As the number one killer of both men and women, the incidence of heart disease continues to rise. By 2030, heart disease is expected to take the lives of more than 23.6 million people worldwide. But a recent study on this deadly disease suggests new hope is on the horizon for slowing its progression, naturally.
As reported in the Journal of Nutrition, aged garlic extract shows significant promise in its ability to reverse deadly buildup of plaque in arteries. The study was found to both reduce the amount of accumulated “soft plaque” in the arteries as well as prevent new plaque from forming.
Reduction of plaque in arteries after a year of aged garlic extract
The study, conducted at the independent biomedical research facility LA BioMed, Torrance, Calif., showed that adding the supplement aged garlic extract resulted in a reduction in the amount of soft plaque, also known as low-attenuation plaque, that had built up in the arteries of patients. Participants in the study were already known to be suffering from metabolic syndrome, which carries with it a number of cardiac disease risk factors, including hypertension and obesity.
Fifty-five patients, aged 40 to 75 years old, were involved in the study. At the start of the trial, study subjects underwent screening using non-invasive Cardiac Computed Tomography technology to measure total coronary plaque volume already in existence. The screening also provided specific measurements of dense calcium, non-calcified plaque and low-attenuation plaque.
After screening and evaluation, study subjects were assigned to either a placebo or a dose of 2,400 mg of aged garlic taken daily. After one year, a follow-up screening was conducted. Results showed that those who had been taking aged garlic extract showed an 80 percent reduction in total plaque accumulation and reduced soft plaque. They also demonstrated less low-attenuation plaque.
CoQ10 and aged garlic extract effective against heart disease
This isn’t the first time aged garlic extract has been associated with a reduction in plaque build-up of coronary arteries or heart disease. A study published in the July 2012 issue of Journal of Cardiovascular Disease Research found that average coronary artery calcium progression was significantly less one year after the start of the study among subjects receiving a combination of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and aged garlic extract.
The study involved 50 middle-aged firefighters, with an average age of 55 and considered to be of intermediate risk for a coronary event. Coronary artery calcium scanning was undertaken prior to the study to determine extent of plaque buildup. The study then limited the pool of participants to those with coronary artery calcium scores greater than 10, a score considered to indicate mild to moderate build-up of plaque. In addition, blood samples were drawn and analyzed for C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation.
Participants were then provided with either a daily placebo or a capsule containing 120 mg CoQ10 and 1200 mg aged garlic extract for a year. At the end of the year, coronary artery calcium progression was again measured and found to be significantly less among those who had received garlic and CoQ10 compared with those receiving placebos. The latter also showed an average increase of 0.91 mg/L for C-reactive protein levels compared to the group receiving CoQ10 and aged garlic, which showed a decrease in levels by 0.12 mg/L on average.
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