Effect of raw garlic vs commercial garlic supplements on plasma lipid concentrations in adults with moderate hypercholesterolemia: a randomized clinical trial.

Arch Intern Med. 2007 Feb 26;167(4):346-53.  

Gardner CD, Lawson LD, Block E, Chatterjee LM, Kiazand A, Balise RR, Kraemer HC.
Stanford Prevention Research Center and Department of Medicine, Stanford University Medical School, Stanford, Calif 94305, USA. cgardner@stanford.edu 

BACKGROUND: Garlic is widely promoted as a cholesterol-lowering agent, but efficacy studies have produced conflicting results. Garlic supplements differ in bioavailability of key phytochemicals. We evaluated the effect of raw garlic and 2 commonly used garlic supplements on cholesterol concentrations in adults with moderate hypercholesterolemia. METHODS: In this parallel-design trial, 192 adults with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) concentrations of 130 to 190 mg/dL (3.36-4.91 mmol/L) were randomly assigned to 1 of the following 4 treatment arms: raw garlic, powdered garlic supplement, aged garlic extract supplement, or placebo. Garlic product doses equivalent to an average-sized garlic clove were consumed 6 d/wk for 6 months. The primary study outcome was LDL-C concentration. Fasting plasma lipid concentrations were assessed monthly. Extensive chemical characterization of study materials was conducted throughout the trial. RESULTS: Retention was 87% to 90% in all 4 treatment arms, and chemical stability of study materials was high throughout the trial. There were no statistically significant effects of the 3 forms of garlic on LDL-C concentrations. The 6-month mean (SD) changes in LDL-C concentrations were +0.4 (19.3) mg/dL (+0.01 [0.50] mmol/L), +3.2 (17.2) mg/dL (+0.08 [0.44] mmol/L), +0.2 (17.8) mg/dL (+0.005 [0.46] mmol/L), and -3.9 (16.5) mg/dL (-0.10 [0.43] mmol/L) for raw garlic, powdered supplement, aged extract supplement, and placebo, respectively. There were no statistically significant effects on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride levels, or total cholesterol-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio. CONCLUSIONS: None of the forms of garlic used in this study, including raw garlic, when given at an approximate dose of a 4-g clove per day, 6 d/wk for 6 months, had statistically or clinically significant effects on LDL-C or other plasma lipid concentrations in adults with moderate hypercholesterolemia.