Garlic helps the heart keep healthy

November 14th, 2007 - 2:19 am ICT by admin  
And, the key to garlic’s health benefits lies in allicin, a powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal compound, which is broken down into the foul-smelling sulphur compounds that taint breath.

Carrying out a research on a mouse model, researchers noted that low concentrations of hydrogen sulphide play a vital role in helping cells to communicate with each other.

It is also needed within blood vessels where it stimulates the cells that form the lining to relax, causing the vessels to dilate, which in turn reduces blood pressure, allowing the blood to carry more oxygen to essential organs, thereby reducing pressure on the heart.

The researchers found that garlic can reduce tension within the vessels by 72 percent.

Lead researcher Dr David Kraus said that the study showed that including garlic in the diet is a good idea.

“Our results suggest garlic in the diet is a very good thing,” the BBC quoted him, as saying.

“Certainly in areas where garlic consumption is high, such as the Mediterranean and the Far East, there is a low incidence of cardiovascular disease.”

However, Judy O’Sullivan, a cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, warned that the results of the study didn’t mean that people should start consuming garlic supplements.

“This interesting study suggests that garlic may provide some heart health benefits,” she said.

“However, there remains insufficient evidence to support the notion of eating garlic as medicine in order to reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease.

“Having garlic as part of a varied diet is a matter of personal choice.

“It is important to note that large amounts in supplement form may interact with blood thinning drugs and could increase the risk of bleeding.”

The study appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)

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