Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Location: Cleveland, OH
|Posted: Dec Fri 15, 2006 7:33 pm Post subject: Guggul - Cholesterol & Triglycerides
|Guggul - Cholesterol & Triglycerides
Nature's Sunshine has Guggul Lipid Concentrate.
It is even more effective for triglycerides than cholesterol. Herb Allure has an excellent handout on this product.
A tree resin used in India for 2,000 years as a folk remedy for a variety of ailments has been found by modern researchers to be effective in controlling high cholesterol.
The sap from a tree known in India as guggul contains a compound that blocks the action of a cell receptor, called FXR, that helps regulate the level of cholesterol in the body, said David D. Moore, a molecular biologist at the Baylor School of Medicine in Houston. He is co-author of a study appearing Friday in Science Express, the electronic version of the journal Science. "Our results suggest that other compounds that could affect FXR could also control cholesterol," said Moore. "This mechanism is completely different from the action of statin drugs," which are taken by millions of Americans to control cholesterol.
In studies at his Baylor lab, Moore and Nancy L. Urizar showed the guggul resin compound, called guggulsterone, acted on the FXR receptor. Dr. David Mangelsdorf and Amy B. Liverman, researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, then tested the compound in two types of mice, one with a normal FXR receptor and one without FXR. The study found that cholesterol levels dropped in the livers of mice that had the FXR receptor, but not in the others, thus proving that guggulsterone worked by affecting the FXR receptor.
Dr. Mitchell A. Lazar, an endocrinologist at the University of Pennsylvania, said the study is important because it suggests a new drug pathway for controlling cholesterol.
"We need to have multiple ways to lower lipids (cholesterol)," said Lazar. He said the work also advances the notion that some traditional medicinal compounds may have important uses in modern medicine and emphasizes that the value of such compounds needs to be researched.
Exactly how guggulsterone affects the FXR receptor is unknown, Moore said. "FXR regulates a number of genes and we are not sure which are the primary targets for lipid (cholesterol) control," said Moore, "but we have shown that this is a new mechanism for controlling cholesterol."
He said finding a new way to reduce cholesterol could be very important for patients who cannot tolerate the side effects that some people experience with statin drugs.
The guggul tree, known technically as Commiphora mukul, grows in dry areas of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. For thousands of years, folk healers have tapped the trees to make medicines used to control weight and to treat other ailments.
About 40 years ago, an Indian researcher found that the guggul compound also was effective in combating heart disease, a condition linked to cholesterol.
Later studies in India showed that guggulsterone lowered cholesterol, and Indian health authorities approved the sale of the resin for treatment of heart disease.
Moore said more than 300 tons of the resin is used annually for medical purposes in India.
The FXR receptor controls cholesterol by regulating the level of bile acids in the body. Blocking the action of FXR would help the body rid itself of more cholesterol.
Normally, cholesterol is synthesized in the liver or enters the body from the diet. Statin drugs work by blocking an enzyme that helps to make cholesterol in the liver.
Bile acids, containing cholesterol, are made in the liver and go through the gall bladder to the small intestine where they help metabolize fats. The bile acid is then reprocessed and returned to the liver. Changing the action of the FXR receptor would mean that more cholesterol is excreted, Moore said.
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Guggul Clinical Studies
* Cholesterol - Baylor College of Medicine in Houston found that the guggulsterone, the active ingredient in the Guggul extract, blocks the activity of a receptor in the liver's cells called Farnesoid X Receptor (FXR). Later, Dr. David Mangelsdorf at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas confirmed that the guggul blocked the receptor and affected how cholesterol is metabolized.
* Cholesterol/ Atherosclerosis - A double-blind placebo-controlled study of guggul for reducing cholesterol studied 61 individuals for 24 weeks. After following a healthy diet for 12 weeks the participants were divided into two groups with half of the participants receiving placebo and the other half receiving guggul (100 mg of guggulsterones daily). At 24 weeks the results showed that the treated group had a 11.7% decrease in total cholesterol.
Those on guggul also had a 12.7% decrease in LDL ("bad" cholesterol), a 12% decrease in triglycerides, and an 11.1% decrease in the total cholesterol ratio.
* Cholesterol/ Atherosclerosis - 40 heart disease patients participated in a 16-week study were given twice daily divided doses of 4.5 grams of guggul lipid. They experienced a 21.75 percent decrease in blood fats (including LDL, VLDL, and triglycerides) and a 35 percent increase in "good cholesterol". Guggul lipid also reduced platelet stickiness.
* Cholesterol - Another study conducted at Kerala University in India established that "guggul given to laboratory animals reduced their blood lipid levels quickly and effectively without side effects". They found that improved liver enzyme activity was one of the ways Guggul reduced the blood cholesterol. Kerala Univ., Indian J. Exp. Biol. 33, 1995
* Cholesterol/ Atherosclerosis - This study of 228 patients showed similar results from guggul as were obtained from the standard drug clofibrate.
* Impotence - South Carolina scientists conducted a study of more than 3,200 healthy men between the ages of 25 and 83. The men with total cholesterol over 240 mg/dl had close to double the risk of penile dysfunction as men with readings of 180 mg/dl. Also those with HDL readings of 60 mg/dl or greater were less likely to develop penile dysfunction than the men with less than 30 mg/dl HDL.
* Obesity - In one double-blind study - a combination of guggul, phosphate salts, hydroxycitrate, and tyrosine (along with healthy exercise) improved the mood of overweight patients with a slight tendency to improve weight loss. However, there appeared to be no effect on thyroid gland function in the people studied.
* Diabetes - Some treatment value for diabetes was noted in one rodent study. However, more research is needed in this area.
* Acne - In a 1994 study at the Department of Dermatology, in Bajaj Nagar, Jaipur, India, 20 patients with nodulocystic acne were randomly given either 500mg of Tetracycline or doses of gugulipid with 25mg guggulsterone. Both groups produced a progressive reduction in lesions. Those on tetracycline showed a 65.2% reduction compaired with a 68% reduction with the gugulipid. The three-month follow-up showed relapses in 4 cases of tetracycline and 2 cases of the gugulipid patients.
* Future Studies - The Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCUHS) in Whittier, Calif., USA, started a study on the Usefulness of guggul (Commiphora mukul) for osteoarthritis of the knee in March of 2001