Garlic and Cholesterol:
Preventing Heart Disease

Multiple scientific studies have demonstrated that garlic can prevent heart disease. It has been shown in studies that in cultures where people eat large amounts of garlic, they suffer fewer heart attacks. Let's examine the reasons why this might be so.

Garlic and Cholesterol Levels. Garlic is said to help with high cholesterol levels by lowering the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (so-called "bad" cholesterol) as well as increasing the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (so-called "good" cholesterol).

High Cholesterol Levels Are Not
a Major Cause of Heart Disease

Cardiovascular disease begins when the walls of your arteries and the cholesterol in your blood are damaged by free radicals and oxidative stress.

Damaged cholesterol molecules stick to the walls of your arteries, and each other, eventually clogging the artery and causing a heart attack. It doesn't matter a whole lot how much, or how little, cholesterol there is in your blood.

Go to the page on What Causes Heart Disease?
to get the full story about cholesterol and heart disease.

Garlic and Other Antioxidants
Are the Key to Preventing Heart Attacks

If you're getting an ample supply of the right antioxidants, including garlic, this oxidation of cholesterol will never happen, because the antioxidants will prevent the free radical damage from attacking your arteries in the first place.

Other Antioxidants That Prevent Heart Disease. Garlic is just one of the natural substances that you can use to prevent heart disease. Study after study on the health benefits of garlic and antioxidants such as vitamin E and vitamin C, coenzyme Q-10, selenium and ginkgo biloba, in addition to garlic, have all proven their ability to prevent heart disease.

Garlic Works Better than Aspirin as a Blood Thinner. Garlic is said to be as effective as aspirin as an anti-clotting substance, without the dangerous side effects. Ginkgo biloba, an herb from the tree of the same name, also has similar properties and is a better alternative to aspirin as well.

If you are taking aspirin as a preventive measure against heart disease, you might want to consider a natural alternative instead. You won't just get the heart protection you're looking for, but all of the other health benefits of garlic and ginkgo as well!

Aspirin Has Potentially Dangerous Side Effects. Using aspirin on a daily basis, as many doctors recommend, may cause stomach irritation that leads to bleeding, and possible kidney problems. Daily aspirin has also been connected to an increase in brain hemorrhages. Learn more about the side effects of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NAIDs).

Garlic and Cholesterol — Conclusions

Is garlic able to lower cholesterol? It certainly seems so, although, as I explained above, lowering your cholesterol numbers does not really provide any significant benefit to your overall health. High cholesterol numbers may be an indication that there are problems somewhere else in your body, but high cholesterol is not inherently harmful.

Eating garlic does seem to offer protection against heart disease, though, so you definitely want to add it to your diet. Unfortunately, eating garlic regularly causes garlic breath. To get the benefits of garlic without the social handicap, you can use garlic supplements, which are virtually odor-free.

For over 50 years, the Wakunaga company of Japan, makers of the Kyolic brand of garlic supplements, has been the standard-bearer of garlic supplements. They make dozens of garlic products with different formulations for specific health conditions. You can learn more about them at

For more information on the benefits of garlic supplements, go to my page on Garlic Supplements.

Go to the page on Heart Attack Prevention
to learn about all the antioxidants that help prevent heart disease.

Other pages on this website about garlic:

Garlic Health Benefits

Garlic and Cancer

History of Garlic

Click on any of the following links to get specific information on
the health benefits of spices and herbs:

basil | cloves | cilantro | cinnamon | cayenne | cumin
fennel | fenugreek | ginger | parsley | oregano | peppermint
rosemary | sage | thyme | turmeric

Health Benefits of Spices

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