Guggul is currently being marketed as the next fat-loss miracle, and while we’re keeping a close eye on it to see if it does ever match up to the hype, there hasn’t been much evidence so far… at least in the way of human research. Nonetheless, it does appear to have some benefits — if we’re talking acne relief.
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Guggul lipid comes from the yellowish sap gathered from the bark of the small Commiphoral mukul tree, which is a relative of myrrh. The sap, sometimes referred to as a gum or resin, has been used medicinally for thousands of years by people in India.
While there is some evidence to suggest guggul may help lower bodyfat accumulation, unfortunately, the data simply just isn’t all in. Until there are good, quality human studies, we’re leaving this one on the shelf. That doesn’t mean it should be completely forgotten, however. If acne is a concern for you, this one may be worth checking out.
No deficiency conditions are known to exist.
Research indicates that Guggul Lipid may be useful in the treatment of:
Guggul is currently being marketed as the next fat-loss miracle, and while we’re keeping a close eye on it to see if it does ever match up to the hype, there hasn’t been much evidence so far… at least in the way of human research. Nonetheless, it does appear to have some benefits. Here’s the lowdown on guggul.
Traditionally, guggul was used in a crude, powdered form and added to complex formulas to treat a wide range of ailments, from arthritis to obesity. Its medicinal properties were recognized as early as 600 B.C. as found in Sushrita Samhita, India’s Ayurvedic classical medical text, which prescribes gum guggul for the treatment of medoroga, a disease closely resembling hardening of the arteries. This same text also suggests gum guggul for fat loss and the relief of arthritis.
Today, Ayurvedic practitioners prescribe guggul for these same conditions, as well as to increase white blood cells; disinfect mucus, sweat, and urine; regulate menstruation; and to relieve arthritic conditions.
Though studies in India indicated that guggul lipid is useful for lowering cholesterol, a recent well-controlled study done with Americans eating a typical diet (found in the Journal of the American Medical Association) showed that it may actually increase LDL cholesterol. (LDL is the type you want to lower!)
Some research, however, indicates it may be valuable for fighting acne.
Research with laboratory animals suggests guggul may help enhance thyroid function. This is significant because the thyroid gland produces hormones that are needed to regulate metabolism. Studies show guggul may change thyroid hormone metabolism, increasing levels of circulating T3, or triiodothyroxine, a thyroxine metabolite known to raise overall metabolism. Theoretically at least, this should help the body burn significantly more fat. If this benefit is shown in humans as well, guggul will likely gain popularity for helping fight the accumulation of fat. But for now, it’s only been shown to be true in little furry creatures.
In a 1994 study, acne sufferers who supplemented with standardized guggul lipid (25 mg guggulsterone twice daily for 3 months) fared even better than patients who used 500 mg tetracycline (twice daily for 3 months). Both guggul lipid and tetracycline reduced the acne 65.2% and 68%, respectively, but the researchers noted that people with oily faces “responded remarkably better” to guggul lipid.
While there’s good evidence that guggul lipid helps relieve acne, it’s important to consult with a health-care professional if you’re thinking of taking guggul with a cholesterol-lowering drug or tetracycline: the medicines might not mix.
While there is some evidence to suggest guggul may help lower bodyfat accumulation; unfortunately, the data simply just isn’t all in. Until there are good, quality human studies, we’re leaving this one on the shelf. That doesn’t mean it should be completely forgotten, however. If acne is a concern for you, this one may be worth checking out.
Doses vary depending on the desired benefit:
o To relieve acne — 25 mg twice daily for 3 months.
o For weight loss — 30 to 60 mg 3 times per day with meals.
Take with meals two to three times per day.
Look for products that have been standardized to 25 mg guggulsterones (also spelled gugulsterones and guggalsterones) per dose.
Avoid the crude gum — it’s not well tolerated by the human body and can cause gastrointestinal distress.
No synergists have been noted.
Guggul lipid is not recommended for pregnant women.
Allergic skin rash occurs in about 1 in 10 people who take guggul. The rash subsides when product use is discontinued. Other rare but reported reactions include stomach upset, diarrhea, and anxiety.
Guggul lipid may increase the potency of anti-inflammatory pain killers, drugs used to lower blood pressure, muscle relaxants, lithium, and diuretics. It may reduce the effects of anti-arrythmic and anti-diabetic drugs. Anyone taking prescription drugs should consult with a physician and/or pharmacist before taking guggul lipid.
No known toxicity.