Role of Guggul Extract in Weight Loss

Guggul is an herbal remedy made from the Commiphora mukul tree, also known as the mukul myrrh tree. The gum resin in the tree has been used for thousands of years in traditional Ayurvdic medicine in India to treat a wide variety of health problems and diseases. If you're trying to lose weight, guggul may offer some specific benefits. Consult your doctor before taking guggul for weight loss or any other medicinal purpose.

Two myrrh trees growing in the desert. (Image: Vladimir Melnik/iStock/Getty Images)

Function

Guggul extract contains a plant sterol called guggulsterone, which appears to offer anti-tumor, anti-angiogenic and cholesterol-lowering actions, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Guggulsterone also seems to influence estrogen, pregnane and progesterone receptors. Guggul is thought to also stimulate thyroid gland function, but little scientific evidence supports this effect, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Effects

Although the exact function of guggul hasn't been proved, the remedy appears to promote weight loss by affecting your thyroid to stimulate metabolism and other key bodily actions, says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In addition to improving weight loss, guggul may also improve your mood. Guggul is especially effective in promoting weight loss when it's taken with phosphate salts, tyrosine and hydroxycitrate, along with exercise, notes the University of Michigan Health System.

Other Uses

Although promoting weight loss is one of the potential uses for guggul, the herbal remedy is more commonly used to treat high cholesterol, says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Guggul may also help to treat diabetes and acne. You could take guggul to lower your triglycerides, treat osteoarthritis or prevent atherosclerosis, notes the University of Michigan Health System. Guggul may possibly help in treating hemorrhoids, urinary tract conditions, rheumatoid arthritis and other types of arthritic conditions, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. No widely accepted or conclusive scientific evidence supports the use of guggul for treating or preventing any medical condition, however.

Dosage

Dosages of guggul extracts are usually measured by the concentration of guggulsterones in the supplement, explains the University of Michigan Health System. A typical dosage of guggul would provide 75 milligrams of guggulsterones per day, divided into three separate doses. Some products recommend a daily dosage of about 100 milligrams, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Ask your physician about the dosage that's right for you before taking any amount of guggul extract to promote weight loss.

Warning

While taking guggul extract, you could experience side effects such as loose stools, nausea and headaches, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Guggul may also cause skin rash, stomach pain and anorexia, warns the University of Michigan Health System. Don't take guggul extract if you have chronic diarrhea, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, or liver disease. Guggul could also interact negatively with certain medications, such as thyroid supplements or drugs and blood-thinners such as aspirin or Coumadin.

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