Aged Garlic can significantly reduce blood pressure
Garlic is good for much more than coughs and colds
When most people think about garlic as a natural medicine, they think about immunity. There’s a reason for the association: garlic has a long history of helping to fight off coughs, colds and other mild respiratory tract infections. Raw garlic contains oil soluble sulfur-based compounds that are not only responsible for its pungent taste, but for its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Plus, because garlic has anti-inflammatory effects, it can help to counter the inflammation that an over-active immune system can create.
Those same anti-inflammatory properties, plus its antioxidant effects, make garlic a great choice for maintaining heart health and cholesterol balance too.
Now, new research shows that Aged Garlic Extract can help to lower blood pressure
A recent (November 2012) study (1) clearly shows that Aged Garlic Extract – a specific kind of garlic – can significantly lower systolic blood pressure. The three-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involved 79 GP patients who were on hypertensive (high blood pressure) medication that wasn’t controlling their blood pressure levels. They were randomly assigned to one of four groups: taking 240mg, 480mg or 960mg of Aged Garlic Extract, or a placebo.
The results were dramatic. At 480mg daily, participants’ blood pressure levels significantly (p=0.006) reduced by an average of 11.8mmHg +/-5.4mmHg. To put that into context, lowering your blood pressure by 10mmHg can reduce your heart disease risk by 16-40%.
What is Aged Garlic Extract and why is it different?
It’s important to note that this research was conducted using a very specific kind of garlic: Aged Garlic Extract. Aged Garlic Extract is a unique ingredient created by naturally aging organically grown garlic in controlled conditions for 20 months.
The process converts some of the harsher, unstable, oil-based sulfur compounds in raw garlic into stable, odourless, water-based ones. These harsh compounds are responsible for the characteristically pungent garlic smell, and for the digestive problems that raw garlic can cause for some people. They’re also what create garlic breath and garlic odour in your skin.
Additionally, the aging process creates certain beneficial compounds that are simply not present in raw garlic. One of these is known as S-Allyl-Cysteine, and researchers believe it is this compound that is behind Aged Garlic Extract’s blood pressure benefits.
How to take Aged Garlic Extract
Because Aged Garlic Extract comes in convenient capsules, it’s extremely easy to take. Just two capsules daily with food will give you the same 480mg dose that the successful study participants took. If you’re actively fighting off a cold, or your immune system is under pressure, you may even want to increase that to three capsules daily.
Most people find they can take Aged Garlic Extract easily without getting garlic breath or digestive problems. However, because some digestive systems are more sensitive than others, naturopaths recommend always taking it with a full meal.
Can anyone take Aged Garlic Extract?
Garlic is a safe, 100% natural herbal remedy for most people. However, if you’re taking any kind of prescription medication (especially blood thinners), please consult your doctor first. Garlic has blood-thinning properties that can increase the effects of these medications. And if you have any upcoming surgery scheduled, you’ll want to stop taking garlic at least two weeks beforehand.
As always, if you have any questions about Aged Garlic Extract, please talk to your naturopath or other healthcare professional.
By Eve Storer-Blake BHSc, ND, Dip Med Herb
Nutra-Life Aged Kyolic Garlic is available in 3 formulas, Original, High Potency and Plus CoQ10. They are available for secure order from our online shop.
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(1) Aged Garlic Extract reduces blood pressure in hypertensives: A dose response trial. K Reid, OR Frank & NP Stacks. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Accessed: 21 Nov 2012