Garlic is Great for Keeping Cholesterol Low

Heart health loves garlic

(RxWiki News) Sometimes it seems like no matter what you do, what lifestyle or diet changes you make, your cholesterol won't drop below 200. It turns out that all that might be missing from your diet is a little (or a lot) more garlic.

A recent examination of data from dozens of clinical trials has bolstered the evidence that garlic can help with management of blood lipid levels. For both cholesterol and triglycerides, garlic was helpful for keeping serum levels of these lipids in a healthy range.

"Dietary garlic, as food or supplement, could lower cholesterol."

A meta-analysis, including the data from 26 randomized, double blind, placebo controlled studies, conducted by Dr. Zeng Tao with the Institute of Toxicology at the Shandong University in Jinan, China, found that garlic is effective as a treatment for hyperlipidemia, or high levels of fat in blood serum.

The effects garlic had on blood serum lipids was limited to cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and did not specifically affect LDL or HLD cholesterol levels. Interestingly, different preparations of garlic had different effects, with dried garlic products affecting mostly cholesterol levels and fresh garlic preparations affecting triglyceride levels more.

All results were dramatically better the longer the patients were including garlic in their treatment plan. Overall,  garlic could be an effective treatment for lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels for patients with a history or risk of cardiovascular disease, especially as a long term strategy.

This information came from a recently completed meta-analysis of clinical trials, and was published in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Science, Food and Agriculture.

No financial conflicts or funding sources were reported.

Review Date: 
January 28, 2012