Think Muscle - Bodybuilding and Fitness

Supplement Update: Guggulipid

By Rehan Jalali

To begin the discussion about guggulipid, we must first talk about thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones are very important for normal growth and development. Thyroid hormones maintain metabolic stability by regulating oxygen requirements, body weight, and intermediary metabolism (1). Thyroid hormones have effects in almost all tissues of the body. Thyroid hormones exert effects on thermogenesis and temperature regulation. This can explain some of the effects they have on energy metabolism. Thyroid hormones can actually stimulate protein synthesis, which is a big plus for bodybuilders and other athletes. Thyroid hormones have also been implicated in lowering cholesterol. Now let’s get to the most important effect of thyroid hormone on athletes. Thyroid hormones can enhance lipolysis (fat burning) in adipose (fat) tissue. More lipolysis… more fat loss. Capish!

The two main thyroid hormones that have any relevance are T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (3,5,3’ triiodothyronine). T4 is also inactive thyroid while T3 is active thyroid. T4 can convert into T3 in the liver by the enzyme 5’ deiodinase, which in turn can help maintain a healthy metabolism and cause fat loss to occur. Okay, let’s move on and talk about the benefits of Guggulipid.

Guggulipid (also known as Guggulsterones) has been around for hundreds of years in ayruvedic medicine. Ayruvedic medicine is a naturalistic approach to medicine that has been practiced in India for centuries. There have been several research studies done on this herb showing very positive benefits. Keep reading, the interesting part is coming up! One study entitled Clinical Trials On Guggulipid: A Hypolipidaemic Agent published in The Journal of Association of Physicians in India in 1989 (2) showed that guggulipid had a very strong effect in decreasing triglycerides (fats) as well as LDL (bad cholesterol) levels while increasing HDL (good cholesterol) levels in human subjects. It has these functional effects because it may cause an increase in thyroid hormone levels (both T4 and T3). There are several other studies that have shown similar effects of guggulipid as a fat reducing compound (3,4). Another use for guggulipid seems to be in the treatment of joint inflammation and helping to decrease joint discomfort (5). This natural compound has also been shown to be very safe and completely non-toxic in humans. This is all very good news for athletes. When choosing a guggulipid product, make sure it is a standardized guggulsterone of type E and Z from the plant commiphora mukul. Based on the research behind this supplement and the "real world" results I have seen, this supplement is a must for any athlete trying to lose bodyfat. An efficacious dose is 25 mg guggulsterones 3-4 times daily.

References Cited

  1. Griffin J, Ojeda S. Textbook of endocrine physiology, 3rd ed. New York : Oxford University Press, 1996.
  2. S. Nityanand, et al., "Clinical Trials with gugulipid. A new hypolipidaemic agent," J Assoc Physicians India 37.5 (1989): 323-328.
  3. K Gopal, et al., "Clinical trial of ethyl acetate extract of gum gugulu (gugulipid) in primary hyperlipidemia," J Assoc Physicians India 34.4 (1986): 249-251.
  4. R. Agarwal, et al., " Clinical trials of gugulipid—a new hypolipidemic agent of plant origin in primary hyperlipidemia," Indian J Med Res 84 (1986): 626-634.
  5. J Sharma, et al., "Comparison of the anti-inflammatory activity of Commiphora mukul with those of phenylbutazone and ibuprofen in experimental arthritis by mycobacterial adjuvant, " Arzneimittelforschung 27.7 (1977) : 1455-1457.