Garlic Reduces Plasma Cholesterol in Hypercholesterolemic Men Maintaining Habitual Diets
The cholesterol-lowering properties of garlic were determined in this double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled intervention study of free-living hypercholesterolemic men. Seventeen subjects received daily supplementation of aged garlic extract, while the other 17 men took placebos. The mean baseline plasma total cholesterol levels were 246 ± 5 and 243 ± 5 mg/dl for the garlic and placebo groups, respectively. The plasma level of total cholesterol at 5 months after garlic treatment was reduced by 7% (or 18 mg/dl) from the baseline value, while the levels remained unchanged in the placebo group throughout the study. The plasma level of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol also decreased by 17 mg/dl (or 10%) after 5 months of garlic treatment, but there was no significant change of LDL cholesterol level in the placebo group. At 5 months after the treatment, the levels of total cholesterol (228 ± 5 vs. 245 ± 5 mg/dl) and LDL cholesterol (145 i 7 vs. 165 ± 6 mg/dl) were lower in the garlic than in the placebo group. Neither garlic nor placebo altered the plasma levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol and tria-cylglycerol. Garlic treatment did not affect body weight, body mass index, or blood pressure. There was no difference in daily intake of energy and nutrients between the two groups at the beginning and throughout the study. We conclude that daily supplementation of aged garlic extract for 5 months without diet modifications has a mild cholesterol-lowering effect in hypercholesterolemic men.
Key WordsGarlic Cholesterol LDL cholesterol Hypercholesterolemia Coronary heart disease
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