Don’t rely on garlic to lower high cholesterol

Several studies suggest that garlic has beneficial effects on risk factors associated with heart disease. even gives it a “B” rating (good scientific evidence for this use) based on studies lasting up to 12 weeks.

Others are not impressed.
Most recently, overweight adults who smoked at least 10 cigarettes per day took garlic powder (2.1 grams per day), the statin atorvastatin (Lipitor; 40 mg per day), or placebo.

As expected, atorvastatin lowered blood levels of C-reactive protein, total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, triglycerides, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha).

Powdered garlic and placebo had no effect.

This isn’t new. Several other studies have reported the same results with garlic products, here, here, and here.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has a good review. Garlic might be good for some things, but long-term reduction in cholesterol levels is not one of them based on available studies.

12/15/06 22:27 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.