Garlic reduces dementia and heart-disease risk

J Nutr. 2006 Mar;136(3 Suppl):810S-812S. doi: 10.1093/jn/136.3.810S.


Risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including high cholesterol, high homocysteine, hypertension and inflammation, increase the risk of dementia, including its most common form, Alzheimer's disease (AD). High cholesterol is also associated with elevated beta-amyloid (Abeta), the hallmark of AD. Oxidative damage is a major factor in cardiovascular disease and dementia, diseases whose risk increases with age. Garlic, extracted and aged to form antioxidant-rich aged garlic extract (AGE or Kyolic), may help reduce the risk of these diseases. AGE scavenges oxidants, increases superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione levels, and inhibits lipid peroxidation and inflammatory prostaglandins. AGE reduces cholesterol synthesis by inhibiting 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase and is additive with statins in its action. Inhibition of cholesterol, LDL oxidation, and platelet aggregation by AGE, inhibits arterial plaque formation; AGE decreases homocysteine, lowers blood pressure, and increases microcirculation, which is important in diabetes, where microvascular changes increase heart disease and dementia risks. AGE also may help prevent cognitive decline by protecting neurons from Abeta neurotoxicity and apoptosis, thereby preventing ischemia- or reperfusion-related neuronal death and improving learning and memory retention. Although additional observations are warranted in humans, compelling evidence supports the beneficial health effects attributed to AGE in helping prevent cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and lowering the risk of dementia and AD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dementia / prevention & control*
  • Garlic*
  • Heart Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Thromboembolism / prevention & control


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Plant Extracts