Google Guggul!

A few days ago I decided to check the expiration dates of all my supplements. At the top of the gonna-expire-soon list was gugulipid, which I began taking a few days ago. What is it? Well, I’ve written about it, so one thing you can do is do a search of my blog (using my “Search” box on the right) for the word “guggulsterone”…And you can also read this quickie:

Guggul (not Google! 🙂 ) is the common word for a tree called Commiphora mukul, which grows in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It produces a resinous sap that has been used forever in Indian traditional medicine (Ayurveda) to treat a variety of ailments, from obesity to atherosclerosis and osteoarthritis. Haven’t I heard that story before? Hmmm. At any rate, in modern times this sap has been processed and purified, and its active constituents have been isolated, extracted and encapsulated. 

Now, why am I writing about it today? Because when I found that gugulipid bottle in my cabinet, I decided to check PubMed to see if there was a more recent something-or-other on it. And, tada!, I found a study on guggulsterones, STAT3 and myeloma cells that was published in 2008: Verrrrrry exciting!

Since the full study is available for free online, I don’t have to give you an indigestion of details. So, in a nutshell, guggulsterone suppressed the super-hyperactive transcription factor known as STAT3 (both constitutive and IL-6-induced) and also had a similar effect on all the gene products that help myeloma cells survive and proliferate…(By now we are familiar with all of them…from the Bcl family to VEGF…I’ve written posts on ‘em all…) 

Well, what happened? As a result of all this inhibiting, the myeloma cells simply gave up and died. Need I say more? 😀

Let’s skip through all the technical bits (it’s Sunday, after all!) and go directly to the Discussion section, which reminded me that guggulsterone also strongly inhibits NF-kappaB activation. Absolutely glorious. Yes, glorious…

Now, I wanted to mention that I’d planned to write this post yesterday. But yesterday morning I woke up with a horrific headache, which didn’t respond to Tylenol and kept me in bed for a good part of the afternoon, surrounded by my faithful furry nurses (cats love it when you’re in bed with them). At first, I thought the headache might have been brought on by the guggulsterones, but, on reflection, I don’t think that makes much sense. Headaches, as far as I know, are not listed as possible side effects. Just to be safe, though, I didn’t take any gugulipid yesterday. I waited until this morning. So far, so good. Must have been a fluke. So my experiment continues…And, by the way, I also read that guggulsterone might lower C-reactive protein levels: that would be excellent. We’ll see…

NOTES. In my June 7 2007 post (check my “Page” on guggulsterone, on the right, scroll way down), I discussed a study showing that guggulsterone has a strong effect against a variety of cancer cells, including multiple myeloma. Among other things, it inhibited the proliferation of dexamethasone-resistant myeloma cells, aha!!!:

Guggulsterones are synergistic with bortezomib (=Velcade) in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells:

And they reverse chemo drug resistance in MCF-7 cells (= breast cancer cell line):

A few words of caution. As for possible side effects, you can check out this, for starters: 

If you’re taking any sort of thyroid meds, please check with your doctor/do your research before even thinking of taking guggulsterone…Be careful also if you’re taking statins, since guggulsterone might possibly interfere with them…Goes without saying that one must always be super careful when on chemotherapy… 

Okay, it’s lunchtime…then I’ve planned a lazy afternoon watching movies in bed with my cats…Purrfect!

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