Garlic for Cholesterol – Is it Good or bad?

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Garlic possesses antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is critical for heart health and garlic can assist you with this!

Garlic is popularly known to be beneficial for lowering cholesterol and preventing blood clotting. In addition, garlic improves immunity, lowers blood pressure and relaxes blood vessels to allow for smooth blood flow.

It also aids in the reduction of inflammation and the protection of blood vessels. All of garlic’s health advantages contribute to a lower risk of heart disease.

Garlic has been shown in several trials to lower cholesterol. However, the impact of garlic on cholesterol levels highly depends on the kind and method of preparation.

Is Garlic Good for Cholesterol? Here is What Research Says

Cardiovascular disorders, such as heart attack and stroke, result in more deaths than any other ailment. Also, high blood pressure, often known as hypertension, is one of the significant risk factors for many disorders. 

Several studies have found that garlic consumption helps lower cholesterol levels. Although studies have shown garlic can decrease cholesterol, debate continues about which form is the most beneficial.

For example, alliin is a chemical found in raw garlic bulbs. When exposed to air, alliin transforms into allicin, a sulfur-based molecule. Garlic gets its pungent aroma from allicin.

In addition, research links allicin to various health advantages, including decreased LDL cholesterol, enhanced immunity, and reduced blood pressure.

Garlic supplements have been shown in human trials to substantially lower blood pressure in persons with high blood pressure. However, supplement dosages must be relatively high to achieve the intended results. The amount required each day is around four cloves of garlic.

Garlic can reduce both total and bad cholesterol. According to studies, garlic supplementation appears to lower total and LDL cholesterol by 10-15% in those with high cholesterol. In addition, research shows garlic tends to reduce bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol.

The HealthifyMe Note

Garlic aids in the prevention of blood clot formation. However, it might cause excessive bleeding after an injury if you take blood-thinning medicine. In this scenario, checking with your doctor before eating garlic daily is crucial.

Read More: What Causes High Cholesterol

Other Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic is an excellent ingredient to include in your meals since it has several health advantages. Aside from lowering your cholesterol, it also boosts your immunity, contains antioxidants, and improves your overall quality of life.

Boosts Your Immune System

Garlic pills are proven to enhance immune system functioning. For instance, 12-week research indicated that taking a garlic supplement daily decreased the occurrence of colds by 63% compared to a placebo. The supplements also cut the average duration of cold symptoms in half. 

Another study discovered that taking a high dose of aged garlic extract decreased the days spent unwell with a cold or flu by 61%. Thus, adding garlic to your diet may be worth a shot if you catch colds frequently.

Medicinal Properties

Garlic grows in many places of the world. It is a popular cooking ingredient due to its strong aroma and excellent flavour. However, throughout history, the primary usage of garlic was for its medicinal and therapeutic benefits.

Sulfur chemicals generated when a garlic clove is chopped, crushed, or chewed are responsible for the majority of garlic’s health advantages, according to studies. Allicin is the most well-known bioactive compound present in garlic. 

Diallyl disulfide and s-allyl cysteine are bio-active compounds that are responsible for garlic’s health benefits. Garlic’s sulphur components enter your body through the digestive tract. They then spread throughout your body, having powerful biological benefits.

Contains Much-Needed Antioxidants

Free radical oxidative damage in the body lends to the ageing process. Garlic is rich in antioxidants, which help the body’s defences against oxidative damage. In human studies, large doses of garlic supplements boosted antioxidant enzymes. They considerably lowered oxidative stress in persons with high blood pressure.

Research shows that the combined benefits of cholesterol and blood pressure reduction and the antioxidant capabilities may lessen the risk of prevalent brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

It helps Detoxify Your Body.

Garlic’s sulphur components can protect against organ damage caused by heavy metal poisoning at significant levels. 

Garlic lowered lead levels in the blood by 19% in a 4-week trial. It also decreased numerous clinical symptoms of poisoning, such as headaches and high blood pressure.

The HealthifyMe Note

Garlic is an onion-family vegetable used for its unique flavour and health advantages. In addition, it has sulphur compounds, which account for some of the health advantages. Plus, garlic has a low-calorie count and is high in vitamin C, B6, and manganese. It also has trace quantities of several additional nutrients.  

Garlic supplements may aid in preventing and treating diseases such as the flu and the common cold. Garlic supplements appear to lower total and LDL cholesterol, especially in people with high cholesterol. Garlic includes antioxidants that can aid in the prevention of cell damage and ageing. It may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Ways to Consume Garlic to Reduce Cholesterol

There are several methods to add garlic to your diet. These are the various forms you may try out and experiment with.

  • Raw Garlic: It is a standard technique of incorporating raw minced garlic into various cuisines. Raw minced garlic goes great with a salad that needs that extra punch of flavour. 
  • Garlic Powder: Garlic powder is a new spice to the Indian market. However, this is ideal for curries when you don’t need a strong garlic flavour but still want the health benefits of garlic. People use raw dehydrated garlic to make the spice.
  • Garlic Paste: Garlic paste is a pantry staple in Indian households. You may either make a paste out of raw garlic or add a dollop to Indian recipes. Alternatively, you may cook entire garlic cloves in olive oil until tender. Use them as a spread over foods like toasted bread. It tastes buttery and is far healthier, especially for reducing cholesterol.

