Garlic is believed to produce beneficial changes in different cardiovascular risk factors, thus possessing antiatherosclerotic properties. The hypotensive and cholesterol-lowering effects were investigated in two studies in men with mild arterial hypertension and in men with mild hypercholesterolemia. Eight-week treatment resulted in the reduction of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 5.2% (P=0.008) and 4.0% (P=0.014), respectively. In hypolipidemic study, the 12-week treatment resulted in a decrease in LDL cholesterol by 11.8% (P=0.002), while HDL cholesterol increased by 11.5% (P=0.013). In men with cerebral atherosclerosis it has been demonstrated that 14-days treatment inhibited ADP-induced platelet aggregation by 25.4% (P<0.05) and increased plasma fibrinolytic activity by 22.4% (P<0.05).
One more study was performed in high-risk patients to evaluate the changes of prognostic cardiovascular risk that was calculated using algorithms derived from Framingham and Muenster Studies. Twelve-months treatment lowered 10-years prognostic risk of CHD by 13.2% in men (P=0.005), and by 7.1% in women (P=0.040). Ten-year prognostic risk of acute myocardial infarction and sudden coronary death was lowered by 26.1% in men (P=0.025).The Atherosclerosis Monitoring and Atherogenicity Reduction Study (AMAR) was designed to estimate the effect of two-year treatment with garlic powder pills on the progression of carotid atherosclerosis in asymptomatic men. A significant correlation has been revealed between the changes in blood serum atherogenicity and the changes in carotid intima-media thickness (r=0.144, P=0.045). Evidence obtained from these studies as well as series of double-blinded placebo-controlled clinical trials indicates that garlic powder pills are effective for prevention of cardiovascular disorders.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, prevention, treatment, garlic, allicor.