News Briefs: There’s little evidence of garlic’s health benefits

While a necklace of garlic may ward off vampires, a report issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in Rockville, MD, says studies that show reduced low-density lipids (LDL) after regular dietary use of garlic do not demonstrate a long-term effect.

Researchers reviewed and analyzed scientific evidence related to clinical studies of garlic in humans to determine the effectiveness of garlic in controlling cholesterol.

While garlic may reduce LDLs in the first three months of use, the long-term effects have not been proven, according to the report.

In fact, after six months of use, there were no further reductions in LDL or triglycerides, and there was no effect on high-density lipid levels.

The summary of Evidence Report Number 20, Garlic: Effects on Cardiovascular Risks and Disease, Protective Effects Against Cancer, and Clinical Adverse Effects, is available at AHRQ’s web site: www.ahrq.gov/clinic/garlicsum.htm.

Print copies are available from AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at P.O. Box 8547, Silver Spring, MD 20907-8547. Telephone: (800) 358-9295 or (410) 381-3150.

For instructions on using InstantFAX, call (301) 594-2800. The name of the publication and the publication number must be included in the order: The summary of the report is AHRQ Publication No. 01-E022, and the full report is AHRQ Publication No. 01-E023.