Betulin and a group of triterpenes
Triterpenes are a relatively large subset of natural substances -terpenoids, which are widely spread not only in higher plants but also in marine organisms, fungi and some microorganisms
Up to now, more than 30,000 terpenoids have been isolated from natural sources, including 4,000 triterpenoids derived from more than 40 skeletal types.
The range of triterpene biological activities is incredibly broad and includes antimicrobial (fusidic and helvolic acid), antimycotic (trianthenol), antiviral (betulinic acid), generally anti-inflammatory (derivatives of boswell acid, platycodin D, betulin, lupeol) (e.g., betulin, boswell, citric acid), antiulcerous (glycyrrheic, ursolic and oleanolic), antiallergic (oleanolic), hepatoprotective (lupeol, ursolic, oleanolic), tonic (24- hydroxythormenic and boswell) many more.
Although some of the aforementioned biological activities of triterpenoids have been known for a long time, their pharmaceutical potential has so far been very little used.
Betulin is a natural pentacyclic triterpene alcohol (lup-20(29)-en-3β,28-diol), which is abundant in nature, especially in the bark of the birch (Betula sp.). Betulin was one of the first triterpenoids that Löwitz succeeded in isolating in 1788 by sublimation from the birch bark as a pure chemical substance. Subsequently, it was obtained by the extraction of the upper layers of birch bark with ethanol. However, it took several decades for its structure to be precisely determined. The essentially white colour of the birch bark is caused by the presence of betulin, which gives birch bark its specific properties.
For example, birch bark never spoils or goes mouldy, which is due to the antifungal and antibacterial properties of betulin. What is unknown is why birches synthesize betulin and store it in the bark. Probably it is a natural means of fighting and attacking microorganisms. However, betulin and its derivatives have other interesting biological effects, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-HIV, hepatoprotective etc.
Betulinic acid is a natural pentacyclic acid (3β-hydroxyl-20 (29) -en-28-acid), which is widely found in nature. It was first isolated in 1976 from Vauquelinia corymbosa, 8 and from African Ziziphus mauritiana Lam. (Rhamnaceae) 9, and it can also be obtained from Plane bark (Platanus hispanica) 10. Betulinic acid has received much more attention than betulin, especially because of its selective anti-tumour activity against human melanoma cells. Some betulinic acid derivatives also have excellent antiviral effects.
Lupeol is a natural pentacyclic triterpene alcohol (lup-20 (29) -en-3β-ol) found in a number of medicinal plants and fruits (e.g. apples, mangoes), besides being naturally accompanied by betulin. Lupeol exhibits some chemopreventive, cytotoxic and antiproversial effects, it also has a direct antioxidant effect and is a potential medicinal product for free radical induced diseases.
BetulaPharm betulin is unique in its purity thanks to the patented ultrasonic extraction method.
The range of products is very wide – from raw betulin extract, water and oil fractions (useful in the cosmetics and food industries) to a range of combined formulations for defined groups of health problems and as a preventive dietary capsule supplement.
We even have a betulin-enriched fruit stick as a representative of the very popular group of so-called functional foods. A betulin-enriched energy drink is also available.