Effects of garlic on atherosclerosis

Nutrition. 1997 Jul-Aug;13(7-8):656-63. doi: 10.1016/s0899-9007(97)83010-9.


This review discusses the use of garlic and garlic preparations as agents for prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis and atherosclerosis-related diseases. Garlic indirectly effects atherosclerosis by reduction of hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and probably diabetes mellitus and prevents thrombus formation. In addition, in animal models, garlic causes direct antiatherogenic (preventive) and antiatherosclerotic (causing regression) effects at the level of artery wall. Garlic's direct effect on atherosclerosis may be explained by its capacity to reduce lipid content in arterial cells and to prevent intracellular lipid accumulation. This effect, in turn, is accompanied by other atherosclerotic manifestations, i.e., stimulation of cell proliferation and extracellular matrix synthesis. Clinical trials are currently being carried out to reveal the possible effect of garlic therapy on human atherosclerosis. Positive results of these trials may open a new era in the use of garlic for prevention and treatment of many atherosclerosis-related diseases.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arteriosclerosis / complications
  • Arteriosclerosis / prevention & control*
  • Arteriosclerosis / therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cholesterol / analysis
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Garlic*
  • Humans
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Risk Factors
  • Swine


  • Plant Extracts
  • Cholesterol