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Garlic extract can help prevent progression of heart disease

The new study supports previous research showing the positive benefits of garlic -- fresh, pressed, or aged -- on the heart, arteries and existing cardiovascular diseases.
By Stephen Feller   |   Jan. 22, 2016 at 10:28 AM

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Supplements of aged garlic extract can reduce plaque build-up in arteries and the progression of heart disease, according to a new study.

Scientists reported people taking the supplement daily showed significant reductions in plaque in their arteries, which researchers at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, or LA BioMEd, said is their fourth study showing the effects of aged garlic extract.

In the new study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers recruited 55 patients between the ages of 40 and 75 who have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome and had the beginnings of heart disease.

After measuring calcium deposits and plaque buildup in the the participants arteries, researchers randomly gave either a 2,400 milligram dose of aged garlic extract or placebo to take daily. At follow-up screenings after one year, the people who had taken garlic showed plaque accumulation in their arteries had slowed by 80 percent and plaque already present had been reduced.

"This study is another demonstration of the benefits of this supplement in reducing the accumulation of soft plaque and preventing the formation of new plaque in the arteries, which can cause heart disease," said Dr. Matthew Budoff, a researcher at the LA BioMed, in a press release.

The findings are similar to others on garlic's effects on heart disease, as one study in 2009 showed fresh crushed garlic had a positive effect on blood flow and the heart, and another found that garlic oil could help prevent a form of heart disease in diabetic people.

In an analysis of previous studies published as a paid supplement in the Journal of Nutrition with the new study, researchers also cite evidence that garlic extract reduced blood pressure and cholesterol.

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