Thursday, May 12, 2011

Let Garlic Help You Lower Hypertension!

While garlic is widely used as a seasoning or condiment, it has also been used as a remedy for infections, digestive disorders and fungal infections. In fact, traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine practitioners have been using garlic to prevent high blood pressure for centuries. Meanwhile, many past studies also linked it to prevention of cancer and heart disease, and reduction of blood sugar.

A 12-week trial involving 50 patients that was conducted by Australian researchers from University of Adelaide reported that people with hypertension (high blood pressure) who took 4 capsules a day of a aged garlic extract had their systolic blood pressure reduced by around 10 mmHg, as compared with those who were given a placebo. The findings were published in October 2010 in the scientific journal ‘Maturitas’.

A placebo is a sham or simulated medical intervention that is commonly used in medical research. It is given as control treatments and can be inert tablets, sham surgery and other procedures based on false information.

However, the researchers pointed out that garlic, if it is taken in any other way, for instance, raw, fresh or in powdered form, does not have the same effect. When fresh garlic is cooked, its ingredient that is responsible for lowering blood pressure simply disappeared.

Though this was not the first study to examine the beneficial property of garlic, it was the first study to assess the impact of aged garlic extract that was evaluated as an additional treatment to other high blood pressure drugs, as claimed by the researchers.

Hypertension is a risk factor for coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure, peripheral vascular disease and many other medical conditions. Globally, about 1 billion people have hypertension, which also affects about 1 in 3 adults in the United States. If hypertensive patients can have their blood pressure normalized, the risk of getting heart disease and stroke could be reduced.

Nevertheless, as garlic has blood-thinning effect and might interact with many drugs, it is advisable for patients to seek advice from qualified health practitioners or doctors before taking any garlic supplements.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting Subject. I agree with most of what you are saying here. Garlic and Onions may reduce high blood pressure if consumed regularly, it really works because of its therapeutic virtues.