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Ancient Indian Treatment May be Next Cholesterol Medication

separator For 2,000 years, practitioners in India have been using sap from the guggul tree to make medicines that control weight and treat other ailments. About 40 years ago, an Indian researcher found that the resin was effective in treating heart disease.

The sap contains a compound that blocks the action of a receptor called FXR, which regulates the levels of cholesterol in the body. This is a completely different pathway than the one that statin drugs, the most recent cholesterol medications, act on. Some people suffer side effects from statins, which is why it’s beneficial to have medications that treat cholesterol in different ways.

The guggul tree grows in dry areas in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Its sap is used today in India for medical purposes, including lowering cholesterol. Guggulsterone is the medical name for the resin compound. It’s sold in health food stores, but additional research needs to be done before most healthcare professionals will feel comfortable recommending it to patients.

Sciencexpress, 3 May 2002
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