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Complementary Medicine

Can Garlic Supplements Help Lower Cholesterol?

03/07/2003

Question:

Will taking a garlic supplement help lower cholesterol?

Answer:

Probably. Many studies have shown that garlic supplementation can help lower cholesterol and triglycerides. A few studies have shown no effect. It may depend on the brand used, and how long you`ve had it on your shelf. The active ingredient is very unstable, and is easily affected by heat and time. Even if garlic is effective, it has only a modest effect (10-20 points off the total cholesterol). It may also have a modest effect on lowering your blood pressure. Remember, garlic should not be taken if you are using the blood thinner Coumadin (warfarin). 

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Response by:

Tanya I Edwards, MD, MEd Tanya I Edwards, MD, MEd
Formerly, Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University