Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of global mortality with a substantial economic impact. The annual deaths are expected to increase in the next decade. An array of dietary supplements is being used by people worldwide to ameliorate cardiovascular risk factors. Garlic (Allium sativum L.), a top-selling herbal dietary supplement, is renowned for its wide range beneficial effects, particularly in the treatment and prevention of CVD. This review aims to present a thorough discussion of the available evidence-based data which support the use of garlic in the treatment or prevention of cardiovascular diseases, including atherosclerosis, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. The molecular mechanisms underlying these effects are dissected as well. This review supports the notion that garlic has the potential to treat mild hypertension, to decrease hypercholesterolemia, and to prevent atherosclerosis. More clinical studies are essential to unequivocally understand the mechanisms underlying treatment or prevention of these cardiovascular conditions.
Keywords: Allium sativum; Cardiovascular disease; atherosclerosis; garlic; herbal medicine; hyperlipidemia; hypertension; thrombosis.
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