The heart is a very important organ in our bodies and it needs special care and protection. Aged garlic extract has a big heart for helping when it comes to reducing the risk factors that can potentially threaten heart health.
Aged garlic extract (AGE) is a seemingly little herb that has a huge heart for helping. Researchers all over the world have been studying AGE for its health benefits. In recent studies, it has shown potential for reducing risk factors that can lead to heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and inflammation.
What exactly is aged garlic extract?
Garlic is available in a few different forms, including dehydrated garlic powder, garlic oil, macerated garlic, and aged garlic extract. AGE is processed by soaking raw organic garlic in purified water or alcohol and aging it at room temperature for a period of time.
This aging process allows certain nutrients to convert into an active form. As an added benefit, it becomes odourless. The most well-studied active ingredient is a potent antioxidant called S-allylcysteine (SAC) which is unique to AGE and is thought to provide the majority of its therapeutic effect.
Health benefits of aged garlic extract
AGE has many useful health benefits, especially when it comes to protecting your heart and cardiovascular system. AGE is beneficial in helping to reduce three risk factors that can increase the risk of heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and overall inflammation levels.
Reduces blood pressure
Hypertension (the medical term for high blood pressure) affects more than 30 percent of adults worldwide and is a significant modifiable contributor to cardiovascular disease. AGE reduces blood pressure by enhancing nitric oxide levels, which are vasodilatory (opening blood vessels). This mechanism relaxes the blood vessels and allows the blood to run smoothly through your vessels, reducing blood pressure.
What is high blood pressure (hypertension)?
Blood pressure is a measurement of two readings: the systolic pressure, the amount of pressure in your arteries during a heartbeat; and diastolic, the pressure between heartbeats.
There are three stages of high blood pressure:
- Stage 1: higher than 140/90 mmHg
- Stage 2: higher than 160/100 mmHg
- Hypertensive crisis: higher than 180/110 mmHg
You may have heard your doctor talk about your cholesterol levels and how this relates to cardiovascular disease. Cholesterol is a fatlike substance with a waxy texture. It’s unhealthy when your levels get too high; it increases the chance of the cholesterol sticking to the walls of your blood vessels and causing a buildup of plaque, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
AGE has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood by as much as 10 percent for people who take it for at least two weeks. It has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels through a mechanism very similar to that of statins.
Your body needs cholesterol to manufacture necessary hormones, vitamin D, and digestive bile, which helps you digest your food. Did you know that your body makes all of the cholesterol it needs?
Finally, AGE reduces overall inflammation levels in the body. It accomplishes this by being a potent specific antioxidant for the blood vessels. AGE essentially helps make the blood vessels more elastic, which prevents damage and increases circulation.
In addition to the big work AGE has shown to do for heart health, such as reducing blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammation, it can also enhance the immune system. AGE, when taken daily, can reduce cold and flu symptom severity, the number of symptoms, and also decrease the number of days you perform at less than your best due to illness.
You may want to consider giving aged garlic extract a chance in your supplement regimen. Not just a stinky household herb, garlic can be a powerhouse in your medicine cabinet. Check with your health care professional to see if this is an appropriate herb for you.
In Canada, heart disease is one of the leading causes of death, and it is estimated that more than 1.4 million Canadians have heart disease.
Other super healthy heart supplements
- Magnesium, in adequate levels, can reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
- Coenzyme Q10 has adequate evidence to suggest it can lower blood pressure.
- Omega-3 (in combination with folic acid and B vitamins) has been shown to be effective at lowering homocysteine levels. Homocysteine levels are a marker of inflammation, and when elevated there is an increased cardiovascular risk.