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Grateful for Guggulipid

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Grateful for Guggulipid

An ancient Ayurvedic Indian plant contains a compound that helps reduce blood sugar and insulin, cholesterol,and inflammation, thereby reducing overall risk for cardiovascular disease.

An ancient Ayurvedic Indian plant contains a compound that helps reduce blood sugar and insulin, cholesterol,and inflammation, thereby reducing overall risk for cardiovascular disease.

The mukul myrrh tree (Commiphora mukul), also known as guggul or guggulipid, has been used by Ayurvedic practitioners for thousands of years for various diseases, including arthritis, obesity, and digestive problems. Clinical research now indicates that guggul shows promise in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease. This powerful plant secretes a resinous material called gum guggul, which has been clinically and scientifically shown to help in preventing atherosclerosis, stroke, and heart disease.

Guggul is a standardized extract of crude gum guggul (oleoresin). The purified extract is safer and more effective than the crude gum, which has been known to cause skin rashes, gastrointestinal irritation, and diarrhea.

The active components of guggul are two specific types of guggulsterones, referred to as E and Z. These are involved in the cholesterol- and lipid-lowering properties of guggul. The herb’s other components act in synergy to reduce the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver.

Cholesterol Fighter

A widely publicized study disputed the benefit of guggul and even suggested it might raise cholesterol levels. However, many scientific studies have shown guggul’s efficacy in lowering serum triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL (good cholesterol). Guggul has been shown to block the oxidation of LDL cholesterol through its antioxidant activity, thereby protecting against atherosclerosis. Guggul has also been shown to inhibit clumping of the red blood cells and reduce stickiness of platelets, thereby preventing embolism and stroke. Human and animal clinical studies have all clearly demonstrated the efficacy of guggul in lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

Several Indian studies have demonstrated that guggulipid produced up to a 27-percent reduction in total cholesterol, 22.4-percent reduction in triglycerides, and an increase of 22.4 percent in HDL cholesterol, with no adverse side effects.

Studies conducted at Kerala University in India further established that guggul administered to laboratory animals significantly reduced their cholesterol levels safely and effectively by improving liver enzyme activity.

One study of North American adults with hyperlipidemia (high lipid levels) showed that guggul produced a 31-percent decrease in serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a better predictor of adverse cardiovascular events (heart attack and stroke) than other inflammatory markers. According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine (March 2003), individuals with elevated levels of CRP are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack as those who have low or normal levels. This suggests a potential role for guggul in treating the root causes of heart disease by lowering risk factors such as high CRP levels.

How Much Should I Take?

Quality guggul extracts should be standardized to 2.5 to 10 percent guggulsterones. Clinical trials since the 1980s have utilized the standardized extracts of guggul. The dosage of guggulipid largely depends on the potency of the guggulsterone content. Clinically, 25 mg of guggul with a guggulsterone content of 5 to 10 percent taken three times per day for 12 to 24 weeks has shown to be effective.

Guggul’s well-documented human clinical studies have validated its safe and effective use in treating the underlying causes of cardiovascular disease by acting as an antioxidant, blood sugar regulator, inhibitor of platelet aggregation, and potent anti-inflammatory, as well as offering protection and reduction in the oxidation of bad cholesterol (LDL).

Future studies should increase the length of the treatment to greater than 12 weeks and use variations in potency of guggulsterones. Furthermore, double-blind studies assessing the potential hypolipidemic (lipid-lowering) and systemic effects of the guggulsterones in healthy North American adults with hyperlipidemia would provide a very promising future for the drug-free treatment and prevention of heart disease.

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