There are now over 12 well designed studies published around the world that confirm that garlic can reduce cholesterol. Researchers in Oxford and in the United States have published some summaries of all the good data on garlic.
Garlic as a lipid lowering agent - a meta analysis
Silagy CS, Neil HAW, 1994,
The Journal of the Royal College of Physicians,
Vol 28 No. 1: 39-45
The authors state that garlic supplements have an important part to play in the treatment of high cholesterol and that this paper reviews all the published and unpublished data from around the world.
Overall a reduction in total cholesterol was shown over a placebo and that this reduction was normally evident after only 4 weeks treatment and that this was likely to persist for as long as the study was in progress.
The largest study so far was conducted in Germany where 261 patients from 30 general practices were given either garlic powder or a placebo. After a 12 week treatment period mean serum cholesterol levels were dropped by 12% in the garlic treated people and triglycerides dropped by 17% compared to the placebo group.
Garlic and Pregnancy
Research shows that taking garlic during pregnancy can cut the risk of pre-eclampsia (raised blood pressure and protein retained in the urine). Studies reveal that garlic may help to boost the birth weight of babies destined to be too small. The research was carried out by Dr. D. Sooranna, Ms. J. Hirani and Dr. I. Das in the Academic Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital in London U.K.
They concluded that although pre-eclampsia and growth retardation are complex multifactorial conditions, taking standardised garlic tablets throughout pregnancy may decrease the chances of these types of complications at birth. They focused on growth retarded babies and pre-eclampsia, a potentially dangerous condition for mother and baby which occurs in about one in ten pregnancies.
Experiments by the research team showed that adding extracts of garlic to cells from the placenta of women likely to suffer from these conditions was able to quickly stimulate growth. Furthermore, the activity of key enzymes that are reduced in the abnormal pregnancies were significantly increased when garlic was added.