Allicin and Cardiovascular Health

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each day, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Allicin: Enhancing Important Aspects of Cardiovascular Well-being

Humans convert some allicin into diallyl disulfide and diallyl trisulfide. These secondary phytonutrients were shown recently to impact the sequence of cholesterol synthesis in the human liver.7 The effect of these garlic compounds in modulating healthy cholesterol metabolism and supporting antioxidant effects on blood lipids, thereby protecting their integrity and function, all add up to extremely powerful support for long-lasting healthy cardiovascular function. By impacting areas as diverse as cholesterol metabolism, arterial health, and blood sugar metabolism, garlic and its important phytonutrient constituents have become an integral part of a comprehensive plan designed to support cardiovascular wellness.

Support Blood Pressure Levels that are Normal

It turns out that garlic and various garlic extracts may have additional direct cardiovascular benefits in humans. A comprehensive review of the literature was carried out and published in 2008. The authors of this meta-analysis reviewed papers in the literature dealing with the blood-pressure regulating properties of garlic in humans and found that the intake of garlic in foods and supplements contributes to the maintenance of blood pressure levels that are considered healthy in humans.8 The researchers concluded that the blood-pressure regulating compound in garlic is allicin and that garlic’s hydrogen sulfide production is also a contributory factor. A second group of researchers also conducted an independent review of the studies associating the intake of garlic supplements with blood pressure effects.9 In their review, they also concluded that garlic supplements had an ability to support the maintenance of blood pressure levels that are already in the normal range.

The consensus is that garlic intake supports healthy blood pressure, just another of the many reasons to consider adding garlic to your daily nutritional regimen.

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More on Allicin

7. Singh DK, Porter TD. Inhibition of sterol 4a-methyl oxidase is the principal mechanism by which garlic decreases cholesterol synthesis. J Nutr 2006;136(Suppl.):759S-764S.
8. Ried K, Frank OR, Stocks NP, Fakler P, Sullivan T. Effect of garlic on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Cardiovasc Disord 2008;8:13.
9. Reinhart KM, Coleman CI, Teevan C, Vachhani P, White CM. Effects of garlic on blood pressure in patients with and without systolic hypertension: a meta-analysis. Ann Pharmacother 2008;42(12):1766- 71.

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