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Garlic and probiotics improve blood pressure, lipids
- Aged garlic extract improved blood pressure
People with high cholesterol often have elevated blood pressure, a major factor in heart and circulatory conditions. In this study, 67 adults with moderately elevated total cholesterol levels, and high LDL cholesterol levels, aged at least 18, took a placebo or 250 mg of aged garlic extract per day for six weeks. Participants paused for three weeks, then switched groups.
After the first six-week phase, those taking the garlic extract saw lower diastolic blood pressure (DBP) levels. Men in particular, with DBP levels above 75 mmHg, saw an average decline of 5.85 mmHg compared to placebo.
Commenting on the findings, doctors said a 5 mmHg decrease in DBP reduces chances of dying from stroke or other circulatory events by 30 to 40 percent and, “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the DBP-reducing effect of aged garlic extract based on diet and healthy lifestyle without the mandatory use of drugs.”
Reference: Nutrients; 2022, Vol. 14, No. 3, 405
- Lactobacillus plantarum improved lipids
In this study, 16 adults with high cholesterol took a placebo or 10 billion colony-forming units of the probiotic lactobacillus plantarum per day.
After six weeks, those in the probiotics group saw total cholesterol levels decline by an average of 34.6 percent; LDL cholesterol decline by 28.4 percent, and non-HDL cholesterols decline by 17.6 percent. The main protein in LDL, Apolipoprotein B (ApoB), which doctors use to gauge chances for heart and circulatory events, declined by 28.6 percent.
Reference: Journal of Functional Foods; 2022, Article ID 104939
*Not sure what lipids are? The term “lipids” includes cholesterol and triglycerides, although there are other types of lipids, too.