Guggulsterone - the word doesn't exactly roll off your tongue. If you say it fast enough, someone could think you're talking about
gallstones. But guggolsterone is a type of ketosteroid isolated from the resin from Commiphora mukul a plant native to the amid
regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat, which are states in India. In the ancient style of Indian medicine (Ayurveda), it goes by the
name guggulu. Curiously, guggulu may have properties beneficial to high-performance athletes. That is, of course, if you're
interested in having healthy cholesterol levels and increasing your metabolism.
Under the Microscope
Clearly, if you can elevate your metabolism, you could expect to have less bodyfat - even while sitting on your butt. So let me
tell you how guggulu seems to work. Research would indicate that guggulu can stimulate your thyroid gland directly or indirectly
via the pituitary. The two main thyroid hormones are thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3). Under normal conditions, most of
the activity of T4 can be accounted for by its conversion to T3; thus some consider T4 a prohormone. The thyroid hormones affect
nearly all of your body's tissues and, in normal amounts, affect growth and development. Also, thyroid hormone stimulates basal
metabolic rate, or the rate at which your body burns calories. But in excess, it can cause nervousness, irritability, emotional
instability and heat intolerance.
So where does guggulu fit in? Very little research has been done, but some conducted in India demonstrated that taking 4.5 mg
per pound of bodyweight per day of (Z)-guggulsterone for six days can lessen the decrease in T3. In rats with deficient thyroid
activity, guggulu treatment resulted in 62% higher levels of serum thyroxine than in untreated rats. Furthermore, thyroid-deficient
rats treated with guggulu had higher serum thyroxine levels than normal hut untreated rats (no thyroid problems).
Of course, humans aren't rats and most of us don't suffer from hypothyroidism. But guggulu has possibilities beyond metabolic
enhancement. One study from India associates guggulu with certain anti-inflammatory effects.3 One study might not mean much to
the scientific community but it can be meaningful if for nothing else than resulting in more research to support or refute the
original findings. In this case, I feel we need to consider the potential of this study so that you can make up your own minds.
More recent studies indicate guggulu's beneficial role for blood lipid levels. For instance, chronic feeding of rats with guggulu
produced a decrease in serum cholesterol levels.3 In patients with kidney disease who received guggulu orally (75 mg a day for
eight weeks), total cholesterol decreased while HDL-cholesterol levels showed a trend toward an increase.5 In a multi-center clinical
trial conducted in various cities in India, 205 patients consumed 1,500 mg (500 mg three times per day) of guggulu for a period of
eight weeks) Subjects experienced a 6%-27% decrease in serum cholesterol and a 10%-31% decrease in serum triglycerides: Guggulu
demonstrated effects on blood lipids similar to and at times better than the lipid- lowering drug Clofibrate.
How can guggulsterone help bodybuilders? Perhaps the best time to use it would be during a weight-reduction cycle. Let's say you're
trying to get in contest shape or just want to lose weight. What's your No. 1 concern? You don't want to lose muscle mass and lower
your metabolic rate while you lose fat. Since guggulsterone seems to elevate levels of thyroid hormone, and since we know that
dieting can lower your metabolic rate secondary to a drop in thyroid hormone, guggulu may be able to effectively moderate these
Certainly, this could have important implications for body composition, helping you lose more bodyfat. But another benefit could be
that this stuff seems to have a lipid-lowering effect. And although we certainly need more research to confirm original findings,
guggulsterone may have anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Until new research results come in, the evidence seems promising.
Clip Notes on Gugguisterone
: A ketosteroid [4,17(20)-trans-pregriandi-ene-3,16-dione], specifically called (Z)-guggulsterone.
: In the United States, the only product we're aware of at present that contains guggulsterone is Metabolic Thyroline
(brand name). It contains guggulsterone as one ingredient out of many.
: Lipid-lowering agent, thyroid-stimulating, anti-inflammatory.
: Improve blood-lipid profiles for better cardiovascular health; boost metabolic rate, which may result in greater
bodyfat losses; improve recovery of damaged tissue.
Commonly Used Dose
: 500 mg, three times per day.
: Z-guggulsterone has been shown in animals to increase metabolic rate via a stimulatory effect on the thyroid gland.
Human studies have demonstrated lipid-lowering effects [decreases blood cholesterol and triglycerides). There are no known adverse
effects on hematological and biochemical parameters and electrocardiograms.