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
The researchers tested raw garlic and two different garlic supplements on
nearly 200 adults with moderately high levels of LDL ("bad")
After six months, the patients showed no improvements in their average
cholesterol or other blood fats (lipids), no matter what kind of garlic they
"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
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
- 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
- LDL levels ranged from 130-190. Average total cholesterol: about 227.
- Average LDL cholesterol: about 150.
- Average HDL cholesterol: about 55.
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.
The researchers included Stanford University's Christopher Gardner, PhD.
They gave participants sandwiches to eat and pills to take six days per week
for six months.
Participants were split into four groups. One group got sandwiches that
included four to six cloves of crushed raw garlic. They took sham supplements
containing no garlic or other active ingredients (placebo pills).
Another group got garlic-free sandwiches and took Garlicin, a powdered
The third group got garlic-free sandwiches and took Kyolic, an aged garlic
supplement. The fourth group got garlic-free sandwiches and placebo pills.
Extensive tests show that all three forms of garlic contained comparable
amounts of allicin, a compound studied for possible anticholesterol
Participants had their cholesterol checked monthly throughout the six-month