Can Guggul Lower Your Cholesterol?
By Tyler Woodward
Guggul is a gum residue that is obtained from two different plants in the same family, the commiphora and boswellia serrata. These plants have been proposed to have a number of unique medicinal benefits ranging from potential anti-cancer properties to increased thyroid function. The use of Guggul has been found in history as far back as 1700 BC and similar plants like Myrrh are repeatedly referenced in the bible.
Benefits Of Guggul:
- May Improve Hypothyroidism And Help With Weight Loss -
- May Be Anti-Inflammatory
- May Improve Insulin Sensitivity
- May Improve Skin Health
- May Help Combat Arthritis
- May Decrease Cholesterol Levels
How Does Guggul Extract Work:
The Guggul plant contains a number of unique phytonutrients which are responsible for its unique benefits in humans and its ability to combat a number of diseases. Specifically the commiphora guggul plant contains a number of steroid-like compounds including groups of sterone molecules, sterols, while the boswellia or salai guggul contains a number of derivatives of boswellic acid. Additionally, within guggul there are small amounts of Myrrhanone A, Myrrhanol A, Muscanone, Quercetin, and Limonene. All of these compounds together are what contribute to the many beneficial biological effects of the guggul plant in the body.
First, guggulsterone seems to increase the synthesis and transport of bile acids. Bile plays a very important role in both the digestion of foods and absorption of the nutrients within them, but is also extremely important in excreting toxins from the body. While cholesterol is not a toxin, one of the way's its excreted is through our bile and this effect is likely responsible for guggulsterone’s ability to decrease the amount of fat and cholesterol in the blood, helping to improve blood flow, increase insulin sensitivity and nutrient delivery.
Guggulsterone is also potently anti-inflammatory and has been shown to have a beneficial effect on reducing inflammation in a number of inflammatory conditions. This may partly be due to its lipid-lowering effects, helping to lower serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels improving metabolic function, but also has more direct antioxidant effects. In vivo trials have found that guggulsterone was able to raise the levels of antioxidants in the cell and increase the activity of the enzymes responsible for producing the antioxidants.
Additionally, guggulsterone may have beneficial effects on thyroid health and function. One study performed on live cells found that guggulsterone increased the uptake of iodine into the thyroid gland. Iodine is necessary for the body to produce the thyroid hormones T3 and T4 which regulate the body’s metabolic rate. The study also found that guggulsterone increased the production of thyroid peroxidase suggesting that it was protective over the thyroid, while increasing the amount of thyroid hormone produced.
How To Supplement With Guggul:
Guggul supplements can be obtained from either the commiphora plant or the boswellia serrata. These supplements are similar and likely have similar biological effects and chemical makeups, but most “guggul supplements” contain commiphora, while boswellia serrata is marketed separately. The standard dose of guggul used in the majority of the research is 400-500mg taken three times daily with meals. Although doses up to 2,000 mg have been used in research.
When purchasing a supplement it’s always very important to ensure that it’s of high-quality and does not contain large amounts of impurities like heavy metals.
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