Heart health | protect your heart with Garlic - Health & Food

                          How to Garlic protect your health?

Prevention is better than cure-it is safe, holistic, cost effective and more importantly free of adverse effects. From ancient times, diet is considered as important as medication in the maintenance of health and prevention of many diseases including cardiovascular diseases(CVD). Garlic is known to have CVD protective, anti-cancer, anti-microbial properties; ingredient in most of the ayurvedic medicines and most investigated medicinal plant. Garlic extract has cholesterol lowering, blood thinning and blood pressure lowering effect.


The main chemical constituent of garlic is the amino acid alliin, which immediately condenses to form the active ingredient allicin; on crushing, cutting or chewing garlic bulb. Allicin is a very potent anti-oxidant and react very rapidly with free radicals, this same action may prevent formation of toxic oxidized low-density lipoproteins (LDL), responsible for cholesterol deposition on blood vessel lining. The chemical constituents of garlic suppresses production of cholesterol in liver cells, and have reduced LDL by 8-16%, less effective than cholesterol lowering drugs, but beneficial.

The organic polysulfide in garlic have cardio protective effect during surgery and heart attack in animal studies. The hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S), active component in garlic have impact on vascular reactivity and blood pressure control. Because the hydrogen sulfide is a short-lived gas, it disappears when garlic is dried, processed, or cooked. Adenosine, a compound in garlic inhibit platelet aggregation and improve blood flow in heart blood vessels, and prevent adverse clotting of blood in coronary vessels and prevent heart attack. Garlic extract improves fibrinolytic activity and decreases platelet aggregation. Bleeding complications are rarely reported with garlic extract, but for during surgery.

Article published in Journal of Nutrition 2016 thrown light on garlic-derived organic polysulfide and myocardial protection. Emerging evidence from this article has shown cardio protective and cytoprotective properties of hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S) .Preclinical studies have shown that enhancement of endogenous H 2 S has an impact on vascular reactivity. In CVD models, the administration of H 2 S prevents myocardial injury and dysfunction. Researchers believed that these beneficial effects of garlic may be mediated by H 2 S-dependent mechanisms. This study is also confirmed the benefits of garlic supplement in reducing the accumulation of soft plaque and preventing the new plaque formation in the arteries, which can cause heart disease.

The health benefits of Garlic is more when consumed raw by crushing, chewing or cutting into small pieces. It may lose its medicinal value if roasted or overcooked. The preferred dose is 3 to 4 cloves per day. The only negative effect is the stench smell that garlic has, which can be reduced by avoiding direct chewing, and using it as garnishing agent. The article has been contributed by : Dr. Sathish S., MD (Med), DM (Card), Fellowship in Electro physiology, Intervention Cardiologist & Electro physiologist, Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences & Research, Poorna Clinic, Bangalore, Karnataka Reference : Times of India news paper
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