More Evidence In Favor of Garlic's Cardiovascular Benefits
In the May 26 issue of Atherosclerosis, researchers reported
on the results of a four-year clinical study which found that
garlic helps prevent and, in some cases, even reverse plaque build-up
in the arteries. Arterial plaque is known to be a risk factor
for heart disease and stroke. The study, which took place in Berlin,
Germany, is the longest ever to be conducted on heart attack risk
reduction using a dietary supplement. Based on the 'heartening'
results of this study and more than 20 others, researchers believe
that powdered garlic may have both a preventative and a curative
role to play in cardiovascular disease.
During the 48-month treatment period, 152 men and women were
randomly assigned to take either 900 mg of garlic powder or placebo
each day. From the beginning, all participants had advanced plaque
accumulation, in addition to at least one other established risk
factor for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol,
diabetes mellitus, or a history of smoking. Researchers used high-resolution
ultrasound to measure the progression and regression of plaque
volume in both the common carotid and femoral arteries.
At the end of the study, those who took garlic demonstrated a 2.6 percent
reduction in plaque volume, compared to a 15.6 percent increase in the
placebo group. When the effects were analyzed by gender, the results
for women initially took researchers by surprise. While women in the
garlic group experienced a modest 4.6 percent decrease in plaque volume,
those taking placebo demonstrated a massive 53.1 percent increase. Researchers
attributed the striking difference to a higher rate of dropouts from
the female garlic group, due to "annoyance by odor." This
led to a predominance of younger women in the placebo group, and more
older women in the garlic group. Despite this unseen event, researchers
maintained that the 4.6 percent decline in plaque volume seen in the
female garlic group remains a "genuine garlic effect."
Krista Morien, Herb Research NewsMore Evidence In Favor of Garlic's