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Health Agencies Update
September 18, 2002

Garlic Prevents Plaque . . .

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JAMA. 2002;288(11):1342. doi:10.1001/jama.288.11.1342

Researchers from Germany report that, in test tubes, garlic prevents formation of "nanoplaques" that can accumulate to cause arteriosclerosis. During a National Institutes of Health workshop on herbs and cardiovascular disease held in Bethesda, Md, in August, Günter Siegel, MD, from the Free University of Berlin, described his team's research, which pinpoints exactly how garlic blunts plaque formation.

In the presence of calcium, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol binds with molecules secreted from the inner lining of the arteries, forming tiny plaques that can accumulate and harden. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol—so-called good cholesterol—inhibits this process by absorbing excess plaque-forming molecules.

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