If you’re like me, you sit by your mailbox waiting for the latest edition of HerbalGram. This month’s issue includes a review of the use of aged garlic extract (AGE) for treating hypertension.
Hypertension, or abnormally high blood pressure, is one the most significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease. While lifestyle changes and medications usually address blood pressure issues, a subset of patients do not respond to intervention. If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure or would be interested in an alternative to the medications you are taking, read on.
The Study- A Quick Summary
Conducted by the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Melbourne Australia between September 2013 and August 2014, this study looked at individuals with systolic blood pressure (SBP) of at least 140mmHG and/or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of at least 90 mmHg. Enrolled patients were randomly assigned to the either the garlic group or placebo group and took two capsules per day in the evening with food for 12 weeks.
At the end of the study, SBP decreased significantly more in the AGE group as compared with the placebo group (P = 0.016). Of the responders, 50-60% were considered substantial which was defined as a decrease of more than 3% in SBP (at least 5mmHg) or DBP(at least 3mmHg). Central SBP also decreased more in the AGE group than in the placebo group.
Aged garlic extract may be helpful as an adjunct treatment for uncontrolled hypertension or as a primary treatment for those with mild hypertension. It may not work all those who try it as this is a condition influenced by a multitude of factors. That said, you may want to consider this supplement for yourself after you discuss this option with your cardiologist or primary care physician and have already made lifestyle modifications to control the condition.
Want more info? Here’s a link to the abstract of the study.
Interested in Trying Garlic? Here’s What I use with my patients.
Dose: 1 tablet/day containing 12mg of aliin.
Recommend dosage of 6 to 18 mg of aliin per day.
Adulteration issues: Aliin-releasing solid doses should be enteric-coated and tested for enzyme (allinase) activity
Major Safety Issues: Contraindicated in know allergy.
Use cautiously in conjunction with anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs and saquinavir.
Discontinue 10 days before surgery.