Garlic – A Long History
Garlic is one of the natural plaque removers in our formula – and is surprisingly effective! We thought we’d include some of the ‘whys’ of garlic.
Garlic is one of the most valuable herb and supplements in the world. Garlic has been used for thousands of years throughout all cultures. The Romans used it, Louis Pasteur showed garlic could kill bacteria. The British Government has issued calls for the public to donate it during wartime, it was called “Russian Penicillin” during World War II. It has many uses in the body but is the most famous probably is for artery and cholesterol treatment.
There have been so many studies done on garlic that they are hard to count. Numerous clinical studies have found that supplementation with garlic reduces the risk of coronary artery disease in a variety of ways. This includes:
- Lowering total cholesterol,
- Lowering LDL cholesterol and inhibiting its oxidation,
- Lowering triglycerides,
- Inhibiting platelet aggregation,
- Lowering blood pressure,
- Lowering fibrinogen concentration, and
- Enhancing fibrinolytic activity.
That is quite a list!
Dr. Gordon’s use of Garlic is based on much favorable research. Atherosclerosis, a journal focusing on the major disease of arteries, has just published a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study showing that garlic appears to prevent plaque buildup in arteries. Using a high-tech ultrasound device, the researchers measured plaque volume in the upper body’s carotid artery.
In their 4-year study of 280 adults, German researchers found that subjects had up to an 82% reduction in the plaque volume in their arteries, compared to controls who took placebo, a “dummy” powder, instead. (Most has a lower but still very significant reduction in arterial plaque.)
How Does Garlic Work?
The buildup of plaque, formed initially from oxidized cholesterol, causes blood vessels to become increasingly vulnerable to damage. As this damage continues to occur, a succession of lesions is formed on the inner linings of arteries. As the lesions grow, the easy flow of blood throughout the body is impeded or blocked. Stress is placed on the heart, which has to pump against increasing resistance of the vascular tree. At some point in this progression, there is an increased likelihood of congestive heart failure or heart attack.
Much has been written about garlic’s odorless compound called allicin – the active and strong smelling component of garlic. Allicin seems to be able to interfere with the liver’s ability to synthesize cholesterol. Garlic also helps prevent the oxidation of cholesterol and even inhibits platelet aggregation.
So, part of what garlic is believed to do is to make blood less “sticky,” preventing the clinging of plaque to arterial walls. The results of the study substantiate that garlic may have more than a preventive effect and even possibly, in the researchers’ words, “a curative role in arteriosclerosis therapy (plaque regression).”
These are reason to include garlic in Cholesterol Balance. However, we are more interested, with Artery Clear, in garlic’s ability to help remove plaque! Garlic extract also has anti-blood clotting properties, like EDTA. But, also like EDTA, it is an excellent chelator of metals such as lead and mercury, says Dr. Garry Gordon. If you now add garlic and EDTA together, you get more removal of lead, but you also enhance the plaque removal abilities since EDTA binds with the calcium in plaque.
Research at the UCLA Medical Center has further confirmed this ability power of using garlic extracts to help prevent heart disease. In a double-blind study, 19 individuals were given either a placebo or aged garlic extract for one year. Researchers wanted to see if the garlic alone, without any dietary changes, could change the rate at which atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries) occurred.
At the end of the year, patients supplementing their diet with the garlic extract showed only about one-third as much vascular calcification as those individuals taking a placebo. (Prev Med 04;39(5):985-91). If similar results had been achieved using a pharmaceutical product, it would make headline news and become a number-one seller. It’s a different matter, however, when it comes to a natural product like garlic.
Earlier this year, scientists from around the world presented research at the American Heart Association meeting in Washington, DC that showed that garlic powder not only reduces calcification of the arteries but also reduces plaque formation by up to 40 percent – and can even dissolve existing plaque by 25 percent. However, the FDA still won’t allow manufacturers to state that garlic powder can be effective in the prevention of cardiovascular disease – which remains the number-one killer in this country.
We think the figures are a bit high since another good study shows a lowering of the triglyceride component of cholesterol by 6-22% (particularly reducing the VLDL component of triglycerides). These (Reinhart, Nutr Res Rev 2009, Zeng, J Sci Food Agric 2012). This is still a significant number, but it is the ability to help dissolve existing plaque that we are interested in.
Although there are many facets and phases to cardiovascular disease, the underlying problem generally stems from the accumulation of plaque in the lining of blood vessels. As the plaque increases, it impedes blood flow and can result in heart attack and stroke.
Efforts to prevent these problems – either through diet, nutritional supplements, or such drugs as the increasingly popular statin drugs – all attempt to reduce the buildup of arterial plaque. In the constant search for new and better solutions, however, the power of garlic has somehow been lost in the shuffle.
We are happy to re-apply garlic’s tremendous abilities by combining it with the other nutrients in our artery and cholesterol products!
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