Antiatherosclerotic Activity

Evidence from in vitro, animal and human research has shown that garlic supplementation significantly reduces the atherosclerotic process (Campbell et al 2001, Durak et al 2002, Ferri et al 2003, Koscielny et al 1999, Kwon et al 2003, Orekhov et al 1995). More specifically, garlic significantly decreased aortic tissue cholesterol as determined biochemically, fatty streak formation and the size of atherosclerotic plaque, compared with controls in an animal model (Campbell et al 2001).

Similar results have been obtained using ultrasound techniques in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, involving 152 people (Koscielny et al 1999). Not only did high-dose garlic powder significantly reduce arteriosclerotic plaquevolume, it also induced a slight regression in plaque spread within the 4-year test period. Later, these results were found to be significant only in females.

Results from several recently published animal studies further confirm antiatherogenic effects and have investigated the mechanisms responsible (Durak et al 2002, Ferri et al 2003, Kwon et al 2003). One in-vivo study found that garlic activated antioxidant systems and decreased peroxidation in aortic tissue (Durak et al 2002) whereas ajoene inhibited smooth muscle cell proliferation in another (Ferri et al 2003).

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