Aged garlic extract reduces low attenuation plaque in coronary arteries of patients with diabetes: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
Exp Ther Med. 2020 Feb ;19(2):1457-1461. Epub 2019 Dec 27. PMID: 32010322
Several previous studies have demonstrated that aged garlic extract (AGE) inhibits the progression of coronary artery calcification and non-calcified plaque (NCP) in the general population. However, its effects on plaque progression in patients with diabetes have not yet been investigated, at least to the best of our knowledge. This study investigated whether AGE reduces the coronary plaque volume measured by cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). A total of 80 participants with DM with a median age of 57 years were prospectively assigned to consume 2,400 mg AGE/day (after completion, 37 participants) or placebo (after completion, 29 participants) orally. Both groups underwent CCTA at baseline and follow-up 365 days apart. In total, 66 participants completed the study. Coronary plaque volume, including total plaque (TP), dense calcium (DC), fibrous, fibro-fatty and low-attenuation plaque (LAP) volumes were measured based upon pre-defined intensity cut-off values using semi-automated software (QAngio CT). Changes in various plaque types were normalized to the total coronary artery length. The non-parametric Wilcoxon rank-sum test was performed to examine the differences in plaque formation between the 2 groups. No significant differences were found in the baseline characteristics between the AGE and placebo groups. Compared with the placebo group, the AGE group exhibited a statistically significant regression in normalized LAP [median and standard deviation (SD) -0.2 (18.8) vs. 2.5 (69.3), P=0.0415]. No differences were observed in TP, fibrous, or fibrofatty plaque volumes between the AGE and placebo group. On the whole, this study indicated that the %LAP change in the AGE group was significantly greater than that in the placebo group in patients with diabetes. However, further studies are warranted to evaluate whether AGE has the ability to stabilize vulnerable plaque and decrease adverse cardiovascular events.