Gugulipid, Gum Guggulu
Parts Used & Where Grown
The mukul myrrh (Commiphora mukul) tree is a small, thorny plant distributed throughout India. Guggul and gum guggulu are the names given to a yellowish resin produced by the stem of the plant. This resin has been used historically and is also the source of modern extracts of guggul.
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3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:
Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)
The classical treatise on Ayurvedic medicine, Sushrita Samhita, describes the use of guggul for a wide variety of conditions, including rheumatism and obesity . One of its primary indications was a condition known as medoroga. This ancient diagnosis is similar to the modern description of atherosclerosis . Standardized guggul extracts are approved in India for lowering elevated serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
How It Works
Gugulipid, Gum Guggulu
How It Works
Guggul contains resin, volatile oils, and gum. The extract isolates ketonic steroid compounds known as guggulsterones. These compounds have been shown to provide the cholesterol- and triglyceride-lowering actions noted for guggul.9 Guggul significantly lowers serum triglycerides and cholesterol as well as LDL and VLDL cholesterols (the “bad” cholesterols).10 At the same time, it raises levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol). As antioxidants , guggulsterones keep LDL cholesterol from oxidizing, an action which protects against atherosclerosis .11 Guggul has also been shown to reduce the stickiness of platelets—another effect that lowers the risk of coronary artery disease.12 One double-blind trial found guggul extract similar to the drug clofibrate for lowering cholesterol levels.13 Other clinical trials in India (using 1,500 mg of extract per day) have confirmed guggul extracts improve lipid levels in humans.14
A combination of guggul, phosphate salts, hydroxycitrate, and tyrosine coupled with exercise has been shown in a double-blind trial to improve mood with a slight tendency to improve weight loss in overweight adults.15
One small clinical trial found that guggul (Commiphora mukul) compared favorably to tetracycline in the treatment of cystic acne.16 The amount of guggul extract taken in the trial was 500 mg twice per day.
How to Use It
Daily recommendations for the purified guggul extract are typically based on the amount of guggulsterones in the extract.17 A common intake of guggulsterones is 25 mg three times per day. Most extracts contain 2.5–5% guggulsterones and can be taken daily for lowering high cholesterol and/or triglycerides .
Gugulipid, Gum Guggulu
Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds
At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.
Interactions with Medicines
As of the last update, no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
Gugulipid, Gum Guggulu
Early studies with the crude oleoresin reported numerous side effects, including diarrhea , anorexia , abdominal pain, and skin rash. Modern extracts are more purified, and fewer side effects (e.g., mild abdominal discomfort) have been reported with long-term use. Rash was reported, however, as a fairly common side effect in one recent study.18 Guggul should be used with caution by people with liver disease and in cases of Crohn’s disease , ulcerative colitis , and diarrhea . A physician should be consulted before treating elevated cholesterol and triglycerides .
1. Agarwal RC, Singh SP, Saran RK, et al. Clinical trial of gugulipid new hypolipidemic agent of plant origin in primary hyperlipidemia. Indian J Med Res 1986;84:626–34.
2. Thappa DM, Dogra J. Nodulocystic acne: oral gugulipid versus tetracycline. J Dermatol 1994;21:729–31.
3. Agarwal RC, Singh SP, Saran RK, et al. Clinical trial of gugulipid new hypolipidemic agent of plant origin in primary hyperlipidemia. Indian J Med Res 1986;84:626–34.
4. Nityanand S, Srivastava JS, Asthana OP. Clinical trials with Gugulipid—a new hypolipidemic agent. J Assoc Phys India 1989; 37:323–8.
5. Singh RB, Niaz MA, Ghosh S. Hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects of Commiphora mukul as an adjunct to dietary therapy in patients with hypercholesterolemia. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 1994;8:659–64.
6. Szapary PO, Wolfe ML, Bloedon LT, et al. Guggulipid for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia: an randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2003;290:765–72.
7. Singh BB, Mishra LC, Vinjamury SP, et al. The effectiveness of Commiphora mukul for osteoarthritis of the knee: an outcomes study. Altern Ther Health Med 2003;9:74–9.
8. Antonio J, Colker CM, Torina GC, et al. Effects of a standardized guggulsterone phosphate supplement on body composition in overweight adults: A pilot study. Curr Ther Res 1999;60:220–7.
9. Satyavati GV. Gum guggul (Commiphora mukul)—The success of an ancient insight leading to a modern discovery. Indian J Med 1988;87:327–35.
10. Nityanand S, Kapoor NK. Hypocholesterolemic effect of Commiphora mukul resin (Guggal). Indian J Exp Biol 1971;9:367–77.
11. Singh K, Chander R, Kapoor NK. Guggulsterone, a potent hypolipidaemic, prevents oxidation of low density lipoprotein. Phytother Res 1997;11:291–4.
12. Mester L, Mester M, Nityanand S. Inhibition of platelet aggregation by guggulu steroids. Planta Med 1979;37:367–9.
13. Malhotra SC, Ahuja MMS, Sundarum KR. Long-term clinical studies on the hypolipidemic effect of Commiphora mukul (guggul) and clofibrate. Ind J Med Res 1977;65:390–5.
14. Nityanand S, Srivastava JS, Asthana OP. Clinical trials with gugulipid—a new hypolipidemic agent. J Assoc Phys India 1989;37:323–8.
15. Antonio J, Colker CM, Torina GC, et al. Effects of a standardized guggulsterone phosphate supplement on body composition in overweight adults: A pilot study. Curr Ther Res 1999;60:220–7.
16. Thappa DM, Dogra J. Nodulocystic acne: oral gugulipid versus tetracycline. J Dermatol 1994;21:729–31.
17. Brown D, Austin S. Hyperlipidemia and Prevention of Coronary Artery Disease. Seattle, WA: NPRC, 1997, 4–6.
18. Szapary PO, Wolfe ML, Bloedon LT, et al. Guggulipid for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia: an randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2003;290:765–72.
Last Review: 11-07-2012
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2013.
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