by: Lori Alton, staff writer | August 2, 2023
(NaturalHealth365) As the number one killer of both men and women, the incidence of heart disease continues to rise. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), cardiovascular disease takes the life of someone in the United States every 34 seconds. By 2030, heart disease is expected to take the lives of more than 23.6 million people worldwide. But a recent study on this deadly disease suggests new hope is on the horizon for slowing its progression, naturally.
The study published in Phytotherapy Research provides consistent evidence that aged garlic extract intake can reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors, including beneficial effects on cholesterol levels, inflammatory markers, and coronary artery calcification, offering the potential of a safe, natural remedy to combat heart issues.
Breakthrough study reveals aged garlic offers promising benefits for cardiovascular health
In this recently published comprehensive study, researchers delved into the impact of garlic on cardiovascular diseases (CAD). They meticulously examined a wide range of studies exploring the effects of garlic powder tablets and aged garlic extract (AGE) on patients with heart issues. The research honed in on vital indicators such as blood pressure, coronary artery calcification, lipid profile (cholesterol levels), and markers of inflammation.
The outcomes of this extensive analysis revealed promising results. Garlic showcased significant benefits in several key areas. It was found to boost the levels of HDL cholesterol, while reducing levels of LDL cholesterol, thus promoting heart health. Moreover, garlic displayed a remarkable ability to lower markers of inflammation in the body, potentially mitigating the damaging effects of inflammation on the cardiovascular system. Additionally, garlic intake seemed to positively influence the levels of homocysteine, a compound associated with heart health and contributed to reducing coronary artery calcification, a process linked to the development of heart disease.
Furthermore, when the researchers analyzed specific subgroups of patients at higher cardiovascular risk, garlic proved even more effective. It demonstrated its prowess in lowering total cholesterol and LDL levels while simultaneously elevating HDL levels – a combination that bodes well for heart health.
A powerful ally in the battle against arterial plaque
In another study published in the Journal of Nutrition, aged garlic extract showed significant promise in its ability to reverse the buildup of plaque in arteries. The study was found to both reduce the amount of accumulated “soft plaque” in the arteries as well as prevent new plaque from forming.
The study, conducted at the independent biomedical research facility LA BioMed, Torrance, Calif., showed that adding the supplement, aged garlic extract, resulted in a reduction in the amount of soft plaque, also known as low-attenuation plaque, that had built up in the arteries of patients. Participants in the study were already known to be suffering from metabolic syndrome, which carries with it a number of cardiac disease risk factors, including hypertension and obesity.
Fifty-five patients, aged 40 to 75 years old, were involved in the study. At the start of the trial, study subjects underwent screening using non-invasive Cardiac Computed Tomography technology to measure total coronary plaque volume already in existence. The screening also provided specific measurements of dense calcium, non-calcified plaque, and low-attenuation plaque.
After screening and evaluation, study subjects were assigned to either a placebo or 2,400 mg of aged garlic taken daily. After one year, a follow-up screening was conducted. Results showed that those who had been taking aged garlic extract showed an 80 percent reduction in total plaque accumulation and reduced soft plaque. They also demonstrated less low-attenuation plaque.
How to enhance your immune function and avoid the threat of cancer cell growth
Aged garlic extract is made by extracting and aging organic fresh garlic for 20 months at room temperature. This aging and extraction process causes higher antioxidant levels compared with fresh garlic. In addition, the most unstable substances in garlic are converted to more bioavailable, stable substances. Garlic aged this way contains stable water-soluble sulfur substances, such as S-allyl mercapto cysteine (SAMC) and S-allyl cysteine (SAC). These are powerful antioxidants with high bioavailability at 98 percent absorption into the blood.
Aged garlic extract also contains oil-soluble sulfur compounds, flavonoids, a phenol allixin, and other nutrients, including selenium. But it is the water-soluble sulfur compounds that are credited most for the health benefits of AGE.
In addition to its heart-healthy attributes, aged garlic extract has been shown to give a boost to the body’s natural ability to make glutathione, which acts as a powerful antioxidant in protecting against free radicals. Aged garlic extract is also known to have greater immunity-boosting qualities than fresh garlic, increasing immune cell numbers and activity and enhancing the activity of natural killer cells, which destroy cancer cells and invading organisms.
For this reason, aged garlic extract has been linked to a lower risk of breast cancer, as well as cancers of the bladder, colon, stomach, lung, liver, and esophagus. It acts by reducing free radicals, enhancing the destruction of carcinogens, and preventing carcinogens from binding to DNA.
Top ways to include aged garlic in your diet for heart health
To fully harness the heart-healthy potential of aged garlic, here are the top ways to include it in your diet:
Garlic supplements: Incorporate aged garlic extract into your daily supplement routine for a convenient boost.
Cooking: Add aged garlic to soups, stews, stir-fries, and roasted vegetables for a flavorful and heart-healthy touch.
Garlic oil: Drizzle aged garlic extract over salads or vegetable dishes.
Smoothies and juices: Blend aged garlic extract into smoothies for a nutritious addition.
Roasted garlic: Enjoy the mild and caramelized taste of roasted garlic on a variety of homemade meals.
Heart-healthy salsa: Create a heart-boosting salsa using fresh ingredients and a dash of aged garlic extract.
Dressings and dips: Enhance dressings and dips with aged garlic extract for added nutritional value.
Embrace the versatility of garlic and consult your holistic healthcare provider or health coach before adding any supplements to your diet, ensuring a heart-smart approach to wellness.
Sources for this article include: