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|Year : 1991 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 128-31
Effect of ingestion of raw garlic on serum cholesterol level, clotting time and fibrinolytic activity in normal subjects.
Gadkari JV, Joshi VD
Department of Physiology, L. T. M. Medical College, Sion, Bombay, Maharashtra.
Department of Physiology, L. T. M. Medical College, Sion, Bombay, Maharashtra.
The effect of raw garlic on serum cholesterol, fibrinolytic activity and clotting time was studied in 50 medical students of the age group of 17 to 22 years before and after feeding raw garlic. All pre-experimental values ranged within normal limits. The volunteers were then divided into experimental and control groups. The subjects of the experimental group were given 10 gm of raw garlic daily after breakfast for two months. Fasting blood samples of all the subjects were investigated after two months. In the control group, there was no significant change in any of the above parameters. In the experimental group, there was a significant decrease in serum cholesterol and an increase in clotting time and fibrinolytic activity. Hence, garlic may be an useful agent in prevention of thromboembolic phenomenon.
|How to cite this article:|
Gadkari J V, Joshi V D. Effect of ingestion of raw garlic on serum cholesterol level, clotting time and fibrinolytic activity in normal subjects. J Postgrad Med 1991;37:128
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Gadkari J V, Joshi V D. Effect of ingestion of raw garlic on serum cholesterol level, clotting time and fibrinolytic activity in normal subjects. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 1991 [cited 2020 May 28];37:128. Available from: http://www.jpgmonline.com/text.asp?1991/37/3/128/777
Patients with coronary artery disease have defective fibrinolytic activity,, increased serum cholesterol, and decreased clotting time than normal subjects. Patients with increased cholesterol have higher mortality from coronary artery disease. Cholesterol and fibrinolytic activity are inversely related in all age groups. Deposition of fibrin on the vessel walls promotes atherosclerosis. So, in creased attention is paid to the mechanisms controlling fibrinolysis. Efforts were made to isolate a substance, which could be taken in daily diet. Garlic has been reported to minimise the adverse effects of high fat diet. In cases of myocardial infarction, garlic increase fibrinolytic activity. Bordia and Verma as well as Jain, have shown the reversibility of cholesterol-induced experimental atherosclerosis in rabbits, by garlic.
Hypocholesterolaemic effect of garlic in normal subjects is studied by Bhushan et al. But the effect of long term ingestion of raw garlic in normal human beings on serum cholesterol, fibrinolytic activity and clotting time, which are the important factors in pathogenesis of thromboembolic phenomenon has not been studied so far. Hence, the present study was undertaken.
The present study was carried out on 50 healthy medical students (age range: 17-22 years), who had never ingested garlic before, as revealed from their history. They were divided in two groups. Thirty students formed the experimental group and twenty, a control group.
The fasting blood samples were collected from each subject. Clotting time was estimated by capillary method, serum cholesterol by single reagent method of Zurkowski, and fibrinolytic activity by euglobulin clot lysis time. The subjects of the experimental group were given 10 g of raw garlic daily, after breakfast, for two months. At the end of this period, the fasting samples were again collected and the above parameters were re-evaluated.
There was no gain or loss in weight in any volunteer during the study period. The results of various biochemical parameters studied are depicted in [Table - 1].
There was no significant change in serum cholesterol, fibrinolytic activity or clotting time in the control group, whereas, in the experimental group, ingestion of raw garlic for two months brought about a significant decrease in serum cholesterol, an increase in fibrinolytic activity and an increase in the clotting time.
Bordia and associates, have shown that garlic has a protective action against fat induced increase in serum cholesterol, decrease in fibrinolytic activity and increase in clotting time in patients with myocardial infarction and coronary artery disease. It is also suggested that garlic could be useful in preventing alimentary hyperlipaemia in persons without any signs of atherosclerosis but are predisposed by diabetes, hypertension etc. Garlic was also found useful in stress induced myocardial damage. It has been shown to reverse experimental atherosclerosis in rabbits,. Normally, fibrinolysis occurring in the body maintains the fluidity of the circulating blood by dissolving and removing deposits of fibrin,. Perhaps an important function of fibrinolysis is to remove very minute clots from tiny peripheral vessels that eventually would become occluded were there no way to cleanse them. Defects in coagulation and fibrinolytic activity are main factors for the development of thrombus. Garlic, when used continuously produces constant lytic activity, probably due to decrease in cholesterol and an increase in the plasminogen activity.
Fibrinolysis of fibrin, releases fibrin degradation products which have anticoagulant activity. Increased plasmin may lower factor V, VIII, IX and can cause increase in clotting time. The commonly used thrombolytic agents like streptokinase and urokinase are expensive, antigenic, effective only on parenteral use and cannot be used for a long time. These drawbacks are absent with garlic therapy.
Among the host factors identified for coronary artery disease, lipids are of utmost importance. Risk of coronary artery disease is proportional to the antecedent, cholesterol level. Subjects with high cholesterol level have been found to have a history of coronary artery disease and died of it. Garlic probably helps to prevent lipid implantation on the arterial wall. Jain, suggested that garlic may act by increasing the excretion of cholesterol end products and by affecting its synthesis in the liver. It may be lipotropic. Garlic also prevents fall of alpha lipoprotein which is non-atherogenic and transfers cholesterol from the periphery to the liver. Excretion of bile acids increases significantly after garlic ingestion and excretion of sterols is seen in feces. These compounds are known to affect cholesterol and garlic also contains these compounds. They react with cysteine present in the animal body, either free or as a part of tissue proteins or enzymes, and possibly bring about some quantitative changes in glycogen, lipid and proteins. Another possible action is oxidation of NADPH, which is necessary for lipid synthesis. The type of unsaturated disulphides and their oxides present in garlic could oxidise NADPH and prevent lipid synthesis.
Bhushan and his associates suggested that garlic eaters may have lower cholesterol levels than non-caters. Sainani et al, have shown higher levels of cholesterol, beta lipoproteins, fibrinogen and shorter clotting time and low lytic activity in 'Jain' community which does not eat garlic. The active principle of garlic is an essential oil which is a combination of sulphur containing compounds. It contains diallyldisulphide and allylpropyldisulphide.
In the present study, we found that ingestion of raw garlic for two months had brought about decrease in serum cholesterol and increase in fibrinolytic activity and increase in clotting time in normal individuals. No side effect was noted with garlic. In addition, it is cheap and can be taken orally. So, daily use of simple dietary substance like garlic may be useful for prevention of thromboembolic phenomenon.
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