Background: Inconsistent results were obtained for the lipid-regulating effects of garlic in clinical trials. With increasing interest in complementary medicine for hyperlipoidemia, it is important to explore the real effects of garlic. This meta- analysis was performed to investigate the influence of garlic on serum lipid parameters.
Results: A total of 26 studies were included into meta-analysis. Overall, garlic was superior to placebo in reducing serum total cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride (TG) levels. Compared with the placebo groups, serum TC and TG levels in the garlic group were reduced by 0.28 (95% CI, -0.45, -0.11) mmol L⁻¹ (P = 0.001) and 0.13 (95% CI, -0.20, -0.06) mmol L⁻¹ (P < 0.001), respectively. The effects of garlic were more striking in subjects with long-term intervention and higher baseline TC levels. Garlic powder and aged garlic extract were more effective in reducing serum TC levels, while garlic oil was more effective in lowering serum TG levels. In contrast, garlic did not influence other lipid parameters, including low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), apolipoprotein B, and TC/HDL-C ratio.
Conclusion: Garlic could reduce serum TC and TG levels, and garlic therapy should benefit patients with risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.