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October 2021

J Natl Med Assoc. 1997 Oct; 89(10): 673-8.

Modulation of lipid profile by fish oil and garlic combination.

Morcos NC.

Division of Cardiology, University of California, Irvine 92717, USA.

Fish consumption has been shown to influence epidemiology of heart disease, and garlic has been shown to influence triglyceride levels. This study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of fish oil and garlic combinations as a dietary supplement on the lipid subfractions. Forty consecutive subjects with lipid profile abnormalities were enrolled in a single-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Each subject received placebo for 1 month and fish oil (1800 mg of eicosapentanoic acid [EPA] + 1200 mg of docosahexanoic acid) with garlic powder (1200 mg) capsules daily for 1 month. Lipid fractionation was performed prior to study initiation, after the placebo period, and after the intervention period. Subjects all had cholesterol levels > 200. Subjects were instructed to maintain their usual diets. Supplementation for 1 month resulted in an 11% decrease in cholesterol, a 34% decrease in triglyceride, and a 10% decrease in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, as well as a 19% decrease in cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein (HDL) risk. Although not significant, there was a trend toward increase in HDL. There was no significant placebo effect. These results suggest that in addition to the known anticoagulant and antioxidant properties of both fish oil and garlic, the combination causes favorable shifts in the lipid subfractions within 1 month. Triglycerides are affected to the largest extent. The cholesterol lowering and improvement in lipid/HDL risk ratios suggests that these combinations may have antiatherosclerotic properties and may protect against the development of coronary artery disease.

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