Results of a study published in the August 13, 2003, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the herbal remedy gugulipid raised cholesterol levels instead of lowering them as advertised. Gugulipid, derived from the mukul myrrh tree, is used in India to relieve heart symptoms.
After 8 weeks of taking the remedy known as guggul, adults who took the strongest dose of 6000 mg daily had an average 5% increase in low-density lipoprotein. In addition, a small number of participants developed a rash, University of Pennsylvania researcher Philippe Szapary, MD, reported in the journal.
Officials of the Sabinsa Corp, the NJ-based company that makes gugulipid (the supplement used in the study and advertised as a cholesterol fighter), said that the study?s results were incomplete. In a statement, the company stated that the study did not examine the impact on indicators such as triglycerides and C-reactive proteins.