Guggul for Hypercholesterolemia

Kelly M. Shields, Pharm.D., Michael P. Moranville, Pharm.D. degree candidate

Disclosures

American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. 2005;62(10):1012-1014. 

In This Article

Introduction

The mukul myrrh tree ( Commiphora mukul ), a native of India, secretes the substance guggul (also known as guggulu or guggulipid) when its bark is injured. Guggul has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to treat arthritis and obesity. Guggul extracts were first used in Asia to help manage cholesterol levels and are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. It is believed that guggul can reduce total cholesterol, low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides.

The use of cholesterol-lowering agents has increased rapidly, reflecting changes in cholesterol management guidelines and general health trends in American patients. A recent decision by the British government to make a low-dose (10-mg) version of simvastatin available without a prescription has launched additional conversation about the role of nonprescription products in the management of blood cholesterol in the United States. The high cost of the prescription medications may drive patients to seek alternative agents like guggul.

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