Allium sativum (garlic) certainly is one of the oldest horticultural crops in the world and presents bioactive compounds that are related to the garlic's effects on human health. Several authors have shown beneficial effects on diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases (CVD), which are among the most relevant causes of mortality in the world. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the effects of garlic in the risk factors of CVD and evaluate its economic importance. MEDLINE-PubMed, COCHRANE, EMBASE, and Google Scholar databases were searched. The included studies showed that the use of garlic can reduce blood pressure, waist circumference, body mass index, LDL-c, non-HDL-c, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and inflammatory markers. It also can increase the levels of HDL-c and can improve cardiovascular parameters such as coronary artery calcium, microcirculation, epicardial and periaortic adipose tissue, post occlusive reactive hyperemia, low attenuation plaque, carotid intima-media thickness; and carotid intima-media thickness. Due to these reasons, garlic can be considered in the prevention and treatment of CVD risk factors.
Keywords: Allium sativum; cardiovascular diseases; food; garlic; glycemia; hypertension; obesity.