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Supplements

gugulipid

What Is It?
Health Benefits
Forms
Dosage Information
Guidelines for Use
General Interaction
Possible Side Effects
Cautions 

References 

Evidence Based Rating Scale

 

What Is It?

From the resin of the mukul myrrh tree (Commiphora mukul) comes a remedy--gugulipid—that may hold promise for lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels as effectively as certain prescription medications. Native to India, this tree is closely related to the plant that provides the fragrant myrrh described in the Bible.

The tree’s resin is called gum guggul, or guggulu. Traditional Ayurvedic healers in India have relied on this resin for centuries to treat arthritis and obesity. Interestingly, as early as 600 B.C. they were giving it to people who suffered from a condition associated with regular overindulgence in rich foods and a sedate lifestyle--what we now know as atherosclerosis.

Research has revealed that the refined resin (gugulipid) inhibits the formation of artery-hardening plaque. In addition, it has been found that active ingredients called guggulsterones encourage levels of cholesterol and fat to drop. This in turn lowers the risk for heart disease. Guggulsterones may also help to control arthritis-related inflammation and may aid in weight loss.

Health Benefits

Gugulipid works by blocking the actions of important nuclear hormone receptors involved in the creation of cholesterol. This antagonistic action may lessen the levels of cholesterol already present in your arteries, as well as keep new artery clogging plaques from forming. The two main components of guggul resin effectively regulate the amount of amount of cholesterol that is able to stick to artery walls thereby reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke. Specifically gugulipid may help to:

·         Lower levels of “bad cholesterol.” Low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or “bad cholesterol,” clog arteries leading to cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke. In animal models treatment with gugulipid has been shown to decrease levels of LDL and increase levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), or “good cholesterol (1). Human trials of gugulipid have not met with the same uniform success. Research results at best have been conflicting and can suggest only a modest efficacy of gugulipid for high cholesterol (2). A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) failed to show a reduction in LDL after a 17 month intervention with gugulipid preparations (3). More research is needed to determine if gugulipid is effective for patients with high cholesterol and coronary artery disease (4).

·         Aid conventional therapies for heart disease. The costs of coronary artery disease are many. From decreased physical tenacity to drug therapy and emotional/ familial stress, living with heart disease can be a costly ordeal. Gugulipid may offer a natural supplement to conventional therapy that causes fewer side effects and increases the efficacy of prescription drugs or lifestyle changes (5). You should talk to your doctor about the possibility of combining a supplemental regimen with other treatments prescribed for coronary artery disease.

·         Fight obesity. The active components of guggul resin may not only lower cholesterol, they may help to flush unhealthy fats from other parts of your body (6). These active phytosteroids interfere with the binding of fats at a bsic cellular level.

·         Reduce the swelling pain of inflammatory disease. Conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and several dermatologic conditions are exacerbated by swelling and inflammation of body tissues. Gugulipid may help to counter these effects, thereby lessening the pain and functional limitations imposed by these conditions (7).

Forms

·         pill

·         tablet

·         capsule

Dosage Information

·         For high cholesterol and heart disease, take 25 mg guggulsterones 3 times a day.

·         When selecting a product, look for one clearly marked as a gugulipid supplement and not guggul or guggulu--crude and unrefined forms of the resin that could easily contain toxic compounds. A dangerous loss of appetite, stomach pain, diarrhea, and rashes could develop from guggul or guggulu. Gugulipid, on the other hand, has been refined to contain only the active ingredients without the toxins. In rare cases, however, even gugulipid may cause side effects such as mild nausea, gas, diarrhea, hiccups, restlessness, anxiety, or headaches.

·         For inflammatory conditions, take 25 mg guggulsterones 2 times a day.

Guidelines for Use

It may take 2-3 months for the effects of gugulipid to show discernable benefit. You should give the supplemet adequate time to take effect before discontinuing treatment.

General Interaction

Gugulipid has not been shown to have adverse contraindictions at this time. If you suffer from any health conditions, you should consult your physician before beginning any new supplement regimen.  

Possible Side Effects

• Some patients treated with gugulipid develop a rash. Discontinue use if a rash develops.

Cautions

• Be sure to consult your doctor before trying gugulipid if you suffer from liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or diarrhea. Pregnant women should not take it.

• When selecting a product, look for one clearly marked as a gugulipid supplement and not guggul or guggulu--crude and unrefined forms of the resin that could easily contain toxic compounds. A dangerous loss of appetite, stomach pain, diarrhea, and rashes could develop from guggul or guggulu. Gugulipid, on the other hand, has been refined to contain only the active ingredients without the toxins. In rare cases, however, even gugulipid may cause side effects such as mild nausea, gas, diarrhea, hiccups, restlessness, anxiety, or headaches.

• Don’t stop seeing your doctor for a cholesterol problem, or substitute gugulipid for a cholesterol-lowering medication without your doctor's approval.

 

 

References

 

1. Dev S. Ancient-modern concordance in Ayurvedic plants: some examples.Environ

    Health Perspect. 1999 Oct;107(10):783-9.

2. Caron MF, White CM. Evaluation of the antihyperlipidemic properties of dietary

    supplements. Pharmacotherapy. 2001 Apr;21(4):481-7.

3. Szapary PO, Wolfe ML, Bloedon LT, Cucchiara AJ, DerMarderosian AH, Cirigliano

    MD, Rader DJ. Guggulipid for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia: a   

    randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2003 Aug 13;290(6):765-72.

4. Morelli V, Zoorob RJ. Alternative therapies: Part II. Congestive heart failure and

    hypercholesterolemia. Am Fam Physician. 2000 Sep 15;62(6):1325-30.

5. Kendler BS. Recent nutritional approaches to the prevention and therapy of

    cardiovascular disease. Prog Cardiovasc Nurs. 1997 Summer;12(3):3-23.

6. Johnson G. Recent advances in excitatory amino acid research. Annu Rep Med

    Chem 24:41-50 (1989).

7. Satyavati GV. Guggulipid: a promising hypolipidaemic agent from gum guggul

    (Commiphora mukul). In: Economic and Medicinal Plant Research, Vol 5. Plants

    and Traditional Medicine (Wagner H, Farnsworth NR, eds). New York: Academic

    Press, 1991;47-82.

 

Evidence Based Rating Scale 

 

 The Evidence Based Rating Scale is a tool that helps consumers translate the findings of medical research studies with what our clinical advisors have found to be efficacious in their personal practice. This tool is meant to simplify which supplements and therapies demonstrate promise in the treatment of certain conditions. This scale does not take into account any possible interactions with any medication/ condition/ or therapy which you may be currently undertaking. It is therefore advisable to ask your doctor before starting any new treatment regimen.

Condition

Rating

Explanation

 

 

  

  

Arthritis

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Studies suggest efficacy equal to conventional inflammatory medications. More studies needed.

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Cholesterol

 

Date Published: 09/10/2005
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