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Guggul extract

Whatever you do, don't confuse it for a popular Internet search engine.

Now, you may use said search engine to find information on guggul, but more than likely you will find many websites trying to sell you diet products containing the popular extract. It only makes sense, of course, to tout the important ingredients in the products you sell, but when you research what goes into your body to help you burn fat and stay fit, it is important to pay attention to research, not so much hype.

What is Guggul?

In its extracted form, guggul is a type of resin or oil that comes largely from the Commiphora mukul tree. This tree is a thorny, shrub-like plant indigenous to India, where the very versatile tree gum is harvested for a variety of medicinal uses. The tree that yields guggul extract is a close relative to the myrrh, also known in the East for its healing properties.

Taken internally, guggul is used as a holistic treatment for lowering cholesterol levels. This is because guggul is rich in compounds called guggulsterones, from the ketone group of steroids, which have been known to be effective in this respect. Guggulsterones are also believed to lower triglyceride levels in people as well as affect how the thyroid works.

How does Guggul aid in weight loss?

Have you ever met somebody with a weight problem who claimed to have an underactive thyroid? More than likely it is not just an excuse, as some weight problems can be attributed to having an abnormal thyroid. The thyroid is the gland located beneath the larynx (voice box). This gland secretes the hormones that regulate metabolism and growth. An abnormal thyroid which produces less of this hormone may cause a person to suffer from low metabolism. This condition is known as hypothyroidism, and in turn, may be responsible for weight gain.

Medications are available to regulate the thyroid and combat a sluggish metabolism. In various diet supplements, the extract of guggul is used as a stimulant to the thyroid, allowing it to increase this hormone production and speed up the metabolism. The idea is that more energy is expended, more calories are burned, and hopefully weight is lost.

Use of the guggul extract, however, is not without its side effects. People who use diet supplements containing guggul may experience normal weight loss, while other might endure diarrhea, nausea, and/or indigestion. It is always a good idea to consult a physician before taking any kind of weight loss supplement, especially if you are not certain how the ingredients will affect you.

Can guggul help you lose weight? It is possible guggul's effect on the thyroid might be positive in terms of increasing metabolism. However, the body may also experience negative reactions with intake. Always approach such holistic treatments with caution, that you may lose weight smartly and safely.

Kat Lively is a freelance health writer specializing in articles on weight loss surgery and Virginia Beach clinics.

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