Eating Garlic to Reduce Cholesterol

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Forms of Garlic

There is still much debate over whether garlic alone can significantly lower cholesterol, and much of the debate centers on what form that garlic is in (raw, tablets, pills, dried powder or aged extracts). Raw garlic seems to be more effective than cooked garlic, while many studies have shown that garlic supplements are the least effective. Yu-Yan Yeh, a Penn State professor of nutrition, conducted a study that noted that Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) can lower cholesterol if it is used in conjunction with cholesterol-lowering drugs like Zocor, Crestor and Lipitor.

Reduce Cardiovascular Disease

According to the University of Maryland's Medical Center, the consumption of garlic may decrease one's chances of being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease (see Resources). They believe that this is significant because cardiovascular disease is associated with many factors, including high cholesterol and high LDL, or low density lipoprotein, levels, which is considered the "bad" cholesterol. Researchers believe that garlic may also increase the levels of "good" cholesterol, or HDL (high density lipoprotein) levels.

Archives of Internal Medicine Study

A study published in Archives of Internal Medicine in February 2007 noted that eating garlic may not improve one's cholesterol. The study had 200 participants who either ate raw garlic or two different garlic supplements. All of the participants had moderately high levels of cholesterol, and none showed any significant improvements. A similar study was conducted at Stanford University that also produced insignificant results.

About this Author

Nellie Day is a freelance writer based out of Hermosa Beach, Calif. Her work can regularly be seen on newsstands, where her specialties include weddings, real estate, food and wine, pets, electronics, architecture and design, business and travel. Day earned a master's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California.

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