Can Garlic Help Keep The Heart Healthy?
A lot of scientific research has been conducted into the potential health benefits of garlic, specifically on the possible beneficial effects that garlic supplements may have on the health of the heart. Many of these scientific studies have been rigorous randomized trials, which are considered by the scientific community to be the most reliable type of investigation.
Randomized trials of garlic supplements have shown that garlic can have a beneficial effect on heart disease. The main benefit that has been witnessed in individuals with heart problems who have been given supplements of garlic as part of these trials was a reduction in the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, a reduction in the amount of LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood and a reduction in the amount of triglycerides in the blood. LDL cholesterol is the form of cholesterol that can accumulate inside the blood vessels and cause cardiovascular problems. Triglycerides, a type of fat, are also associated with heart disease. Reducing LDL cholesterol and triglycerides could therefore help to keep the heart healthy.
Some of the randomized trials that have been conducted to test the beneficial effects of garlic supplements on health have also found that garlic may be able to help prevent clots from forming in the bloodstream. Blood clots can cause serious medical problems, including heart attacks and strokes. Garlic appears to be able to make platelets in the blood less likely to aggregate and form clots.
One of the studies that has been conducted into the effects of garlic supplements found that the use of garlic extracts seemed to lower the blood pressure of people who were suffering from high blood pressure. This is another way through which garlic could help to keep the heart, and the rest of the body, healthy.
Despite the evidence that exists for the positive health effects of garlic, there have been some scientific investigations that have found contradictory evidence. There is no definitive proof that taking supplements of garlic can help to keep the heart healthy. Most of the studies that have been conducted into the effects of garlic have also been short-term trials, so there is no evidence for any long-term benefits. However, the majority of scientific investigations have found that garlic can help promote cardiac health. It has also been suggested that garlic may help to prevent cancer, and that it has antifungal and antibiotic properties.
In order to enjoy the health benefits associated with garlic, it is necessary to take between 600 and 900 milligrams of garlic per day, either as a supplement or as fresh garlic. This is equivalent to approximately one clove of fresh garlic.
Since garlic is believed to prevent clotting, it should not be taken for at least a week before surgery. It is also important to be cautious about taking garlic alongside other blood thinners such as aspirin and warfarin.