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Several herbs are used for lowering high blood cholesterol levels in traditional medicines including Indian Medicine (Ayurveda). We aimed to assess the short-term effects of the combination of Guggulu (Commiphora mukul) and Triphala (Terminalia chebula, Terminalia belerica, and Phyllanthus emblica) on serum cholesterol in healthy subjects with hypercholesterolaemia. This was a parallel randomised double-blind controlled trial that included 90 individuals at low-moderate cardiovascular risk. The main outcome measures were serum levels of total and low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, HDL-C). Secondary outcome measures included BMI, waist circumference, and adverse events. Subjects were administered either Guggulu and Triphala or placebo three times daily for 3 months, with 3 months of follow-up after the end of treatment. At intention-to-treat analysis, from baseline to 3 months, total serum cholesterol decreased by 1.9% in the placebo (n = 44) and 3.3% (p = 0.01) in the intervention (n = 46) group. Serum LDL-C decreased by 4.9% (p = 0.03) and 4.8% (p = 0.02) in the placebo and intervention group, respectively, without differences between them. Two participants in the intervention group developed hypersensitivity rash (4.3%) as compared with none in the placebo group. Three months of treatment with Guggulu and Triphala did not show better effects than placebo on serum levels of total and LDL cholesterol, BMI, and waist circumference. © 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel.


Francesco Donato, Elena Raffetti, Giuseppe Toninelli, Andrea Festa, Carmelo Scarcella, Maurizio Castellano, TRIGU Project Working Group. Guggulu and Triphala for the Treatment of Hypercholesterolaemia: A Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Randomised Trial. Complementary medicine research. 2021;28(3):216-225

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PMID: 33242870

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