- Supports the cardiovascular system and healthy cholesterol levels.
- Helps maintain overall heart health.
The heart and vascular system is one the largest and most important body systems. Obviously, we need to support the heart in its tireless efforts. Unfortunately, as a nation we are doing a very poor job of keeping our hearts healthy since cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the United States. Some approaches to supporting heart health have unfortunate side effects
Guggul Plus—packed with guggul extract, hawthorne berry, and policosanol—offers a natural option designed to support general heart health and healthy cholesterol levels in particular.
Guggul extract (also known as guggulipid) is a sticky gum resin from the mukul myrrh tree, which is native to India. Guggul was traditionally used with other herbs in the treatment of arthritis pain, digestive disorders, skin diseases, and obesity, to name a few.
More recent studies have shown that guggul extract can lower both "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides (another type of blood fat). "Bad" cholesterol consists of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which are primarily responsible for transporting fats from the liver to the body cells. "Good" cholesterol consists of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which removes fats from the body and returns fats to the liver, therefore removing the risk of cholesterol build up. According to Brian Rees, M.D., author of Heal Yourself, Heal Your World (Manu Publishing), guggul is "probably the most effective known herb for aiding in the reduction of cholesterol."
Guggul's mechanism of action is its ability to increase the liver's metabolism of LDL cholesterol, therefore lowering the amount of LDL cholesterol released from the liver. In addition, guggul has an antioxidant effect on lipoproteins. Other studies also suggest that guggul may prevent the development of a stroke or embolism by inhibiting platelet aggregation (stickiness) and normalizing clotting.
There is also some evidence that guggulipids can support greater comfort in cases of osteoarthritis, as well as healthy weight by supporting the thyroid gland and the basal metabolic rate.
Hawthorne berry provides a number of antioxidants—including bioflavonoids, oligomeric procyanidins, quercitin, etc.—and has numerous beneficial actions on the heart and blood vessels. Hawthorne may improve coronary artery blood flow and the contractions of the heart muscle. In addition, hawthorne has the unique ability to strengthen the heart and stabilize it against arrhythmias. Hawthorne actually lengthens the period following a heartbeat during which the heart cannot beat again.
The bottom line: hawthorne berry beneficial effects are due to improvement in the blood and oxygen supply to the heart. In more recent studies on animals, hawthorne berry has shown also to decrease cholesterol levels.
Policosanol is a natural waxy substance, derived from sugar cane, which includes dozens of carbon alcohols. These alcohols lower levels of cholesterol (the "bad" LDLs) by inhibiting synthesis in the liver. Similar to guggulipid, it also can limit the stickiness of platelets and therefore can be a benefit in reducing the risk the stroke.
Gugulipid appears to influence the bioavailability of medications such as those used for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, possibly by increasing their metabolism. Discuss with your physician your decision to use any herbal product.Guggulipids may interfere with thyroid drug therapy and therefore should consult a physician before use.Guggulipids and policosanol can inhibit platelet aggregation and therefore taking these ingredients with other anti-platelet or anticoagulant drugs might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.Guggulipids are contraindicated for those with acute liver disorders and inflammatory bowel disease.Hawthorne berry might interfere with conventional cardiovascular drug therapy. In rare cases, guggulipids may trigger diarrhea, restlessness, or hiccups; about 1% of users experience a mild skin reaction.
- Singh RB, Niaz MA, Ghosh S. Hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects of Commiphora mukul as an adjunct to dietary therapy in patients with hypercholesterolemia. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 1994; 8:659-64.
- Wang X, Greilberger J, Ledinski G, Kager G, Paigen B, Jurgens G. The hypolipidemic natural product Commiphora mukul and its component guggulsterone inhibit oxidative modification of LDL. Atherosclerosis. 2004 Feb;172(2):239-46
- Singh BB, Mishra LC, Vinjamury SP, Aquilina N, Singh VJ, Shepard N. The effectiveness of Commiphora mukul for osteoarthritis of the knee: an outcomes study. Altern Ther Health Med. 2003 May-Jun;9(3):74-9.
- Zhang Z, Ho WK, Huang Y, James AE, Lam LW, Chen ZY. Hawthorne fruit is hypolipidemic in rabbits fed a high cholesterol diet. J Nutr. 2002 Jan;132(1):5-10.