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Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally
Have you heard the news? It's been all over the media. It seems a
new study out of the Baylor College of Medicine has confirmed what
I've been saying for a couple years now: herbal guggul extracts
which have been used for centuries in India can indeed play a
significant role in helping to reduce cholesterol levels.
Guggulsterones have been recognized and used in India for decades
as a cholesterol lowering herb. Now Western science seems to be
catching up with Eastern wisdom.
Tests performed at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston show
that extracts from the resin or sap of the guggul tree appear to
lower cholesterol by targeting a receptor in the liver's cells
called the Farnesoid X Receptor or FXR. This is potentially great
news for those who are concerned with their cholesterol levels and
are interested in a natural alternative to prescription
Here's the details of the study directly from the Baylor College
Natural Cholesterol Fighter Shows the Way
HOUSTON-- (May 2, 2002)--Baylor College of Medicine scientists
studying a natural product used in Indian traditional medicine for
more than 2,500 years have unlocked the secret to its
cholesterol-lowering success and possibly opened the door to
production of more potent medicines.
Dr. David D. Moore, a professor in the department of molecular and
cellular biology, and fourth-year Ph.D. student Nancy L. Urizar
discovered that an extract of the resin of the guggul tree,
approved as a cholesterol-fighter in India, actually targets the
Farnesoid X Receptor (FXR). FXR is involved in regulation of the
cholesterol by monitoring levels of bile acids, which are produced
from cholesterol and released by the liver.
Working with Dr. David Mangelsdorf and Amy Liverman at the
University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and Dr.
Rich Heyman and colleagues at X-Ceptor Therapeutics in San Diego,
the researchers demonstrated that the steroid guggulsterone, which
is the active agent in the extract, blocks the activity of FXR.
Study results are reported in this week's issue of the journal
"It really does lower cholesterol in a number of clinical studies
in the Indian literature," said Moore. The only report in the
western medical literature combined the extract, called guggulipid,
with a cholesterol-lowering diet that reduced cholesterol 10
percent. The addition of guggulipid added another 10 percent
This study identifies FXR as a target for companies developing
drugs to affect cholesterol metabolism, he said. He and Urizar want
to study guggulsterone further to determine the biochemical reasons
for the cholesterol-lowering effect, what genes are involved and
how they affect the cell.
Guggulipid is available in health food stores in the United
States. Other claims for guggulipid are that it increases
metabolism, resulting in weight loss."While we have seen promising
results concerning the drug's cholesterol-reducing ability, there
is a lot out there . . . that we can't support," said Urizar.
While guggulsterones are certainly not a magic pill, and are no
substitute for a healthy and fit lifestyle, it seems they can play
a role in naturally controlling cholesterol levels. And that, my
friends, is very good news.
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