Garlic Reduces Plasma Cholesterol in Hypercholesterolemic Men Maintaining Habitual Diets

  • Yu-Yan Yeh
  • Robert I. Lin
  • Shaw-Mei Yeh
  • Shelley Evans


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 Words

Garlic Cholesterol LDL cholesterol Hypercholesterolemia Coronary heart disease 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Mei X, Lin X, Liu J, Lin X, Song P, Hu J, Liang X (1989) The blocking of garlic on the formation of N-nitrosoproline in humans. Acta Nutr Sin 11:141–145Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Buiatti E, Palli D, Blanchi S, Decarli A, Amadori D, Avellini C, Cipriani F, Cocco P, Giacosa A, Lorenzini L, Marubini E, Puntoni R, Saragoni A, Fraumeni J Jr, Blot WJ (1991) A case-control study of gastric cancer and diet in Italy. III, Risk patterns by histologic type. Int J Cancer 48:369–374PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Steinmetz KA, Kushi LH, Bostick RM, Folsom AR, Potter JD (1994) Vegetables, fruit and colon cancer in the Iowa Women’s Health Study. Am J Epidemiol 39:1–15Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Zheng W, Blot WJ, Shu XO, Gao YT, Ji B-T, Ziegler RG, Fraumeni F Jr (1992) Diet and other risk factors for laryngeal cancer in Shanghai, China. Am J Epidemiol 136:178–191PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sumiyoshi H, Wargovich M (1990) Chemoprevention of 1,2-dim-ethylhydrazine-induced colon cancer in mice by naturally occurring organosulfur compounds. Cancer Res 50:5084–5087PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lin XY, Liu JZ, Milner JA (1994) Dietary garlic suppresses DNA adducts caused by N-nitroso compounds. Carcinogenesis (Oxf) 15:349–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Liu J, Lin RI, Milner JA (1992) Inhibition of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced mammary tumors and DNA adducts by garlic powder. Carcinogenesis (Oxf) 13:1847–1851CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Amagase H, Milner JA (1993) Impact of various sources of garlic and their constituents on 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene binding to mammary cell DNA. Carcinogenesis (Oxf) 14:1627–1631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lau BHS, Yamasaki T, Gridley DS (1991) Garlic compounds modulate macrophage and T-lymphocyte functions. Mol Biother 3:103–107PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tadi PP, Teel RW, Lau BHS (1990) Anticandidal and anticarcinogenic potentials of garlic. Int Clin Nutr Rev 10:423–429Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Yamasaki T, Li L, Lau B (1994) Garlic compounds protect vascular endothelial cells from hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidant injury. Phytother Res 8:408–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Moriguchi T, Takashina K, Chu P-J, Saito H, Nishiyama N (1994) Prolongation of life span and improved learning in the senescence accelerated mouse produced by aged garlic extract. Biol Pharm Bull 17:1589–1594PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Warshafsky S, Kamer RS, Sivak SL (1993) Effect of garlic on total serum cholesterol. A meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med 119:599–605PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Silagy C, Neil A (1994) Garlic as a lipid lowering agent—a metaanalysis. J R Coll Physicians Lond 28:39–45PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bordia A (1981) Effect of garlic on blood lipids in patients with coronary heart disease. Am J Clin Nutr 34:2100–2103PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lau BHS, Sam F, Wang-Cheng R (1987) Effect of an odor-modified garlic preparation on blood lipids. Nutr Res 7:139–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Zimmerman W, Zimmerman B (1990) Reduction in elevated blood lipids in hospitalized patients by a standardized garlic preparation. Br J Clin Pract 44:20–23Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Jain AK, Vargas R, Gotzkowsky S, McMahon FG (1993) Can garlic reduce levels of serum lipids? A controlled clinical study. Am J Med 94:632–635PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Vorberg G, Schneider B (1990) Therapy with garlic: results of a placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Br J Clin Pract 44:7–11Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ernst E (1987) Cardiovascular effects of garlic (Allium sativum): a review. Pharmatherapeutica 5:83–89PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Silagy C, Neil W (1994) A meta-analysis of the effect of garlic on blood pressure. J Hypertens 12:463–468PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bordia A (1978) Effect of garlic on human platelet aggregation in vitro. Atherosclerosis 30:355–360PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Arora RC, Arora S, Gupta RK (1981) The long-term use of garlic in ischemic heart disease—an appraisal. Atherosclerosis 40:175–179PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Block E (1985) The chemistry of garlic and onions: a number of curious sulfur compounds underlie the odor of garlic and the crying brought on by slicing an onion. The compounds also account for medical properties long ascribed to garlic and onions. Sci Am 252:114–119PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Yeh Y-Y, Yeh S-M (1994) Garlic reduces plasma lipids by inhibiting hepatic cholesterol and tricylglycerol synthesis. Lipids 29:189–193PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Chi MS, Koh ET, Stewart TJ (1982) Effects of garlic on lipid metabolism in rats fed cholesterol or lard. J Nutr 112:241–248PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Weinberg DS, Manier ML, Richardson MD, Haiback FG (1993) Identification and quantification of organosulfur compliance markers in a garlic extract. J Agric Food Chem 41:37–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Bucolo G, David H (1973) Quantitative determination of serum triglycerides by the use of enzymes. Clin Chem 19:476–482PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Allain CC, Poon LC, Chan CSG, Richmond W, Fu PC (1974) Enzymatic determination of total serum cholesterol. Clin Chem 20:470–475PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Warnick GR, Benderson J, Albers JJ (1983) Dextran sulfate-Mg2+ precipitation procedure for quantitation of high-density-lipopro-tein cholesterol. Clin Chem 28:1379–1388Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Friedewald WT, Levy RI, Fredrickson DS (1972) Estimation of the concentration of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in plasma, without use of the preparative ultracentrifuge. Clin Chem 18:499–502PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Manual of Laboratory Operations (1974) Lipid and lipoprotein analysis. Lipid Research Clinics Program, vol 1 DHEW Publication NIH 75–628, National Institutes of Health, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    SAS Institute Inc. (1985) SAS users guide: statistics version, 5th edn. SAS Institute, Cary, NCGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Snedecor GW, Cochran WG (1967) Statistical methods, 6th edn. Iowa State University Press, Ames, IAGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Grundy SM (1986) Cholesterol and coronary heart disease. A new era. JAMA 256:2849–2859CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Spady DK, Dietschy JM (1988) Interaction of dietary cholesterol and triglycerides in the regulation of hepatic low density lipoprotein transport in the hamster. J Clin Invest 81:300–309PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Dietschy JM, Woollett LA, Spady DK (1993) The interaction of dietary cholesterol and specific fatty acids in the regulation of LDL receptor activity and plasma LDL-cholesterol concentrations. Ann NY Acad Sci 676:11–26PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu-Yan Yeh
    • 1
  • Robert I. Lin
    • 2
  • Shaw-Mei Yeh
    • 1
  • Shelley Evans
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NutritionThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Nutrition International Co.IrvineUSA

Personalised recommendations