Cholesterol/LipidsGarlicProf. Ernst

Garlic doesn’t lower cholesterol blood levels

“The available evidence from randomized controlled trials does not demonstrate any beneficial effects of garlic on serum cholesterol,” according to researchers from the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur.

I think there’s a consensus brewing.

First, the details.

  • Literature searchers were conducted, experts were interviewed, and manufacturers were contacted for any unpublished data on file.
  • The data from 13 studies of 1056 people were combined and reanalyzed in the meta-analysis.

And, the results.

  • Taking garlic (Allium sativum) did not result any significant effects compared to placebo for the following lipids concentrations in blood.
    • Total cholesterol
    • LDL (bad) cholesterol
    • Triglycerides
    • Apolipoprotein B
    • HDL (good) cholesterol

The bottom line?
These authors concluded that because of differences in the studies, “conclusive recommendations cannot be made at present on the actual effects of garlic therapy on serum cholesterol levels.”

Others are not so hesitant to share their views.

Although gives garlic a grade of “B” for lowering cholesterol (good scientific evidence), many other reviews and studies published in the past 8 years see it differently. Prof. Ernst’s negative conclusions are summarized here. Links to negative study results are listed here.

12/3/08 19:56 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.