Commercially available preparations of garlic have been reported to have beneficial effects on some of the risk factors associated with atherosclerosis.
To assess the effects of garlic (both dried and non-powdered preparations) for the treatment of peripheral arterial occlusive disease.
For this update the Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group Trials Search Co-ordinator searched the Specialised Register (last searched January 2013) and CENTRAL (2012, Issue 12).
Randomised trials of garlic therapy in patients with lower limb atherosclerosis were included. 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
Two review authors (RJ and JK) independently extracted data and assessed trial quality. One author (RJ) contacted investigators to obtain information needed for the review that could not be found in published reports.
One eligible trial with 78 participants was found. Both men and women (aged 40 to 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 metres in the group receiving garlic and from 172 to 203 metres 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.
Three trials were excluded from the review because they did not include any clinical measurements.
One small trial of short duration found no statistically significant effect of garlic on walking distance.
- Plants, Medicinal
- Arterial Occlusive Diseases [drug therapy]
- Garlic [therapeutic use]