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Arzneimittelforschung. 1994 May;44(5):614-7.

Effects of dietary garlic supplementation in a rat model of atherosclerosis.

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Institute of Physiology I, University of Tübingen, Fed. Rep. of Germany.


In the present study possible antiatherogenic effects of dietary garlic were investigated in an experimental model which consists in the deendothelialisation by ballooning of the a. carotis communis of rats. 3 experimental groups were established: group I received a standard diet; the diet of group II was supplemented with 2% cholesterol and group III received 2% cholesterol and 5% dried garlic powder. Four weeks after ballooning plasma cholesterol, the average thickness of the neointima as well as the DNA content and the expression of collagens type I, III and IV in the ballooned arterial segment were determined. Furthermore, the specific activities of the enzymes glutathione peroxidase, glutathione disulfide reductase, glutathione-S-transferase and glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase were measured in homogenates of liver, heart and aorta. Hypercholesterolemia induced by cholesterol-feeding (group II 92 +/- 18 mg/100 ml) was significantly reduced by garlic (group III 53 +/- 19 mg/100 ml). Only little effects of garlic were seen in inhibiting neointima after ballooning. However, significant effects were found in protecting the enzymes of the glutathione dependent peroxide detoxification system, which is strongly impaired under hypercholesterolemia. Generally a normalisation, in some cases even an improvement beyond that, of the enzyme activities occurred in the garlic treated group. This indicates that in the model of atherosclerosis used here garlic is effective in lowering plasma cholesterol and in improving peroxide detoxification, however, it has only little influence on the wound healing reaction and does not significantly inhibit the development of intimal thickenings after ballooning.

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