Chronic inflammation has been linked to increased risk for cardiovascular disease as well as other illnesses. In a recent study, scientists at Sweden’s Skane University Hospital and Lund University discovered that a daily dose of Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) effectively reduced two key inflammatory biomarkers that have been linked to the development of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis, characterized by plaque buildup in the arteries, is a major risk factor for future heart attacks and stroke. Researchers also found that AGE improves blood flow for those suffering from peripheral vascular disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study that appeared in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, participants with low to intermediate risk of cardiovascular disease were divided into two groups. After undergoing a Framingham risk assessment and a cardiac computed tomography (CT) scan to determine coronary artery calcification, the subjects were randomized to take either 2,400 milligrams of AGE or a placebo daily for a year.
At the end of the year, the inflammatory biomarker interleukin-6 (IL-6) was significantly lower in the AGE group than in the control group. Reducing IL-6 is important because higher levels of this inflammatory biomarker trigger the production of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the liver. This, in turn, said the scientists, fosters chronic artery-damaging inflammation that contributes to atherosclerosis and may increase the risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack, heart failure and stroke. Elevated IL-6 has also been shown independently to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, heart failure and all-cause mortality.
Dr. Mathew Budoff, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at UCLA, reviewed the study and said, “The Swedish study is further proof that the benefits of AGE are multi-factorial, showing a significant improvement in inflammation. Therapies such as AGE that can modulate and reduce inflammation have great potential for use in the battle against atherosclerosis and heart disease, along with other inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.”
Budoff explains that in his own research, AGE has shown potent anti-inflammatory properties, similar to prescription drugs.
“One of the benefits we believe the statin drugs impart to reduce cardiovascular risk and death is their anti-inflammatory property,” he says. “Now we’re seeing AGE having a similar effect on inflammation.”
The Swedish researchers, in another study, found that taking AGE increased blood flow through the tiny capillaries that feed the tissues in the body’s extremities, which may improve wound healing in those suffering from atherosclerosis and other vascular diseases. Earlier research found that AGE also inhibits the progression of plaque formation in those who already suffer from cardiovascular disease. The supplement also helps lower glucose levels and blood pressure.
Some of the other health benefits of AGE are:
• Fights the common cold. According to Healthline, a large 12-week study found that taking a daily AGE supplement reduced the number of colds by a whopping 63%. The average length of a cold was also reduced by 70%.
• Lowers blood pressure. In one study, supplementation of 600-1,500 milligrams of AGE was just as effective as the hypertension drug atenolol in reducing blood pressure over a 24-week period.
• Removes arterial plaque. Budoff says that taking AGE supplements can also reverse arterial plaque buildup thus reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
• Reduces dementia risk. Several research papers written by German scientists suggest that AGE may prevent arterial stiffness by maintaining the flexibility of the arteries and enhancing nitric oxide availability, which relaxes the blood vessels and reduces the risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
• Helps prevent cancer. According to the National Institutes of Health, garlic is full of antioxidant properties that help ward off cancer. Eating one fresh clove of garlic a day or taking AGE may lower your risk of breast, esophageal, stomach, bowel, and prostate cancer.
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