Indications

Some studies support garlic having a modest but significant effect on lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides and raising high-density lipopro-tein (HDL) cholesterol. More recent studies have found no significant effect, even though similar preparations and doses were used. Therefore, the effectiveness of garlic for this indication remains unresolved. Likewise, some blood pressure studies have shown a modest reduction in diastolic more than systolic blood pressures, while others have not.

The antifungal effect of allicin in fresh garlic extract has been demonstrated against cryptococcal meningitis and a variety of yeasts and fungi. However, this effectiveness appears diminished in commercial preparations. Fresh but not aged garlic also appears to have activity against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and a variety of bacteria and viruses. Topical use also appears to be effective, albeit with occasional local irritation being produced. The high oral dosages of fresh garlic required for antimicrobial treatment may make clinical use less feasible due to odor and side effects. Garlic has been shown to reduce cancer susceptibility in mice, but epidemiological studies in human colorectal and other cancers are mixed.

For lipid reduction, garlic is used at 600 to 900 mg daily, usually divided into three doses, or 4 g fresh garlic or 8 ml of garlic oil daily.

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