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

Discussion

Studies of the efficacy of guggul for hypercholesterolemia have produced conflicting results. Information currently available indicates that guggul may be effective for lowering total cholesterol and triglycerides in patients on a non-Western diet. The one study involving a typical American diet did not show any benefits; in fact, patients taking guggul had slight increases in LDL cholesterol. The effectiveness of guggul, if any, may depend on dietary practices.

Although most adverse effects have not been serious, the one reported case of rhabdomyolysis raises concern, especially if guggul is used in conjunction with other lipid-lowering therapies. Also, since hypercholesterolemia is a chronic disease, the long-term effects of guggul should be assessed. Until more is known, patients electing to use guggul should be closely monitored and counseled about the need for dietary modifications and exercise.

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