The effect of garlic tablet on pro-inflammatory cytokines in postmenopausal osteoporotic women: a randomized controlled clinical trial

J Diet Suppl. 2012 Dec;9(4):262-71. doi: 10.3109/19390211.2012.726703. Epub 2012 Oct 8.


Introduction: Menopause is one of the important causes of osteoporosis which results from estrogen deficiency. In addition, some clinical and experimental evidence indicates that there is an association between increasing pro-inflammatory cytokine activity and postmenopausal bone loss. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of garlic tablet on pro-inflammatory cytokines in postmenopausal osteoporotic women.

Methods: The present study was a double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial in Yazd conducted during November 2009 until July 2010. The sample included 44 postmenopausal osteoporotic women who were randomly assigned into two groups: the garlic group (GG) and the placebo group (PG). Participants in GG took two garlic tablets daily for 1 month and the participants in PG took placebo tablets in the same manner. Serum interlukin-1, interlukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) were measured using the ELISA method before and after the intervention. Also, 24-hour dietary recall was recorded for estimation of daily intake of some nutrients. Data were analyzed using SPSS software.

Results: There was no statistically significant difference between interlukin-1 and interlukin-6 in the two groups before and after the intervention. The mean of TNF-α did not show any statistically significant difference between the two groups before and after the intervention, but it was significantly reduced by about 47% (from 31.14±50.53 to 19.33±22.19 ng/ml, P-value = 0.05) in GG after the intervention, However, no significant difference was seen in PG.

Conclusions: The present study produced some evidence for an immunomodulatory effect of garlic, as well as the modulation of cytokine production.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bone Density
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Disulfides
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Garlic* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / blood*
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / etiology
  • Phytotherapy
  • Placebos
  • Sulfinic Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Disulfides
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-6
  • Placebos
  • Sulfinic Acids
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • allicin