Volume 5, Issue 49 | December 6, 2012
Popular herb lowers your blood pressure by 17 points
Everyone knows that uncontrolled high blood pressure is a serious problem. It leads to strokes, heart attacks, and kidney disease. But despite all the medications that are available, I still see it frequently. Could something as simple as supplementing your medication with an herb be the solution?

A recent article looked at this question, and the answer is yes. But they did not stop there. They also determined the best dose of this popular herb.

The researchers from southern Australia looked at 79 men and women with high systolic blood pressure. The systolic number is the first number. They divided the participants into four groups. They all continued to take their medications. They gave the first group a placebo capsule every day. They gave the second group 240 mg of an aged garlic extract. The third group received 480 mg per day, and the fourth group 960 mg per day. They then watched them for four months to see what effect the garlic had on their blood pressures. Here's what they found.

The patients on 240 mg had no change. However, the patients on the 480 mg dose saw a statistically significant reduction in their systolic blood pressures. Their blood pressure dropped from a low of 6.4 to a high of 17.2 mmHg. A reduction of 17 points in a patient with uncontrolled blood pressure is amazing. Even the average reduction of 11.8 points is amazing. The authors reported no advantage to taking more than 480 mg. And they also pointed out that those on the 960 mg dose had some minor intestinal symptoms, whereas those on the 480 mg did not.

But will just any aged garlic extract work? Maybe not. The extract that they used contained 0.6 mg of S-allylcysteine in every 240 mg capsule. One brand that meets this criteria is Kyolic, which you can find everywhere. Two capsules of Kyolic yields 600 mg, which shouldn't cause any digestive discomfort. Whether you're taking high blood pressure medication or not, garlic can help you control your blood pressure without any side effects (as long as you don't take more than 600 mg).

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Frank Shallenberger, MD

REF: Ried K, Frank OR, Stocks NP. Aged garlic extract reduces blood pressure in hypertensives: a dose-response trial. Source Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012 Nov 21. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2012.178.

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