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J Nutr. 2001 Mar;131(3s):985S-8S. doi: 10.1093/jn/131.3.985S.

Suppression of LDL oxidation by garlic.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, School of Medicine, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA.


It has been known for several decades that hypercholesterolemia is a major risk factor for atherosclerosis and that lowering of cholesterol can significantly reduce risk for cardiovascular diseases. More recently, oxidation of LDL has been recognized as playing an important role in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis. Oxidized LDL, but not native LDL, promotes vascular dysfunction by exerting direct cytotoxicity toward endothelial cells, by increasing chemotactic properties for monocytes, by transforming macrophages to foam cells via scavenger-receptors and by enhancing the proliferation of various cell types, e.g., endothelial cells, monocytes and smooth muscle cells; all of these events are recognized as contributing to atherogenesis. In this paper, experimental evidence is presented that shows that several garlic compounds can effectively suppress LDL oxidation in vitro. Short-term supplementation of garlic in human subjects has demonstrated an increased resistance of LDL to oxidation. These data suggest that suppressed LDL oxidation may be one of the powerful mechanisms accounting for the antiatherosclerotic properties of garlic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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