Garlic for peripheral arterial occlusive disease

R. G. Jepson*, J. Kleijnen, G. C. Leng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Commercially available preparations of garlic have been reported to have beneficial effects on some of the risk factors associated with atherosclerosis. OBJECTIVES: The objective of this review was to assess the effects of garlic (both dried and non-powdered preparations) for the treatment of peripheral arterial occlusive disease. SEARCH STRATEGY: The reviewers searched the Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group trials register, AMED, EMBASE, BIDS ISI, abstracts of relevant symposia and reference lists of relevant articles up to August 1998. The reviewers also contacted pharmaceutical companies, investigators and experts in garlic therapies. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised trials of garlic therapy in patients with lower limb atherosclerosis. The main outcomes were objective measures of progression of underlying atherosclerosis (e.g. ankle pressure measurements, treadmill testing) and subjective measures (e.g. symptom progression). DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: At least two reviewers extracted data and assessed trial quality independently. The reviewers contacted investigators to obtain information needed for the review that could not be found in published reports. MAIN RESULTS: One eligible trial with 78 participants was found. Both men and women (aged 40-75) were included. The follow-up period was short, 12 weeks only. After twelve weeks of treatment, pain free walking distance increased from 161 to 207 m in the group on garlic and from 172 to 203 m in the placebo group. This was not a statistically significant difference. There was no difference in change of systolic or diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, ankle and brachial pressures. No severe side effects were observed and nine patients taking garlic (28%) and four patients taking placebo (12%) complained of a noticeable garlic smell. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: One small trial of short duration found no effect on walking distance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Online)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000

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