Garlic May Not Lower Cholesterol
Study Shows No Improvement in Cholesterol Levels From Raw Garlic or Garlic Supplements
WebMD News Archive
Feb. 26, 2007 -- Garlic may not improve the cholesterol profiles of people with moderately high levels of "bad" cholesterol, a new study shows.
The researchers tested raw garlic and two different garlic supplements on nearly 200 adults with moderately high levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol.
After six months, the patients showed no improvements in their average cholesterol or other blood fats (lipids), no matter what kind of garlic they had consumed.
"Garlic supplements or dietary garlic in reasonable doses are unlikely to produce lipid benefits" in people with moderately high LDL cholesterol levels, write the researchers.
But "the jury is still out" about whether garlic prevents heart disease, states an editorial published with the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Too Much 'Bad' Cholesterol
Poor cholesterol levels are among the risk factors for heart disease.
Cholesterol is measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Here are the optimal levels of cholesterol, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute:
- Total cholesterol should be below 200 mg/dL.
- LDL ("bad") cholesterol should be below 100
- HDL ("good") should be 60 or higher
The 192 people who took part in the garlic study had less-than-ideal cholesterol profiles:
None had heart disease or diabetes. They didn't smoke and weren't taking any drugs to treat cholesterol or blood pressure.
Don't know your cholesterol level? A simple blood test can show you where you rank. Diet, exercise, and medications can help control cholesterol.