An Ancient Herbal Medicine with Modern Medical Applications

Guggul Inhibits Prostate Cancer Cells

Lab research shows guggul blocks prostate cancer growth.

In one lab study, treatment with guggul significantly inhibited the viability of androgen-dependent and hormone-independent human prostate cancer cell lines. It did this by activating pathways that induced cancer cell death as well as inhibiting androgen hormone receptor activity. The biologically active constituents of guggul, guggulsterones, regulated only the cancerous cells and caused no harm to the normal cells.36-37

In other lab and animal studies the two forms of guggulsterone (Z and E-guggulsterone) were shown to inhibit formation of new blood vessels, blocked the ability of human prostate cancer cells to migrate, and also supported the lab results which demonstrated guggul inhibited cancer cell proliferation. This research also revealed additional anti-cancer mechanisms for guggulsterones: by suppressing the secretion of growth factors, guggul deters angiogenesis, tumor growth, and the spread of tumor cells.38

However, it should be noted that these were not human clinical trials. Since guggul is similar to the sex hormone estrogen, some experts suggest that in the body it may exacerbate certain hormone-sensitive carcinomas such as prostate cancer. They urge patients with these types of conditions to exercise caution in using guggul until further human research is done.39

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The technical term for this process is angiogenesis.