Guggul shows promise as a natural defense against prostate cancer, according to a recent study. An herbal remedy extracted from the mukul myrrh tree, guggul has long been used in ayurveda (the traditional medicine of India).
In test-tube research, scientists found that guggul inhibited the growth of human prostate cancer cells. Guggul appears to increase apoptosis (a type of programmed cell death that does not trigger the release of harmful substances into the surrounding area).
To date, few clinical trials have looked at guggul’s potential health benefits. Although it’s often used to curb cholesterol levels in ayurveda, some studies show that guggul may actually raise levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
In past research, several other natural substances (including lycopene, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and green tea) have also been found to offer some degree of protection against prostate cancer.
References^ Guggul (altmedicine.about.com)^ prostate cancer (altmedicine.about.com)^ study (molpharm.aspetjournals.org)^ ayurveda (altmedicine.about.com)^ cholesterol levels (altmedicine.about.com)^ lycopene (altmedicine.about.com)^ vitamin D (altmedicine.about.com)^ omega-3 fatty acids (altmedicine.about.com)^ green tea (altmedicine.about.com)
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