Garlic maybe not so useful in Hypercholesterolemia after all?
A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine has investigated the effect of raw garlic and two garlic supplements on cholesterol concentrations in adults with moderate hypercholesterolaemia.
The trial involved 192 adults with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) concentrations of 3.36-4.91 mmol/L who were randomised to receive one of the following: raw garlic, powdered garlic supplement, aged garlic extract supplement, or placebo (the garlic supplement doses were equivalent to 1 average-sized garlic clove). The products were consumed 6 days a week for 6 months. The primary outcome measure was of LDL-C concentrations at 6 months.
The researchers reported that the 6-month mean (SD) changes in LDL-C concentrations were +0.01 [0.50] mmol/L for raw garlic, +0.08 [0.44] mmol/L for the powdered supplement, +0.005 [0.46] mmol/L for the extract supplement and –0.10 [0.43] mmol/L for placebo (all p = not significant). Additionally, there were no statistically significant effects on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride levels, or total cholesterol–high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio.
The researchers concluded that none of the forms of garlic used in this study provided a statistically or clinically significant effect on LDL-C or other plasma lipid concentrations in adults with moderate hypercholesterolemia.
In a related editorial, the author comments that although the researchers of the study demonstrate that raw garlic and 2 popularly used supplements do not reduce LDL-C more than 0.26 mmol/L when used for 6 months vs. placebo for 6 months, the results do not demonstrate that garlic has no usefulness in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Effect of raw garlic vs commercial garlic supplements on plasma lipid concentrations in adults with moderate hypercholesterolemia: a randomized clinical trial. Arch Intern Med 2007; 167: 346-53 (link to abstract); Arch Intern Med 2007; 167: 325-6 (editorial, link to extract)
BBC News report