frankincense should be further investigated for its promising potentiality to modulate not only inflammation/oxidative stress but also immune dysregulation, but attention should be paid to the composition of the commercial extracts.