Does Garlic Really Lower Blood Pressure?by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Professional
Health claims surrounding garlic are numerous. . .but are they true? Well, let me explain the reason behind why garlic can promote a lower blood pressure.
Several research studies have found a link between the right type and amount of garlic and a lower blood pressure. In these studies, the average reduction in systolic (top number) blood pressure was ~5-8 mm Hg. The studies do show a reduction in diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure, but the decrease isn't large enough to be statistically significant.
Garlic provides a variety of substances that may be responsible for this decrease in blood pressure. Some of which are:
Natural ACE inhibitors (gamma-glutamyl peptides and flavonolic compounds)
These components promote arterial dilation (widening of the arteries) to make blood flow easier and decrease blood pressure.
The effectiveness of garlic is dependent on the type, which is determined by preparation and processing. For example, research on rats has shown wild garlic to be most effective. Also, it's not known if cooked garlic versus fresh garlic provide the same level of benefit. Studies indicate 10,000 mcg of allicin are needed daily to result in a lower blood pressure. To gain 10,000 mcg of allicin you'd need to consume 4 cloves or 4 grams of garlic daily.
Some easy ways to increase the garlic in your diet:
Chop fresh garlic and add to stews or a stir-fry.
Use as a seasoning and add to vegetables, meat, poultry, fish and soup.
Now, you can't rely on garlic alone to get your blood pressure back within a normal levels. But including more garlic in your diet is one easy step towards promoting a lower blood pressure. Be sure to sign up for the free e-course 7 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure.