The food that normally doesn’t taste good, often owes numerous health benefactions to the consumers. Garlic, undoubtedly, is one of them. Raw garlic may not smell and taste good to some but it offers various medicinal benefits.
Hippocrates quotes, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Garlic has long been known for its antibacterial effects. It belongs to the onion family. It contains a compound called Allicin which has potent medicinal properties. It also contains vitamins and fibers too.
A recent study has reported garlic to be significantly effective against cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure. One such study was published in the Journal of Hypertension. It pointed out that regular consumption of garlic could moderately reduce blood pressure consequently minimizing the chances of cardiac issues to occur.
The researchers pondered upon the anti-hypertensive property of garlic. The researchers, first of all, reviewed all the studies conducted to link garlic and its abilities to combat cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure. The studies were supposed to last for at least four weeks with regular measurements of diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
Eight studies or trials were assembled in total by the researchers, reporting about 415 patients. All the trials used dried garlic powder. Three out of them showed a significant reduction in systolic pressure and the other four signified lowering of diastolic BP.
The reviews by the researchers stated that 600-900 milligrams of garlic supplements in a day were enough to achieve a sufficient reduction in the blood pressure of an individual. The researchers claimed the results to be clinically relevant. The results suggested that the garlic powder may be clinically helpful with respect to the subject of mild hypertension.
The researchers, however, concluded that further studies and researches are still to be carried out in order to understand the effects of garlic regarding hypertension or blood pressure.
Another study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, notified that finely crushed fresh garlic is cardio-protective than a processed one. The study, led by researchers from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, specified that freshly crushed garlic contains more heart-healthy benefits than dried or processed garlic.
The team of the researchers indicated that when garlic is cut or crushed it gives rise to hydrogen sulfide which may be a possible source of health to the heart. When ingested, it works as a signaling substance which relaxes or dilates the blood vessels allowing a smooth blood flow all around the body. However, the processed form of garlic lacks the ability to produce hydrogen sulfide and resultantly, doesn’t exhibit the results similar to the ones observed with fresh garlic.
To verify the theory a test was conducted by the researchers employing two groups of lab rats. One group was fed with fresh garlic and the other was given the processed one. To see how the animals recover, the rats were subjected to virtual heart attacks. It was observed that both crushed and processed garlic were capable of reducing the damage but the fresh garlic group exhibited a significantly better effect and speedily restored a good blood flow and standardize blood pressure.
Garlic extract was also reported to modify markers of endothelial function that are commonly linked to cardiac issues. The respective report was published in Bio-medicine & Pharmacotherapy, volume 102. Researchers from the Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poland found that when overweight or obese individuals were provided with the garlic supplement, they showed improved endothelial bio-markers. Ninety-two subjects were enrolled in the study. The arterial stiffness index and certain bio-markers of endothelial function such as cholesterol, triglycerides etc. along with total antioxidant status (TAS) were quantified at baseline and the end of the study.
A lot of studies anticipate the healthful benefactions offered by garlic. However, the researchers are still working to determine the exact role of garlic in preventing cardiovascular diseases.
The studies and reports discussed above could be extensively studied on the following links,