A double-blind crossover study in moderately hypercholesterolemic men that compared the effect of aged garlic extract and placebo administration on blood lipids

M Steiner, AH Khan, D Holbert and RI Lin
Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, Pawtucket, USA. Steiner@Brody.med.ecu.edu

A double-blind crossover study comparing the effect of aged garlic extract with a placebo on blood lipids was performed in a group of 41 moderately hypercholesterolemic men [cholesterol concentrations 5.7-7.5 mmol/L (220-290 mg/dL)]. After a 4-wk baseline period, during which the subjects were advised to adhere to a National Cholesterol Education Program Step I diet, they were started on 7.2 g aged garlic extract per day or an equivalent amount of placebo as a dietary supplement for a period of 6 mo, then switched to the other supplement for an additional 4 mo. Blood lipids, blood counts, thyroid and liver function measures, body weight, and blood pressure were followed over the entire study period. The major findings were a maximal reduction in total serum cholesterol of 6.1% or 7.0% in comparison with the average concentration during the placebo administration or baseline evaluation period, respectively. Low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol was also decreased by aged garlic extract, 4% when compared with average baseline values and 4.6% in comparison with placebo period concentrations. In addition, there was a 5.5% decrease in systolic blood pressure and a modest reduction of diastolic blood pressure in response to aged garlic extract. We conclude that dietary supplementation with aged garlic extract has beneficial effects on the lipid profile and blood pressure of moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects.