High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is when the long-term force of blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause chronic diseases like heart disease. Aged garlic extract has received a lot of traction recently after being known as a high safety profile anti-hypertensive treatment. Blood pressure-lowering drugs and other types of food therapy have also become popular. Let’s dive into the effects of garlic on blood pressure.
In a published analysis by Karin Ried, it was noted that garlic supplements are effective for people with hypertension and slightly elevated cholesterol levels. What is the proof that garlic can help regulate blood pressure? Allicin, an oily liquid present in garlic, “has been reported to exert angiotensin II-inhibiting and vasodilating effects. Allicin can effectively scavenge free radicals in the body, promote the production of sulfide to relax vascular smooth muscle, inhibit the activity of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) to inhibit the production of angiotensin II, inhibit the expression of NF-κB and the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells to maintain blood vessels. The normal physiological function and the dynamic balance of the fluid environment in the body can achieve the effect of stabilizing blood pressure.”
Will directly eating garlic help lower blood pressure? Although it may seem like that would be the case, it, unfortunately, is not. Allicin is not present in intact garlic, “only alliin and enzyme alliinase in different parts of garlic. When garlic is cut or crushed, alliin and enzyme alliinase are combined, and a series of catalytic cracking reactions occur and finally decompose into a series of sulfur-containing compounds, and allicin is one of the decomposition products.”
We should mash the garlic into a puree instead of cutting it up into slices with a knife and let the alliin and enzyme alliinase combine in the air to produce allicin before consuming. You should not consume a large amount of garlic because it can be irritating to the stomach and eyes, leading to blepharitis and conjunctivitis. Sometimes, more does not mean better. Garlic should also not be consumed on an empty stomach.
If you have gastric ulcers and headaches, coughs, toothaches, and other diseases, garlic should not be consumed. Although there’s a lot of evidence to support the use of supplements to treat high blood pressure, it is important to consult your doctor before adding any dietary supplements to your diet.
Blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels. High blood pressure reduces the blood flow to your heart, forcing your heart to work harder to pump enough blood. Tracking your blood pressure daily can help you identify your risk for heart disease, better understand your overall health, and lower your healthcare cost.
Chronic diseases – such as diabetes, cancer, asthma, and heart disease – are leading causes of death and disability. The Liu Foundation offers philanthropic GoLively app and video series promoting evidence-based lifestyle habits to prevent chronic diseases. GoLively integrated Harvard, Stanford, and CDC’s Public Health findings into an easy-to-use behavior conditioning app and series of lifestyle motivation videos to prevent chronic diseases.
GoLively app and videos cover physical, mental, social, financial, and medical health aspects with 10 healthy lifestyle habits. GoLively enables corporate social responsibility to lower the annual $4 trillion spent on preventable chronic diseases in the United States. Healthy habits can lead to improved employee health, saving healthcare cost, increasing productivity, and morale. Download the Lively Habits app to help you keep track of your 10 healthy lifestyle habits. Go Lively!
This blog was medically reviewed by Xin Wang, L.P., I.M., F.M.