Study Finds No Lipid Benefit to Garlic Supplements

Garlic may have other medicinal properties, but doesn't appear to lower cholesterol

MONDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Neither raw garlic nor garlic supplements have a statistically significant effect on serum cholesterol levels, according to a report published in the Feb. 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Christopher Gardner, Ph.D., of Stanford University Medical School in Stanford, Calif., and colleagues studied the effect of raw garlic and two garlic formulations on total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoproteins, and low-density lipoproteins in 192 adults with moderate hypercholesterolemia (LDL-C; 130-190 mg/dL) over a six-month period.

Subjects were divided into four treatment arms: raw garlic, powdered garlic supplement, aged garlic extract supplement, or placebo. The first three groups received the equivalent of a single clove of garlic per day. There were no statistically significant changes in any measured lipid value over six months in any of the treatment arms. Net change in LDL-C levels at six months for the four groups were 0.4, 3.2, 0.2, and -3.9 mg/dL, respectively.

"Based on our results and those of other recent trials, physicians can advise patients with moderately elevated LDL-C concentrations that garlic supplements or dietary garlic in reasonable doses are unlikely to produce lipid benefits," the authors conclude.

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