Guggul for Hypercholesterolemia

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


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

In This Article

Mechanism of Action

Several mechanisms have been proposed for the effects of guggul. Guggul may decrease hepatic steroid production, ultimately increasing the catabolism of plasma LDL cholesterol.[3] Alternatively, the proposed active components of guggul, guggulsterones E and Z, may increase hepatic binding sites for LDL cholesterol, thus increasing LDL clearance.[4] Still another possibility is prevention of cholesterol synthesis in the liver by ketonic steroids.[3]

Guggulsterones E and Z act as antagonists at the farnesoid X receptor, allowing more cholesterol catabolism and excretion from the body.[4] This receptor mediates the conversion of cholesterol to bile acids; by antagonizing this receptor, 7α-hydroxylase is released, stimulating cholesterol catabolism.[3,5]


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