Garlic and cholesterol--Does everyone now need Lipitor? 6. March 2007 William Davis (1) Garlic May Not Lower CholesterolStudy Shows No Improvement in Cholesterol Levels From Raw Garlic or Garlic SupplementsLots of reports continue to hit the press about a small study that hoped to determine whether garlic as whole cloves (4 to 6), an aqueous extract of garlic called Kyolic, or an oil extract called Garlicin (high in allicin), or placebo. No differences in lipid numbers including LDL cholesterol were observed. (Full text at WebMD at http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/news/20070226/garlic-may-not-lower-cholesterol?ecd=wnl_chl_030507. You may be required to log in or register.)I believe that the researchers were sincere in their effort to follow an honest, scientfically sound clinical trial design. I'm personally not that surprised. The effect in prior studies has been modest, sometimes none. Does that mean that we should ignore the other studies that suggest there may be modest blood-thinning, anti-inflammatory, blood pressure-reducing, and cancer-preventing properties? No, it does not. Dr. Matt Budoff at UCLA even published a very small study in about 20 people that suggested a slowing of plaque growth by using Kyolic in persons tracked by CT heart scans. Nonetheless, garlic is, at best, probably no more than a source of small benefits. The biggest fallout from this kind of report, however, is not the neutral results from garlic, but from the open door the drug companies sense when this happens. If you read the WebMD report, you'll notice all sorts of advertisements from drug companies for statin cholesterol drugs ("Cholesterol health center"; "Understanding Cholesterol Numbers"; "There are two sources of cholesterol: food and family"), Niaspan (which I used to support but have been discouraged by the Kos companies excessively profiteering methods and recent big Wall Street sellout). It doesn't follow. The failure of one nutritional strategy to reduce LDL does nothave to trigger a run to the drugs. Don't fall for it. Drugs have their place. So do supplements and food choices, which can be very powerful. Drug manufacturers and their marketing people salivate when something like this comes along, an open invitation to say, "If garlic doesn't work, _____ sure does."