Objective: To determine whether garlic extract therapy is efficacious and safe in children with hypercholesterolemia.
Design: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
Setting: Specialized pediatric lipid disorders ambulatory clinic.
Participants: Thirty pediatric patients, aged 8 to 18 years, who had familial hyperlipidemia and a minimum fasting total cholesterol level greater than 4.8 mmol/L (> 185 mg/dL).
Intervention: An 8-week course of a commercially available garlic extract (Kwai [Lichtwer Pharma, Berlin, Germany], 300 mg, 3 times a day) or an identical placebo.
Main outcome measures: Absolute and relative changes in fasting lipid profile parameters.
Results: The groups were equivalent at baseline and compliance was similar in the 2 groups (P = .45). There was no significant relative attributable effect of garlic extract on fasting total cholesterol (+0.6% [95% confidence interval, -5.8% to +6.9%1) or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (-0.5% [95% confidence interval, -8.7% to +7.6%]). The lower limits of the confidence intervals did not include -10%, the minimum relative attributable effect believed to be clinically important. Likewise, no significant effect was seen on the levels of high-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, apolipoprotein B-100, lipoprotein (a), fibrinogen, homocysteine, or blood pressure. There was a small effect on apolipoprotein A-I (+10.0% [95% confidence interval, +1.2% to +16.5%] P=.03). There were no differences in adverse effects between groups.
Conclusion: Garlic extract therapy has no significant effect on cardiovascular risk factors in pediatric patients with familial hyperlipidemia.