Garlic supplements may not help reduce cholesterol or other blood fats, irrespective of the type of garlic consumed, says a new study.
Several earlier studies had shown that garlic could effectively lower cholesterol. However, researchers at Stanford University tested raw garlic and two different garlic supplements on nearly 200 adults with moderately high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
After six months, the patients showed no improvements in their average cholesterol or other blood fats (lipids), no matter what kind of garlic they had consumed, reported the online edition of health magazine WebMD.
"Garlic supplements or dietary garlic in reasonable doses are unlikely to produce lipid benefits" in people with moderately high LDL cholesterol levels" the study said.
Researcher Christopher Gardner said the study was large enough and long enough to have detected any cholesterol changes.
"We even looked separately at the participants with the highest versus the lowest LDL cholesterol levels at the start of the study, and the results were identical," Gardner observed.
However, the researchers don't rule out the possibility that garlic has health benefits for other groups of people (such as those with higher LDL cholesterol levels) or those who require higher doses.