Adelaide study finds garlic will lower blood pressure
A University of Adelaide study into the health benefits of garlic has concluded that it is indeed effective in lowering blood pressure.
Just published in the January 2013 edition of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study finds that a daily dosage of two capsules of aged garlic extract renders a similar effect to that of current prescribed drugs.
The study suggests that people with hypertension may be able to complement their current blood pressure-lowering drugs with aged garlic extract.
“Garlic is thought to have an antihypertensive effect because it stimulates production of certain chemical substances called nitric oxide (NO) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S), which helps relax blood vessels”, said the now Research Director at the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Melbourne, Dr Ried.
While garlic in general offers a range of health benefits, the study singles out aged garlic extract as the ‘preparation of choice for B(lood) P(ressure) treatment’. Safer in preparation, aged garlic extract works as an effective adjunct to current anti-hypertension drugs.
This substance ‘does not cause bleeding problems if taken with other blood-thinning medicines such as warfarin’, the study notes in its introduction.
In addition to lowering blood pressure, aged garlic extract is attributed with improving blood circulation, immunities and cholesterol levels.
A relevant discovery
Hypertension remains prevalent worldwide and is estimated to contribute to roughly 40% of cardiovascular-related deaths.
The study’s findings, that garlic be ‘considered as a safe adjunct treatment to conventional antihypertensive therapy’, is also well suited to the Australian demography.
According to Dr Ried, “the fact that Australians are comfortable with using complementary and alternative medicine, shows there is plenty of scope to explore the use of garlic as an effective treatment option for people suffering hypertension.”