Garlic extract proven to decrease cardiovascular risk in the obese

New research in Poland has found that garlic extract can reduce weight-related cardiovascular risks. The study, published in the journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, investigated the potential effects of garlic on arterial stiffness and endothelial function in overweight and obese people.

In the study, University of Medical Sciences in Poznan in Poland and Rutgers University researchers recruited 88 participants who were aged 25 to 60 years and who met the required body mass index. Other considerations included stability of body weight, no drug-treated hypertension, and no history of coronary artery disease, stroke, and congestive heart failure.

Qualified participants were then randomly divided into two groups: those who received the garlic extract supplementation and those who received the placebo. The participants were also asked to maintain their habitual exercise and diet regimes for the duration of the study.

The researchers instructed the participants to take two capsules of the garlic extract or placebo with their breakfast every day for three months. The garlic extract supplement contained two percent allicin dosed at 400 milligrams per day, while the placebo contained pure microcrystalline cellulose.

Researchers recorded the participants’ body size and weight, blood pressure, and arterial stiffness. They also carried out biochemical analyses of metabolic parameters, such as plasma total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and triglycerides.

Results revealed that taking garlic extract supplement for three months reduced arterial stiffness index, building on earlier research on garlic extract’s benefits. In addition, it modified endothelial biomarkers, which are indicators associated with cardiovascular risk, of the participants at the end of the treatment period.

“This suggests that [garlic extract] can be used to suppress chronic inflammation in obese individuals,” wrote the researchers.

Nine ways garlic supports heart health

Garlic is more than just a spice, it is a superfood. It provides many health benefits and is especially good for the heart. Here are some ways garlic supports heart health:

  1. Garlic strengthens the arteries – Garlic, like other vegetables, helps soften the blood vessels and reduces the hardening.
  2. Garlic reduces blood pressure – Eating garlic can lower blood pressure by approximately seven to eight percent. Garlic is best for people who already suffer from high blood pressure. (Related: Garlic is good for your heart; it lowers your blood pressure.)
  3. Garlic is low in calories – Garlic may be highly nutritious but it has very few calories. An ounce of garlic contains 23 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of manganese, 17 percent of the RDA of vitamin B6, 15 percent of the RDA of vitamin C, six percent of the RDA of selenium, and 0.6 grams of fiber. It also contains decent amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamin B1.
  4. Garlic lowers cholesterol levels – You can improve your cholesterol levels with garlic or garlic supplements. Garlic helps reduce LDL cholesterol.
  5. Garlic enhances recovery from a heart attack – A study published in the Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that fresh garlic restored blood flow in the aorta in mice that experienced a heart attack.
  6. Garlic decreases artery plaque formation – Artery plaque, or the buildup of fatty deposits, is one of the leading cause of heart ailments. It blocks and interrupts blood circulation from the heart to the different parts of the body.
  7. Garlic reduces triglycerides – Triglycerides make up the body fat of a person, and garlic is believed to be helpful in reducing the buildup. Fewer triglycerides in the body means a greater chance of controlling cholesterol levels and reducing heart attack risk.
  8. Garlic regulates blood sugar levels – Garlic helps reduce blood sugar levels, essentially preventing diseases like diabetes, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
  9. Garlic supports the cardiovascular system – Garlic is beneficial for the cardiovascular system because of the compounds allicin and sulfur, which detoxify cells and eliminate harmful chemicals from the system.

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