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Lower Your Cholesterol Nutrition Database Nutrition Dictionary: A Comprehensive Source of Nutritional Terms Fat Information Database Lower Your Cholesterol

Lower Your Cholesterol

Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally
Bob Myhal

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 medication.

Here's the details of the study directly from the Baylor College of Medicine:

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 Science.

"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 reduction.

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. recommends:

Guggulbolic from Syntrax Innovations
An affordable and effective product with 30mg guggulsterones per serving

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