II. History

  1. Used in ancient medicine as far back as 5000 years ago

III. Mechanism

  1. Active ingredient: Thiosulfinates (e.g. Allicin)
  2. Alliin converted to Allicin by alliinase enzyme
    1. Alliinase released when Garlic crushed or chopped
    2. Alliinase deactivated by heat and Stomach acid
    3. Therefore Allicin most active in raw, fresh form

IV. Efficacy: Well supported benefits

  1. Moderate lipid lowering effect (initial)
    1. Total Cholesterol may be reduced 4-6% initially
    2. Longterm benefits are unclear
    3. Stevinson (2000) Ann Intern Med 133:240-9 [PubMed]
  2. Antihypertensive effect
    1. Lowers SBP up to 7 mmHg
    2. Lowers DBP up to 5 mmHg
    3. Ackermann (2001) Arch Intern Med 161:813-24 [PubMed]

V. Efficacy: Variable benefits

  1. Decreased risk of thrombosis and atherosclerosis
  2. Decreased Stomach Cancer and Colon Cancer risk
  3. Decreased infection risk

VI. Adverse Effects

  1. Halitosis and altered body odor
  2. Gastrointestinal upset
  3. Flatulence

VII. Precautions

  1. May prolong Bleeding Time
  2. Stop 7-10 days before surgery

VIII. Dosing

  1. Raw Garlic: 4 grams (1-2 cloves) daily
  2. Dried powder (enteric coated) 300 mg bid to tid
  3. Aged Garlic extract 7.2 grams daily

IX. Drug Interactions

  1. May decrease drug levels of agents transported by P-Glycoprotein

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