Some time ago I read some extremely concerning statistics regarding the number of Australians suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure). Close to 6 million Australian adults have high blood pressure. What is even more concerning is the rate of adults in regional/rural areas with high blood pressure is even higher – in fact it’s another 27% higher!! When you consider hypertension is a major risk factor for stroke, heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases as well as kidney disease, these statistics are pretty concerning.
The good news is, there’s been some very interesting research undertaken indicating supplementation with Aged Garlic Extract may reduce blood pressure, in some cases as effectively as prescription medications. This is great news for those who suffer side effects from their prescription medication or for those preferring a more natural medication. It could also be beneficial for those newly diagnosed with high blood pressure and wishing to try something natural, obviously under medical supervision. The study found 2 capsules per day of a high potency aged garlic extract could in many cases be as effective as many commonly prescribed anti-hypertensive medications. The research found this dosage caused the systolic blood pressure to reduce by an average of 12 millimetres of mercury which meant lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease by 16 to 40 percent. This research was undertaken at the University of Adelaide by Dr Karin Reid who had been researching the health benefits of garlic since 2006 (1)(2)(3).
It is important to point out this research was undertaken with aged garlic extract. It appears by using aged garlic extract the measurement of dosage is more exact, especially when compared to other garlic supplements such as garlic powder or oil. Aged garlic extract will also have lesser side effects than fresh garlic. By naturally aging the organic garlic cloves over a 20-month period this then maintains the antioxidant compounds, increases the beneficial therapeutic properties plus most importantly for many, completely removes the garlic odour.
Another study at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Centre found aged garlic could lower the risk of heart disease by reducing the accumulation of certain types of plaque in the arteries. 55 patients aged 40 to 75 participated in the study. It was found, 12 months after the study began, the participants given 2400mg of aged garlic extract every day had slowed their plaque accumulation by 80% which is amazing. It was concluded supplementing with Aged Garlic Extract may reverse the build-up of plaque in arteries plus help prevent the progression of heart disease (4).
It is also important to understand, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can for many be prevented or managed through healthy lifestyle choices. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol intake and quitting smoking can all help with avoiding these diseases.
Another more recent study found aged garlic’s prebiotic properties had the potential to modulate gut bacteria, protecting from intestinal inflammation and in fact increasing certain beneficial and immune stimulating bacteria such as the Lactobacillus and Clostridia species (5).
Of course, we’ve known for years of garlic’s antibacterial properties. Now we’ve learnt about the magic of aged garlic – it not only kills off bad bacteria, but it at the same time also increases and looks after our good bacteria!! How special is that?!
For further information on aged garlic or any other health issue call in to see Bev and the team at Go Vita your Health Shop at 5 North St, Batemans Bay or phone on 44729737. Don’t forget to tune into Bev on Go Get Healthy on 2EC every Wednesday at 12.30pm.
(1) Reid K, Travica N, Sali A.The effect of aged garlic extract on blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors in uncontrolled hypertensives: the AGE at Heart trial. Integr Blood Press Contil 2016.9-21
(2) Reid K, Frank OR, Stocks NP. Aged Garlic extract reduces blood pressure in hypertensives, dose response trial. Eur J Clin Nutr 2013.67-.64-70
(3) Reid K. Effect of garlic on blood pressure, serum cholesterol and immunity, updated meta-analysis and reviews. J Nutr 2016:146(2):3895-965(3)
(4) Reid K, Fakler P. Potential of garlic lowering high blood pressure mechanisms of action and clinical relevance. Integr Blood Press Control 2014;7,71-82
R.Varshney, MJ Budoff Garlic and Heart Disease Journal of Nutrition 2016; DOI:10.3945/jn.114.202333
(5) Reid K, Travica N, Sali A. The effect of Kyolic aged garlic extract on gut microbia, inflammation and cardiovascular health in hypertensives; the GarGIC Trail.Frontiers in Nutr 2018