Background: Although several previous studies have demonstrated that aged garlic extract (AGE) inhibits the progression of coronary artery calcification, its effect on noncalcified plaque (NCP) has been unclear.
Objective: This study investigated whether AGE reduces coronary plaque volume measured by cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) in patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS).
Methods: Fifty-five patients with MetS (mean ± SD age: 58.7 ± 6.7 y; 71% men) were prospectively assigned to consume 2400 mg AGE/d (27 patients) or placebo (28 patients) orally. Both groups underwent CCTA at baseline and follow-up 354 ± 41 d apart. Coronary plaque volume, including total plaque volume (TPV), dense calcium (DC), NCP, and low-attenuation plaque (LAP), were measured based upon predefined intensity cutoff values. Multivariable linear regression analysis, adjusted for age, gender, number of risk factors, hyperlipidemia medications, history of coronary artery disease, scan interval time, and baseline %TPV, was performed to examine whether AGE affected each plaque change.
Results: The %LAP change was significantly reduced in the AGE group compared with the placebo group (-1.5% ± 2.3% compared with 0.2% ± 2.0%, P = 0.0049). In contrast, no difference was observed in %TPV change (0.3% ± 3.3% compared with 1.6% ± 3.0%, P = 0.13), %NCP change (0.2% ± 3.3% compared with 1.4% ± 2.9%, P = 0.14), and %DC change (0.2% ± 1.4%, compared with 0.2% ± 1.7%, P = 0.99). Multivariable linear regression analysis found a beneficial effect of AGE on %LAP regression (β: -1.61; 95% CI: -2.79, -0.43; P = 0.008).
Conclusions: This study indicates that the %LAP change was significantly greater in the AGE group than in the placebo group. Further studies are needed to evaluate whether AGE has the ability to stabilize vulnerable plaque and decrease adverse cardiovascular events. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01534910.
Keywords: atherosclerosis; cardiac ct; garlic; progression; randomized trial.
© 2016 American Society for Nutrition.