Monday, April 2, 2007

One clove of garlic not to lower cholesterol

Eat garlic and your heart will be okay? Well, there is some truth behind this statement. But as far as cholesterol is concerned, it might be exaggerated. At least if you eat only one four-gram clove of garlic daily. Are you willing to eat more? At Stanford University this 4-g-dose has been tested against placebo with 192 patients in a double-blind study. This resulted in no effect on cholesterol.
Maybe you should eat more than one clove, or even better, take a garlic powder tablet. At the Shiraz University of Medical Science, in Iran, such a tablet has been tested with fifty patients in a single-blind study. The dose was equal to only 0.4 grams of garlic, tenfold lower than at Stanford. This resulted in a lowering of the harmful LDL-cholesterol and in an increase of the beneficial HDL-cholesterol. But this single-blind study cannot compare with the quality of a double-blind study at Stanford.
So what? For me, the first conclusion is that garlic may be good for your heart, but do not expect miracles. Of course cholesterol is only one issue in this context, and maybe not the first one. The anti-clotting properties of garlic may be much more important. And last but not least: Garlic is only one of many good things that can do the heart a favour. I end this post, raising a glass of red wine.

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