How Aged Garlic Extract Can Slash Heart Disease RiskOctober 2018
By Michael Downey
Since the 1950s, scientists have been researching garlic, with particular focus on heart health.1
Garlic has been shown to help reduce heart disease risk factors, including atherosclerosis, elevated cholesterol, thrombosis, and high blood pressure.1-3
For those seeking these broad-range cardiovascular benefits, aged garlic extract is the best validated form from a clinical study perspective.
What you need to know
- Garlic’s health benefits have been recognized for thousands of years.
- Garlic has numerous cardioprotective effects, including preventing or improving atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
- Aged garlic extract contains unique and potent compounds—including S-allylcysteine—that fight oxidative stress.
- Published studies reveal marked reductions in a range of vascular disease risk factors.
Broad Cardioprotective Effects
Garlic is high in unique sulfur compounds that are responsible for its scent, taste, and beneficial effects—including its broad benefits for heart health.
An exhaustive 2016 review published in the Journal of Nutrition cited heart benefits seen with garlic supplementation, including:1
- A reduction in systolic blood pressure of 7-16 mmHg,
- A reduction in diastolic blood pressure of 5-9 mmHg,
- A decrease in total cholesterol of 7.4-29.8 mg/dL
- Favorable effects on reducing the progression rates of coronary artery calcium (calcium deposits in the coronary arteries, which is indicative of atherosclerotic plaque),
- Improved pulse wave velocity (a measure of arterial stiffness),
- Reduced C-reactive protein (higher levels of which indicate inflammation), and
- Overall general safety.
Aged Garlic Extract, a Potent Form of Garlic
Many different forms of garlic preparations are used for supplementation, but research on aged garlic extract stands out.
The long-term aging of garlic in diluted alcohol, without heat, produces unique and potent compounds—including S-allylcysteine and other S-allyl compounds. These sulfur-based constituents have powerful oxidant-reducing qualities. A number of other beneficial compounds may also be produced by the aging process.4,5
Adding to the collective findings of the 2016 review, newer studies on the cardioprotective effects of aged garlic extract have revealed remarkable results.
One of the most compelling effects of aged garlic extract is its ability to help reverse early heart disease. It accomplishes this by stripping deadly plaque buildup from artery walls.
In a randomized, double-blind study, researchers gave metabolic syndrome patients (aged 40 to 75) either a placebo or 2,400 mg of aged garlic extract daily. Then they assessed their coronary arteries—those that supply blood to the heart—for plaque.6
Follow-up screening a year later showed that those taking the garlic experienced slower accumulation of total plaque compared to the placebo group. More impressively, there was a regression of “low-attenuation” plaque.6
Low-attenuation plaque is soft plaque. Reducing this type of plaque has a significant stabilizing effect on atherosclerosis.
This ability to inhibit—and even reverse—arterial plaque buildup constitutes a critical reduction in the risk of atherosclerosis.