June 28, 2013 - 9:10am
A recent study found that aged garlic supplements have been shown to lower blood pressure.
Seventy-nine patients (mean age: 70 years) in two medical practices in Adelaide, South Australia, participated in this study from August 2011 to March 2012. Included patients had taken prescription antihypertensive medication for two months or longer, and their general practitioners did not intend to change the medication plan during the trial. Excluded patients had an unstable or serious illness or already were taking garlic supplements.
Patients received one, two or four capsules a day of Kyolic which contained 240, 480 or 960 mg of aged garlic extract or placebo for twelve weeks. The placebo consisted of sachets with a drop of liquid Kyolic.
Systolic (the top number or when the heart is beating) and diastolic ( the bottom number or when the heart is a rest) blood pressure was measured at four, eight and twelve weeks and was compared to baseline. Patients took an average of two different types of antihypertensive medications.
At twelve weeks the two capsule group (480 mg) showed a significant reduction of systolic blood pressure when compared to placebo. However, there was no change in diastolic blood pressure. There was no significant improvement in the one capsule and four capsule groups compared with placebo at any point of the study.
Participants in the garlic group reported minor complaints in the first week of the trial, including constipation, bloating, flatulence, reflux, garlic taste and difficulty in swallowing the capsules. The difference in reported minor adverse side effects between those taking garlic capsules and those taking the placebo was not statistically significant.
It was concluded by the authors of the study, that taking aged garlic is superior to placebo in lowering systolic blood pressure. The two capsule dose was effective and well tolerated. The two capsules of aged garlic decreased the systolic blood pressure by ten percent. This reduction of blood pressure has been associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Because it is thought that diastolic blood pressure is an important predictor of cardiovascular disease and may be more important determinant than systolic blood pressure. They also concluded that aged garlic should be retested to determine if it can have an effect of diastolic blood pressure.
*Obtained from American Botanical Council