Guggulsterone

I have put the most recent information first. For older posts, scroll down.

January 30 2012 post. Yesterday I forgot to give proper mention to a 2006 “Clinical Cancer Research” study showing that guggulsterone also inhibits osteoclastogenesis, which is, in very simple terms, the process of bone destruction that has such terrible consequences in multiple myeloma…So the fact that guggulsterone inhibits this process could be super important…

I wrote about this study in my June 8 2007 post, but now that I’m actually taking this supplement, I thought I would re-read it: http://goo.gl/MypXc And it reminded me that Ayurvedic medicine has used guggulsterone (well, the gum resin, rather) to treat bone fractures and osteoarthritis. So my hope right now is that the fabulous guggul extract has a preventive effect on bone resorption.

That would be very nice indeed!

January 29 2012 post. 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: http://goo.gl/gCh1L 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? :D

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!!!: http://goo.gl/s6DS9

Guggulsterones are synergistic with bortezomib (=Velcade) in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells: http://goo.gl/RqzgW

And they reverse chemo drug resistance in MCF-7 cells (= breast cancer cell line): http://goo.gl/BBOH8

A few words of caution. As for possible side effects, you can check out this, for starters: http://goo.gl/7Qcta

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…

June 7 2007 post. An MD Anderson research team has just published a study on this remarkable sap extract, see the June 2007 issue of Biochemical Pharmacology (the abstract can be read at: http://tinyurl.com/38jlon). Thanks to a close MM Italian friend, I was able to read the full study. Guggulsterone is a plant polyphenol obtained from the gum resin of the Commiphora mukul tree (more familiarly known as the guggul tree, don’t you love that name? My original post title was Google Guggul ! ;-) ). As with many other substances on my research list, this is not a new discovery. Guggulsterone has been used by Chinese and Ayurveda (ancient Indian healthcare system) medicine for centuries to treat a variety of disorders, including obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, atherosclerosis, and osteoarthritis

The study ends as follows: Guggulsterone inhibited the proliferation of human leukemia, head and neck carcinoma, multiple myeloma, lung carcinoma, melanoma, breast carcinoma, and ovarian cancer cell lines in a dose-dependent manner. It also blocked the proliferation of dexamethasone-resistant MM1 cells and doxorubicin-resistant breast cancer cells, and inhibited the villainous COX-2. There is more good news.

The study also indicates that, because of lack of any known toxicity, guggulsterone should be further explored for its anticancer potential. Whether the concentrations used in our studies can be achieved in vivo, is unclear at present. […] Overall, our results indicate that guggulsterone inhibits the growth of wide variety of cells and induces apoptosis through downregulation of antiapoptotic gene products, modulation of cell cycle proteins, activation of caspases, inhibition of Akt and activation of JNK. As usual, the big problems are bioavailability and dosage, and, of course, testing in clinical trials.

A 2004 study (MD Anderson, again!) shows that guggulsterone suppresses NF-kB and NF-kB-regulated gene products, which may explain its anti-inflammatory activities. See: http://tinyurl.com/2w4buj And remember my post on curcumin, osteoclasts and bone resorption? Well, a 2006 study (http://tinyurl.com/2oa8zk) by the fabulous MD Anderson researchers confirms that guggulsterone is another substance that suppresses RANKL and tumor cell €”induced osteoclastogenesis by suppressing the activation of NF-kB. Ayurvedic medicine, by the way, has used guggulsterone for centuries to treat bone fractures and ostheoarthritis. So it comes as no surprise that this particular study shows that guggulsterone suppressed osteoclastogenesis induced by MM.

So, let’s see: here we have a non toxic substance that has been used in traditional medicine for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years and that has been shown to work against MM, osteoclastogenesis, COX-2, NF-kB, etc. Well, it certainly doesn’t take a genius to figure out that more research needs to be conducted on this and many other non toxic substances.

Let’s get the research ball rolling!

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