Garlic, (Allium Sativum) locally known as “bawang,” is a bulbous plant widely used as spice. It contains Allicin, an active compound suspected to have antioxidant, antimicrobial, antihypertensive, antithrombotic, antineoplastic and antilipidemic properties.
To verify the antilipidemic properties of garlic, Dr. Katrina Marie Soto of Saint Luke’s Medical Center conducted a study entitled, Garlic for hyperlipidemia in adults: A meta-analysis. The study evaluates the effect of garlic treatment to patient’s total cholesterol (TC), low density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins (HDL) or good cholesterol and triglycerides (TG) levels of hyperlipidemic patients.
Using a randomized clinical trial, 600 hyperlipidimic patients or individual with increased lipids or fats in the blood stream were assessed. Garlic treatments were given in different dosages and different frequency of intakes. All treatments were compared to placebo or simulated ineffectual treatment.
Results showed that the pooled analysis for TC and LDL cholesterol level among patients were significantly decreased after 12 weeks of garlic treatment while pooled analysis for HDL cholesterol and TG level revealed no significant effects. HDL cholesterol and TG results were not conclusive due to limitations in terms of preparations, limited number of patients tested, and varying amounts of active constituents in raw garlic used. However, researchers were able to establish that garlic treatment decreased the level of bad cholesterol, thus indicating that garlic is a promising source of natural antilipidemic drug.
The study recommends further research on the effect of garlic treatment on good cholesterol, involving larger number of participants. Analysis on length of intervention and severity of hyperlipidemia needs to be done to determine the most appropriate dose and duration of treatment for a certain population.