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News - Multi-Trial Analysis Supports Garlic’s Heart Benefits

By Holly Taylor BSc (Hons) DipCNM MBANT NTCC

Garlic has been used as a food and medicine for thousands of years and has been suggested to exhibit several cardiovascular health benefits including reducing cholesterol and triglycerides; thinning the blood; preventing free radical damage and increasing antioxidant status. Until recently, the trials measuring the effects of garlic have been quite small, but now Chinese scientists have pooled and re-analysed the results from lots of different studies to help give a more in depth understanding of garlic’s health benefits.

To carry out the new study, the researchers identified 26 trials that compared dummy pills with garlic in different forms. When they analysed the results they found that compared with the dummy pill groups, garlic supplements were associated with a 5.4% reduction in cholesterol levels and a 6.5% reduction in triglyceride levels.

Commenting on the potential mechanism, the researchers said that this might be linked to inhibition of certain enzymes that play a role in the absorption of dietary fat and the production of cholesterol.   

Article References

Zang T et al. A meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials for the effects of garlic on serum lipid profiles. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

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