Garlic’s Cholesterol Value Questioned

Garlic – long touted as a wonder food for treating everything from the common cold to heart ailments – is one of the most popular dietary supplements around.

But a new study published in the February 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine questions one popular notion: that raw garlic and garlic supplements may help lower cholesterol.

The testing at Stanford University Medical School monitored 192 adults between the ages of 30 to 65 who had moderately high levels of “bad” low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Forty-nine participants in the study were randomly assigned to receive raw garlic, 47 to take a powdered garlic supplement, 48 others took an aged garlic supplement, while 48 took a placebo.

The nearly three-year study determined that none of the garlic treatments had a “statistically significant” impact in treating high cholesterol – despite the fact that many garlic supplements are promoted as cholesterol-lowering agents.

However the researchers could not rule out garlic’s effectiveness in treating other ailments.

“The results do not demonstrate that garlic has no usefulness in the prevention of cardiovascular disease,” the authors wrote.

The study reported no serious side effects from giving the study’s subjects intensive doses of garlic, although breath and body odor problems were reported by more than half of the subjects in the raw garlic group.

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