High Blood Pressure Lurking Like a Vampire?

Get Armed with Garlic

High Blood Pressure Lurking Like A Vampire

High Blood Pressure Lurking Like A Vampire

A new Australian study has found that Aged Garlic Extract reduces blood pressure in adults with hypertension, offering an option to those who don’t respond well to prescription medications or would prefer a natural therapy. Published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study was led by Karin Ried, PhD, from the University of Adelaide, Australia, now research director at the National Institute of Integrative Medicine (Melbourne), who has been researching the health benefits of garlic since 2006.

Study researchers say two daily capsules of a high-potency formula of Aged Garlic Extract were enough to reduce systolic blood pressure by an average of 12 millimeters of mercury, comparable to the effect of many commonly prescribed anti-hypertensive medicines.

A reduction in systolic blood pressure in this range lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease by 16% to 40%. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 30% of American adults suffer prehypertension.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, places increased strain on the heart and increases the risk of heart attack or heart failure.

“These results provide more robust evidence supporting the use of Aged Garlic Extract as a safe and effective adjunct treatment for hypertension that has few known side effects,” says Dr Ried.

While our study focused on using Aged Garlic Extract as an adjunct treatment to conventional medications, there is evidence to suggest that it also works as a sole treatment in people with hypertension.

The study used a high-potency formula of Aged Garlic Extract. The compound has fewer side effects than fresh garlic and allows better standardization of dosage than other types of garlic supplements such as garlic oil and garlic powder.

Aged Garlic Extract is made from organic cloves of garlic, grown without herbicides, pesticides or other chemicals. The cloves are naturally aged in an up to 20-month process to prevent the garlic’s antioxidant compounds from degrading, maximize its beneficial properties and completely eliminate its odor.

Studies have shown that Aged Garlic Extract can also support strong immunity and help maintain healthy blood pressure, cholesterol levels and circulation, the doctor adds

Healthy LivinG interviewed Dr. Ried to discuss other uses of Aged Garlic Extract (AGE), as well as taking AGE alone and with blood pressure medication, since so many drug patients also use herbs in their daily health regimen.

HL: What are other promising areas of use for AGE?

KR: We published a meta-analysis on the effect of garlic on cholesterol in the May issue of Nutrition Reviews. We found garlic supplements to be effective in reducing total cholesterol and lowdensity lipoprotein (LDL or bad) cholesterol by 8% to 9%. This reduction is clinically relevant as it is associated with a 38% decrease in the risk of cardiac events at 50 years of age. Our review pooled the results of 39 primary trials involving more than 2,300 people, the most comprehensive to date. In the case of cholesterol, a range of garlic supplements can be effective, including Aged Garlic Extract.

HL: What are the major differences in natural vs. drug methods in lowering cholesterol?

KR: Many people are prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins; however, statins trigger debilitating side effects in about 70% of people, including fatigue, muscle pain, memory loss and an increased risk of diabetes.

We need to remember that some cholesterol is needed in the body, for example, for the synthesis of steroid hormones, vitamin D, coenzyme Q10 and cell membrane integrity. Garlic supplements reduce cholesterol in a more balanced manner and therefore would be a better option than frontline medication for a large number of people experiencing slightly elevated cholesterol levels.

HL: What would you tell patients who are on blood pressure medication if they wish to combine both?

KR: There is no problem. In our study, patients took Aged Garlic Extract in addition to their BP medication and had no unwanted side effects. Patients were on one to four different types of standard BP medications. If BP levels reduce significantly with the Aged Garlic Extract, patients can consider changing their standard BP medication regimen in consultation with their doctor.

HL: What would you advise patients who are on aspirin who wish to take AGE, too?

KR: Aged Garlic Extract has a higher safety profile than other garlic preparations. Research has shown that it can safely be taken in addition to blood-thinning medications without the risk of increased bleeding.

HL: Can AGE be used to prevent a second heart attack or stroke?

KR: The goal to achieve normal blood pressure levels and other cardiovascular markers is even more important for secondary prevention. AGE would benefit heart health for primary and secondary prevention

HL: What nutrients complement AGE?

KR: My research has found cocoa and tomato extract to be beneficial for heart health, although to a lesser degree than Aged Garlic Extract.

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