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December 3, 2003

Guggulipid and Cholesterol LevelsGuggulipid and Cholesterol Levels

JAMA. 2003;290(21):2800. doi:10.1001/jama.290.21.2800-a

To the Editor: Dr Szapary and colleagues1 studied guggulipid for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia. Such modern scientific methods may not be compatible with the use of such ancient agents.

The use of guggul resin has been part of a well-developed holistic Indian system of medicine called Ayurveda. It has been in practice in India for between 6000 and 10 000 years, and was later codified in many texts such as Charaka Samhita.2 Ancient Ayurvedic physicians did not treat isolated symptoms such as hypercholesterolemia, but rather the patient as a whole. Each patient is identified with a certain constitutional combination with specific imbalances in fundamental principles. The treatment is tailored to each individual with individual dietary recommendations and specific exercises (eg, yoga postures) to achieve the desired effect.

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