In support of a new clinical trial designed to compare the effects of crushed fresh garlic and two types of garlic supplement tablets (enteric-coated dried fresh garlic and dried aged garlic extract) on serum lipids, the three garlic products have been characterized for (a) composition (14 sulfur and 2 non-sulfur compounds), (b) stability of suspected active compounds, and (c) availability of allyl thiosulfinates (mainly allicin) under both simulated gastrointestinal (tablet dissolution) conditions and in vivo. The allyl thiosulfinates of blended fresh garlic were stable for at least 2 years when stored at -80 degrees C. The dissolution release of thiosulfinates from the enteric-coated garlic tablets was found to be >95%. The bioavailability of allyl thiosulfinates from these tablets, measured as breath allyl methyl sulfide, was found to be complete and equivalent to that of crushed fresh garlic. S-Allylcysteine was stable for 12 months at ambient temperature. The stability of the suspected active compounds under the conditions of the study and the bioavailability of allyl thiosulfinates from the dried garlic supplement have validated the use of these preparations for comparison in a clinical trial.