Throughout history, garlic has been utilized by many cultures as a flavoring and a preservative, as well as for the prevention and treatment of diseases. Per the Journal of Nutrition, in addition to Biblical references to garlic, ancient medical texts from Egypt, Greece, Rome, China and India all contain prescribed medical applications for garlic. It’s interesting to note that although these cultures developed in isolation from one another, all reached similar conclusions regarding garlic’s efficacy and actions. Early history shows that garlic was mainly utilized to maintain and increase the strength, endurance and work capacity of laborers, soldiers and sailors, as well as to treat circulatory ailments, parasitic infestations and general malaise. Long before the functions of the human vascular system were known, Greek physician, Dioscorides, the chief physician for the Roman army under Nero, recommended garlic to “clean the arteries.”
Of all the medicinal plants used intensively in traditional medicine, garlic may be one of the most important. Widely recognized by modern science for its broad and beneficial effects on cardiac health, an abundance of scientific literature supports the consumption of garlic for its preventative characteristics in cardiovascular diseases. These include its ability to reduce blood sugar, serum cholesterol and triglycerides; balance inflammation and regulate blood pressure; as well as improve endothelial function and prevent atherosclerosis. In order to provide a consistent dosage, most of the studies relating to the health benefits of garlic involved the use of garlic supplements. Aged garlic extract (AGE), in particular, provides unique and potent sulfur-based compounds with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities.
Several studies have demonstrated that AGE inhibits the progression of coronary artery calcification. One of the most compelling findings of a placebo-controlled double-blind study of AGE involved 72 participants who met at least two of the five criteria for metabolic syndrome, a rapidly rising threat to a long and healthy lifespan. An individual with three of the following health conditions–central obesity, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, elevated blood sugar and insulin resistance–would be diagnosed as having metabolic syndrome, which greatly increases diabetes and heart health risk. Researchers found the percentage of low attenuation (soft) plaque change was significantly greater in the AGE group than in the placebo group. Although the researchers suggest that further studies are warranted to evaluate whether AGE has the ability to decrease adverse cardiac events, the answer may lie in its ability to help inhibit or reverse early heart disease by stripping soft plaque buildup from artery walls.
Per scientific studies, the organic compound, allicin, responsible for garlic’s flavor and aroma, acts as one of the most powerful nutritional antioxidants. Researchers, who set out to determine exactly what was responsible for garlic’s medicinal benefits, found that as allicin decomposes it rapidly reacts to neutralize free radicals. The antibacterial activity of garlic is widely attributed to allicin as well. Garlic has been proven to be effective against a host of bacteria, including salmonella and E.coli. Its anti-protozoal properties have demonstrated effectiveness against candida, giardia and more. In review, garlic’s more than 200 compounds are reported to enhance the immune system, to have antitumoral and antioxidant features and to be effective against bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections. Components include sulphur compounds, volatile oils, enzymes, carbohydrates, minerals, amino acids, niacin, vitamins A, C, E, B1 and B2, bioflavonoids and beta-carotene many of which offer cellular protection from the harms of free radicals and oxidizing agents.
Professional Supplement Center offers many high quality supplements in support of overall wellness:
Kyolic® Formula 100 Vegetarian Cardiovascular by Wakunaga Pharmaceutical: This odorless, organic, scientifically researched aged garlic supplement supports and strengthens the cardiovascular system by reducing major risk factors, maintaining circulatory function, and promoting overall heart health. Free of dairy, preservatives, sugar, yeast and artificial ingredients. Organically grown, odorless vegetarian formulation.
Fermented Black Garlic by Dr. Mercola®: Aging and fermenting enhances the sweetness and bioavailability of the beneficial nutrients including S-Allyl Cysteine. This product is formulated in support of healthy immune function and the maintenance of cholesterol and blood pressure levels already within the normal range. Soy and gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.
Kyolic® Formula 104 by Wakunaga Pharmaceutical: This odorless, organic, scientifically researched aged garlic supplement supports healthy nerve function, overall cardiovascular health and the maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels already within the normal range. Free of gluten, dairy, yeast, sugar preservatives and artificial ingredients.
Historical Perspective on the Use of Garlic. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/131/3/951S/4687053
Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103721/
11 Proven Health Benefits of Garlic. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-health-benefits-of-garlic
Aged Garlic Extract Reduces Low Attenuation Plaque in Coronary Arteries of Patients with Metabolic Syndrome in a Prospective Randomized Double-Blind Study. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/146/2/427S/4584725
Chemists Shed Light On Health Benefits of Garlic. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090130154901.htm
Garlic (Allium sativum) and traditional medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17594659