This natural ingredient is derived from the mixture of plant chemicals (ketonic steroids) from the gum resin of Commiphora mukul, called guggulipid, and is an approved treatment of hyperlipidemia in India. It has been a mainstay of traditional Indian herbal medicine (Ayurveda) approaches in preventing high cholesterol and atherosclerosis. Clinical studies indicate it to be effective in the treatment of elevated cholesterol, elevated triglyceride levels and elevated LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Studies have also shown that LDL oxidation, which is the main cause of plaque build in the arteries, can be prevented or at least decreased by the antioxidant activity of Guggul. Clinical studies on Guggul indicate that its hypolipidemic activity (decreasing cholesterol and other lipids) can be attributed to more than one mechanism. Three of the possible mechanisms include inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis, enhancing the rate of excretion of cholesterol and promoting rapid degradation of cholesterol.
Guggul is typically manufactured in a standardized form that provides a fixed amount of guggulipid, the presumed active ingredients in Guggul. Guggul helps reduce high cholesterol because it lowers harmful LDL (low-density lipoproteins) while elevating the beneficial HDL (high-density lipoproteins). Guggul also has anti-inflammatory activity and reduces the levels of C-reactive proteins. It helps prevent blood platelet aggregation and breaks up blood clots. Thusly, Guggul can be used not only to lower bad cholesterol, but can be used as a preventative against heart disease and stroke.