Australian Breakthrough: Aged Garlic Matches Blood Pressure Medicines
A new Australian study published today in Frontiers of Nutrition found Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract significantly reduces blood pressure in hypertensive patients similar to first-line standard antihypertensive medications i, but cautioned increasing garlic in your diet does not have the same benefits.
Researchers were also surprised to observe that the Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract patient group also experienced positive changes in pulse wave velocity, arterial stiffness, inflammatory markers and gut microbiota.
Associate Professor Karin Ried, research director at the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Melbourne said the reduction in blood pressure was significant across the uncontrolled hypertensive patients, in both the patient groups on standard hypertensive medications and those on no medication.
"The mean blood pressure in patients taking 2 capsules a day, was reduced by 10 mmHg systolic and 5.4 mmHg diastolic, which is the same as standard hypertensive medications; we also observed individual patients whose blood pressure reduced by 40mmHg systolic from 160 to 120 mmHg, which is very significant," said A/Prof Ried.
"More than 60 percent of patients on standard anti-hypertensives report adverse side effects iii and doctors often find it difficult to balance their medications, but Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract can be used in combination with standard medications only producing minor side effects such as feeling bloated during the first week."
"Unfortunately, increasing the amount of garlic in your diet does not lower blood pressure, because when you cook garlic it loses the active component, allicin," she said.
A breakthrough finding researchers didn't expect to find during the study was a marked improvement in gut health, which is correlated to cardiovascular health.
"What we found amazing in this study was the patient group on Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract also had a marked increase in Lactobacillus and Clostridia, the good bacteria in the gut," she said.
"While it wasn't part of the study, we also found the gut health of patients was maintained after the study, indicating intake of Kyolic Aged Garlic, a prebiotic, has a sustained impact on gut health, compared to probiotics which need to be taken daily," A/Prof Karin Ried said.
The study also found an improvement in arterial stiffness, which can benefit everyone.
"As we age our arteries stiffen, making it harder to oxygenate our blood and for our heart to function, but effectively Kyolic Aged Garlic made arteries more flexible, in the three month study, arteries became younger and rejuvenated by five years on average," A/Prof Karin Ried said.
Dr Karin Ried is an Associate Professor at the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Melbourne. An adjunct A/Prof at Bond University on the Gold Coast and an honorary Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide. Learn more about Dr Ried: https://www.niim.com.au/research/academic-staff/aprof-dr-karin-ried.
Interview with Dr Karin Ried, Associate Professor and Research Director at the National Institute of Integrative Medicine
Question: What inspired you to undertake a study on aged garlic extract?
Dr Karin Ried: I've always been interested in nutrients on health. Garlic just stood out. There was evidence that garlic supplements were able to lower blood pressure similarly to standard blood pressure medications, and I wanted to explore this further.
Question: What did your study find?
Dr Karin Ried: The study found that Kyolic aged garlic extract significantly reduces blood pressure in hypertensive patients by 10mmHg systolic on average, similar to antihypertensive medications. It also found that increasing garlic in your diet does not have the same benefits; the organic aging process makes all the difference!
Question: What surprised you most about this particular study?
Dr Karin Ried: In addition to blood pressure reduction, the Kyolic aged garlic extract patient group also experienced positive changes in gut health, pulse wave velocity, arterial stiffness, and inflammatory markers. Arteries naturally become stiffer with age, but Kyolic can rejuvenate the arteries by making them more flexible equivalent to 5 years in 3 months.
Question: How is aged garlic extract different to increasing garlic in our diets?
Dr Karin Ried: The organically grown Kyolic aged garlic is turned into a potent dietary supplement, as the aging process creates a new sulphur-containing active compound (S-allyl-cysteine) which is responsible for blood pressure benefits. The aging process also eliminates the unpleasant odour and heartburn that many experience from regular garlic.
Question: What positive effects does adding garlic to our diets have on our health?
Dr Karin Ried: Garlic has traditionally been used to treat colds, flus and coughs as a home remedy, and Kyolic aged garlic extract can be used as a flu-season supplement. However, increasing garlic in our diets does not lower blood pressure, because when garlic is cooked it loses the active component, allicin.
Question: What is one thing we can begin doing today which will have a positive effect on our cardio vascular health?
Dr Karin Ried: Taking Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract is scientifically proven to positively affect our cardiovascular health. Combining this with being physically active and maintaining a healthy diet is highly recommended for a healthy heart.
Interview by Brooke Hunter