This is bound to cause a stink among those who adhere to the centuriesold belief that garlic is good for the heart.
According to the latest research, consuming the wonder bulb makes no difference whatsoever to cholesterol levels. Almost 200 volunteers were put on a garlic-rich diet for six months, but the only notable change was an increase in bad breath and body odour.
The study by researchers at Stanford University's school of medicine in California, assessed the effects of raw garlic and two commercial garlic supplements on LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, and HDL, the "good' variety".
Dr Christopher Gardner, who led the team, said: "There were no statistically significant effects of the three forms of garlic on LDL cholesterol concentrations." Levels of other types of cholesterol were also unaffected, he said.
Garlic has long been thought to have benefits ranging from the prevention of colds to cutting the risk of developing cancer. Previous tests found the plant could "reverse" fatty build-up in the arteries.
Dr Gardner warned the lack of benefit found in this trial did not mean garlic did not have other healthy effects.