An herbal extract used in parts of Asia and gaining popularity in Western countries against high cholesterol didn't show promise in a U.S. trial. Recent laboratory studies in the United States and research on obese people in India had led some scientists to expect a beneficial effect from guggul extract, which is derived from the resin of the mukul myrrh tree (Commiphora mukul).
But volunteers with high cholesterol who received guggul extract pills for 8 weeks experienced an increase in their low-density lipoprotein cholesterol compared with volunteers who got placebo pills. Six of 67 volunteers taking guggul extract rapidly developed skin rashes, which subsided after they stopped the treatment.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.