Benefits of Garlic to the Cardiovascular System
The benefits of garlic have been examined throughout history dating back to 1500 B.C from 2600 B.C. In China and India, it was used as a blood-thinning agent. Garlic has even been found in the ancient Egyptian tombs (do think it is too old to eat?). It was also listed in the medical text Codex Ebers (dated 1550 BC) which was a book listing remedies for the working class. There is also evidence that garlic was one of the first performance enhancing agents, a-la, a natural steroid during the ancient Olympic Games (those athletes must of had some strong garlic breath as they threw the javelin). In 18th century France, crushed garlic was used in wine by grave diggers to protect them from the plague. During both of the world wars, soldiers used garlic to prevent gangrene. Repeatedly throughout history garlic has been used as an immune builder and natural antibiotic.
There have been more than 46 human studies of the benefits of garlic since 1975. They have primarily tested the lipid-lowering effects and cancer fighting properties of garlic. In most of these studies, garlic powder was used instead of raw garlic- but they still showed decrease in serum cholesterol and some cancer fighting properties. In 2010, two researches at Weill Medical College at Cornell University published an article entitled, “Garlic and Cardiovascular Disease” in the journal of Nutrition and Clinical care. The researchers, Dr. Richard S. Rivlin- Chief of Division of Nutrition, and Michelle H. Loy reported that they saw “growing evidence for a potential role of garlic derivatives together with other measures in the prevention of cardiovascular disease”. Loy and Rivlin further explained that “treatment with allium derivatives from garlic decreases levels of total serum cholesterol [bad cholesterol] with little effects on good cholesterol”. Loy and Rivlin also noted that “garlic may slow the atherosclerosis process and lower blood pressure”.
Atherosclerosis is a complicated disease that is marked by excessive inflammatory and proliferative response damage to the artery well. This consists of smooth muscle cells and monocyte-derived macrophages. There was also another study that lasted for four years that concluded that people who took 900 mg of standardized garlic powder slowed the development of atherosclerosis. This is not to say garlic is a cure, because it's not, it merely can be used to mitigate some symptoms of the disease.
Like in ancient China and Egypt, garlic is still useful as a blood thinner and it can help prevent cardiovascular attacks and strokes in some cases when mixed with a healthy diet and exercise. While a lot of these studies show significant improvements in serum levels, not all of them show positive effects - but that may be attributed to the form of garlic used, as fresh garlic is most potent with its organic compound allicin containing key organic and beneficial medical properties. However, other studies suggest that other similar organosulfur compounds like S-allyl cysteine, present in aged garlic extract, and diallyl d-sulfide, present in garlic oil, also have potent positive effects on cholesterol which is one of the primary cause of cardiovascular disease.
Garlic may seem like a very simple spice, and many regard it as such, but it is also a tasty food that has varied positive health benefits. In particular, it can have positive effects upon the cardiovascular system. However, in addition to its delightful culinary qualities, there are a lot of key organic compounds in garlic that yield many interesting results. Their effects on their human body and cardiovascular system are still being studied today.
How do you best get the health benefits of garlic and also enjoy that delicious taste?? Garlic fries, garlic mashed potatoes, roasted garlic- the list of delicious dishes goes on! Watch this how to peel garlic cloves video to improve you health and delight your tummy.