Garlic Meta-Analysis Supports Heart Benefit

February 6, 2012

Researchers from Shandong University looked at 26 studies on human subjects and garlic (Allium sativum) consumption.

A meta-analysis on garlic and heart health has linked consumption of the onion relative to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Researchers from Shandong University looked at 26 studies on human subjects and garlic (Allium sativum) consumption. Compared to placebo, consumption of garlic provided total cholesterol reduction by 0.28 mmol/L and triglyceride reduction by 0.13 mmol/L. Garlic use did not significantly affect LDL or HDL cholesterol compared to placebo.

Garlic supplementation used in the various studies included garlic oil, garlic powder, and aged garlic extract. Subjects who consumed garlic for longer periods or who had higher cholesterol levels at the beginnings of trials tended to see better results.

“Although the size of the effect is modest, garlic therapy should benefit patients with risk of cardiovascular diseases, as garlic may also reduce blood pressure, decrease plasma viscosity, etc.,” wrote the authors of the meta-analysis. “Future studies should be conducted to illustrate the active compounds in garlic responsible for the hypolipidemic effects, to explore the influence of gender on garlic’s effects, and to compare the efficiency between garlic and regular lipid-lowering drugs such as statins and fibrates.”

The meta-analysis included 22 studies on both men and women and four studies on men only. Eight studies were reported as being at least partly funded by industry.