|HUB OF THE HEALTHY LIVING MARKETPLACE™ | Healthnotes March 2013
Natural Products Foundation
Garlic Partners Well with Blood Pressure Medication
Many people include garlic in their heart-healthy diet or supplement program, and there is some evidence to suggest that it may help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, break down atherosclerotic plaques, and reduce blood pressure. Adding to this body of evidence, a study found that high blood pressure levels could be improved in people taking medications by adding an aged garlic extract.
Combining garlic with medication
The study, published in Maturitas, included 50 people with high blood pressure who were already being treated with medications such as diuretics, ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers. Despite using their prescribed medications, many of the people in the study (40%) continued to have blood pressure readings higher than the target 140/90.
The participants were divided into two groups: one group received 960 mg of aged garlic extract per day for 12 weeks while the other group received a placebo. The substance believed to be responsible for aged garlic’s benefits (S-allyl cysteine) is formed after garlic is crushed and allowed to age, and this standardized product contains provided 2.4 mg of this compound per day.
Medication under-responders respond to garlic
Blood pressure was reduced in people who took the extract and whose blood pressure remained high while on medications. Additionally:
“Our trial suggests that aged garlic extract is superior to placebo in lowering systolic blood pressure in patients with treated, but uncontrolled, hypertension,” the study’s authors said. They further noted the safety and low rate of negative side effects from the garlic extract combined with blood pressure lowering medications.
Lower your blood pressure
Based on these results, if your high blood pressure medication isn’t working as well as hoped, you might benefit from adding aged garlic extract. Here are some other things that researchers have found to help lower blood pressure:
Maureen Williams, ND, completed her doctorate in naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle and has been in private practice since 1995. With an abiding commitment to access to care, she has worked in free clinics in the US and Canada, and in rural clinics in Guatemala and Honduras where she has studied traditional herbal medicine. She currently lives and practices in Victoria, BC, and lectures and writes extensively for both professional and community audiences on topics including family nutrition, menopause, anxiety and depression, heart disease, cancer, and easing stress. Dr. Williams is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.