These are some of the methods to use garlic in its natural state. There are other supplements available, such as garlic tablets. If you’re not a garlic lover, garlic tablets could be the way to go. These are normally odourless and may contain garlic powder or oil.

Interesting Research Findings

The sort of garlic most beneficial for lowering cholesterol differs according to scientific opinion. According to research, aged garlic may provide more consistent advantages in lowering total cholesterol levels than other garlic forms. However, garlic powder and oil may still have a favourable effect on cholesterol levels.

According to a 2020 study, several trials demonstrate that aged black garlic extract lowers LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol. Participants in these trials were given 300 mg or 6 g of aged black garlic extract twice daily for 4 or 12 weeks. 

There may be some adverse effects, like with any medicine or nutritional supplement. However, these are usually minor and occur when people ingest large amounts of raw garlic. Because of how you prepare it, aged garlic extract may not cause these adverse effects.

A brief 8-week trial found that eating 20 g of garlic and 1 tbsp of lemon juice daily reduced blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels. It is vital to know that one garlic clove weighs about 6 g.

The HealthifyMe Note

Garlic has several health advantages, but you should know that it has a temporary cholesterol-lowering effect. To continue experiencing the benefits, you must consume garlic daily. 

Conclusion

Garlic is a well-known ingredient that has a plethora of health benefits. Garlic fights inflammation, lowers cholesterol levels, and protects against chronic illness.

Clinical trials show that garlic lowers cholesterol levels. However, according to scientific opinion, which kind of garlic lowers cholesterol most efficiently differs.

According to some studies, raw garlic and aged black garlic result in a reduction in cholesterol levels best. While garlic may help reduce high cholesterol levels, particular lifestyle and dietary habits will help people maintain their cholesterol levels.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. How long does it take for garlic to lower cholesterol?

A. It takes about eight weeks to lower your cholesterol levels for garlic or its supplements. Also, over 4-12 weeks, 6 g of garlic twice daily can decrease total cholesterol levels. To clarify, 6 g of raw garlic is around one clove.

Q. How to use garlic for high cholesterol?

A. The most effective method is to integrate garlic into your meals. You can use fresh minced garlic, garlic paste, or garlic powder you may also take garlic tablets in case you don’t like the taste. 

Q. Do garlic and ginger reduce cholesterol?

A. Yes, garlic and ginger herbal supplements do lower overall cholesterol levels. However, further study is needed to establish the precise mechanism. 

Q. Which is better for cholesterol, fish oil or garlic?

A. Garlic is superior to fish oil in terms of lowering cholesterol. Fish oil has long been the go-to supplement for people trying to boost their cardiovascular health. However, research suggests that aged garlic extract may be even better.

Q. Can garlic open blocked arteries?

A. Garlic can help with clogged arteries. Aged garlic extract can aid in the reduction of soft plaque. It can help lower blood pressure and prevent artery hardening.

Q. Is raw garlic good for your heart?

A. Yes, raw garlic is good for your heart health. In trials, garlic supplements improved heart health by avoiding cell damage, controlling cholesterol, and decreasing blood pressure. Garlic may also help to prevent plaque development in the arteries.

Supporting Sources

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4977979/#

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https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19060427/

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https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8169881/

4. Gómez-Arbeláez, Diego et al. “Aged garlic extract improves adiponectin levels in subjects with metabolic syndrome: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, crossover study.” Mediators of inflammation vol. 2013 (2013): 285795. doi:10.1155/2013/285795

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23533302/

5. Josling, P. “Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey.” Advances in therapy vol. 18,4 (2001): 189-93. doi:10.1007/BF02850113

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11697022/

6. Nantz, Meri P et al. “Supplementation with aged garlic extract improves both NK and γδ-T cell function and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled nutrition intervention.” Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland) vol. 31,3 (2012): 337-44. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2011.11.019

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22280901/

7. Zarezadeh, Mahboubeh et al. “Garlic active constituent s-allyl cysteine protect against lipopolysaccharide-induced cognitive deficits in the rat: Possible involved mechanisms.” European journal of pharmacology vol. 795 (2017): 13-21. doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2016.11.051

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27915041/

8. Avci, Aslihan et al. “Effects of garlic consumption on plasma and erythrocyte antioxidant parameters in elderly subjects.” Gerontology vol. 54,3 (2008): 173-6. doi:10.1159/000130426

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18463427/

9. Borek, Carmia. “Garlic reduces dementia and heart-disease risk.” The Journal of nutrition vol. 136,3 Suppl (2006): 810S-812S. doi:10.1093/jn/136.3.810S

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16484570/

10. Kianoush, Sina et al. “Comparison of therapeutic effects of garlic and d-Penicillamine in patients with chronic occupational lead poisoning.” Basic & clinical pharmacology & toxicology vol. 110,5 (2012): 476-81. doi:10.1111/j.1742-7843.2011.00841.x

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22151785/

11. Varshney, R., & Budoff, M. (2016). Garlic and Heart Disease. The Journal of nutrition, 146(2), 416S-421S. http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/jn.114.202333 Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/01r1171s

https://escholarship.org/uc/item/01r1171s

12. Ansary, Johura et al. “Potential Health Benefit of Garlic Based on Human Intervention Studies: A Brief Overview.” Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 9,7 619. 15 Jul. 2020, doi:10.3390/antiox9070619

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7402177/
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