The atherosclerotic heart disease and protecting properties of garlic: contemporary data

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Nov;51(11):1365-81. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200700064.


This article reviews the contemporary data concerning atherosclerosis and protecting properties of garlic. Recent advances in basic science have established a fundamental role for inflammation in mediating all stages of this disease from initiation through progression and, ultimately, the thrombotic complications of atherosclerosis. These new findings provide important links between risk factors and the mechanisms of atherogenesis and garlic properties. Numerous in vitro studies have confirmed the ability of garlic to reduce the parameters of the risk of atherosclerosis: total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides, oxidized LDL. Bioactive compounds and antioxidant potentials in fresh, cooked, boiled and commercial garlic from different regions are presented, using beta-carotene, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), nitric oxide (NO), 2,2'-azinobis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) diammonium salt (ABTS) with K2S2O8 or MnO2, ferric-reducing/antioxidant power (FRAP), cupric reducing antioxidant capacity (CUPRAC) and others assays for antioxidant status. In vivo studies were reviewed on with garlic and cholesterol supplemented diets. The positive influences of garlic on plasma lipids, proteins, antioxidant activity, and some indices of blood coagulation are dose dependent. Garlic could be a valuable component of atherosclerosis-preventing diets only in optimal doses. Many recently published reports show that garlic possesses plasma lipid-lowering and plasma anticoagulant and antioxidant properties and improves impaired endothelial function.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Arteries
  • Atherosclerosis / drug therapy
  • Atherosclerosis / epidemiology
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control*
  • Blood Coagulation
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology
  • Garlic* / chemistry
  • Garlic* / history
  • History, Ancient
  • History, Medieval
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Phytotherapy
  • Risk Factors


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Lipids