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Slow-release garlic may counter atherosclerosis. (Placebo-Controlled Trial).

BETHESDA, MD. -- A sustained-release garlic preparation led to decreased intima-media thickness of the common carotid arteries in a 24-month study of 103 men with atherosclerosis, Dr. Igor Sobenin reported at a meeting on the cardiovascular effects of botanicals sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

In the double-blind, multicenter study, 103 similar men received placebo tablets. All subjects were 40-74 years old. They were randomly assigned to twice-daily use of a placebo tablet or an Allicor tablet (INAT-Farma Ltd., Moscow). Each Allicor tablet contains 150 mg of garlic powder and a polymeric matrix that allows the slow release and intestinal absorption of biologically active components.

Ultrasound monitoring revealed significant decreases in intima-media thickness at 12, 18, and 24 months in patients who received Allicor. At 24 months, the average decrease was 44 [micro]m with Allicor and 29 [micro]m with placebo. The thickness decreased in 81% of Allicor patients and in 21% of placebo patients, and increased in 18% of Allicor patients and in 53% of placebo patients. The decrease in intima-media thickness correlated well with a decline in expression of interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor-[alpha] in cultured macrophages.

The Allicor-related decrease in mean intima-media thickness was similar to the mean decrease seen with other drugs in 18 similarly designed trials of medications, said Dr. Sobenin of the National Cardiology Research Center, Moscow.

When blood serum samples from the Allicor patients were added to a culture of human aortic cells, a reduction in laboratory indicators of atherogenicity was seen over a 12-hour period, compared with samples from placebo patients. In other studies, such an effect was seen for 6 hours after the use of quick-release garlic powder tablets.

Allicor is currently available in Russia, Ukraine, Larvia, and other former Soviet republics. The study was supported by a grant from the Institute for Atherosclerosis Research, Moscow.
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Author:Evans, Jeff
Publication:OB GYN News
Date:Dec 1, 2002
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