In this meta-analysis of 20 random controlled trials, garlic supplements were found to lower blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure (≥140/90 mm Hg) by an average of 8.7 mm Hg for systolic and 6.1 for diastolic blood pressure. The study previously found garlic to be effective in reducing total and LDL cholesterol by 10% if taken for >2 mo by individuals with slightly elevated cholesterol levels. Clinical trials have shown garlic to significantly reduce the number, duration, and severity of upper respiratory infections.
Editor’s Note: Since garlic works in several ways to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, by reducing blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, and thinning the blood, it is an excellent food and supplement for anyone concerned about heart disease. Garlic extracts standardized for allicin have the most consistent effects in studies.