Gugulipid & Guggul Lipid
Shown to lower cholesterol levels 14-27% and an amazing 22-30% reduction in triglyceride levels with no change in diet or exercise.
What a funny name Guggul. Gugulipid or guggul-lipid is simply an Indian herb from the Commiphora tree. The Commiphora tree has been well known in India for centuries. Over 2,000 years ago the ancient Sanskrit medical texts spoke of the resin from Commiphora mukul as “clearing the coating and obstruction of channels”, which was their way of talking about clogged arteries from rich food.
They also used this for obesity, acne diarrhea, arthritis and rheumatism, and urinary problems. This resin has been a part of Ayurvedic medicine since then but has only recently been discovered in the West and has been studied in Eastern clinics and hospitals for over 20 years now. These studies have found that guggul reduces platelet stickiness so over clotting does not occur in the blood, which causes strokes and heart attacks. A study in 1988 (Planta Medica volume 4, pages 271-7) showed this stimulated thyroid metabolism and function. Increasing metabolism by stimulating the thyroid gland can mean losing weight without eating less. More importantly there is a proven and established herbal tradition that has been used by an entire country for over 20 centuries.
14-27% Drop in Cholesterol Levels and an
Studies done on people have shown up to a 14-27% fall in cholesterol levels and an amazing 22-30% fall in triglyceride levels when guggul was given to men and women with high blood lipid profiles for twelve weeks with no change in diet or exercise. One mechanism thought to be responsible for this kind of effectiveness is to stimulate the liver to take up more of the LDL cholesterol from the blood and destroy it.
Clinical studies started appearing in Indian medical journals, which are traditionally more open to herbal remedies. In 1986 a study was published in the Indian Journal of Medicine (volume 84). Then a Dr. Satyavati (Indian J. Med. Res. 87, 1988, p. 327) published the history of guggul resin and the unpublished studies that had been done on blood lipids. Soon this was listed in the modern Indian Pharmacoepia for doctors. Another study was published in 1986 in the Journal of the Association of Physicians in India (volume 34). In 1989 another study was published in that same journal (volume 37) called “Clinical Trials with Guggulipid: A New Hypolipidemic Agent”. Later in 1994 a study was published in Cardiovascular Drugs and Surgery (volume 8, pages 659-64).
In 1991 Dr. Satyavati published another study (Econ. and Med. Plant Res. 5, 1991, p. 47-80) with a full 35 pages relating the history, folklore, economics, pharmacology, chemistry, clinical studies, safety and other beneficial effects besides lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
At Kerala University in India (Indian J. Exp. Biol. 33, 1995, p.337-41) animal studies were published showing that guggul given to laboratory animals reduced their blood lipid levels quickly and effectively without side effects. In 1995 another study was published in the same journal (p. 749-51) from the same university where they looked for the mechanism by which guggul lowered blood fats. They found that improved liver enzyme activity, increased the excretion of excess blood fats in the feces and thereby removed it from the body rather than allowing it to circulate in the blood. At the Central Drug Research Institute in India (Phytother. Res. 10, 1996, p. 508-11) laboratory animals were fed a high cholesterol diet to give them hypercholesteremia. By simply adding guggul resin to their diets they lowered the blood fats while keeping them on the high cholesterol feed.
Triglyceride Levels Reduced Significantly
And let’s not leave triglycerides out of the review. In the two Indian Journal of Medicine studies and the Journal of the Association of Physicians, it was found that triglyceride levels were reduced significantly as well. So, in many subjects we have total cholesterol lowered, HDL cholesterol raised, LDL cholesterol lowered, triglyceride levels lowered and even uric acid levels lowered.
Finally this got the attention of the American scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in October of 2000. Noting that the Indian scientists had shown such dramatic effects on blood lipids in animals and humans and that they also discovered the metabolic mechanism by which this worked. Dr. Philippe Szapary studied 90 people in a classic double blind study where some patients received a placebo and others received guggul gum. In the spring of 2001 they finally released their findings and verified the Indian studies. This was all accomplished under a grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Guggul Lowered Cholesterol by an Average Of 22% and Triglycerides by an Average Of 25%.
Other studies have been done but not published. One involved 200 patients in a classic double blind study for 12 weeks. The ones given guggul lowered their cholesterol by an average of 22% and their triglycerides by an average of 25%. This is much more impressive than the mild gains of the “statin” drugs which are costly as well as toxic and require liver enzyme monitoring. (Health Supplement Retailer June 1999, page 50). This is a natural plant extract with a history of safety for over 2,000 years. The only possible side effects occur in a small minority of people who may have very mild digestive symptoms. This is because everyone is biologically unique and some people can be sensitive to certain foods and herbs.
Total Cholesterol Levels Fell an Amazing 32%
At Jadavpur University in India (Phytotherapy Research 14, 2000, p. 200-2) studied allicin (from garlic), germinated Bengal gram seeds (an Indian food) and guggul gum on normal people with no cholesterol or heart/artery problems. Please remember that it is much easier to get results with sick people than with normal subjects. It can be very difficult to get normal people with no medical problems to improve their health and actually improve their biological status. They gave the volunteers guggul gum extract and their total cholesterol levels fell an amazing 32% in only a month. The average level was 212 when they started and the average level was only 143 after one month of supplementation. This was with no change in diet, no more exercise and with no other supplements being used. They concluded rather modestly, “The inclusion of these herbal products in the normal diet may be an alternative effective measure for hypercholesteremia.”
Analysis of guggul gum shows the active ingredients are plant sterones or “guggulsterones”, of which you need about 25 mg a day. Read the label carefully to see that you are getting the equivalent of 1,000 mg of guggul resin with 2.5% sterone content. Avoid any brands that do not state clearly how much sterone content is given or any that gives less than 2.5%. It is theorized that these sterones lower cholesterol by binding bile acids in the intestine, stimulating fat digesting enzymes (lipases) and inhibiting what is called “HMG-CoA” reductase enzymes in the liver which help support cholesterol production.
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