Garlic And High Blood Pressure



The association between garlic and high blood pressure has been of interest to medical professionals to the extent of prompting a full fledged study into the matter. Fresh garlic is widely available in many different climates. It has a long held reputation of having beneficial effects on high blood pressure sufferers. Medically known as hypertension high blood pressure affects a very significant segment of any given population. By definition blood pressure is the force exerted on blood vessel walls as blood is flowing in the arteries. It is presented in blood pressure numbers consisting of systolic and diastolic readings.

There is a general interest amongst health conscious individuals to use natural methods particularly involving dietary approaches to maintain s healthy lifestyle and avoid chronic diseases. Hypertension patients in increasing number are also turning to natural remedies for high blood pressure. According to many individuals garlic is a viable natural remedy for hypertension. It is in essence generally yet not conclusively believed by experts that garlic might have some benefits in lowering blood pressure. Some experts believe that the repeated benefits of garlic on blood pressure may actually be coming from the garlic sulphides than from allicin found in garlic.

Experts further note that unlike allicin, garlic sulphides are not destroyed by cooking. Some individuals who make garlic part of their daily cooking for blood pressure related reasons are also driven away from hypertension medications particularly because of intolerable blood pressure medications side effects. For example, diuretics a common blood pressure treatment drug which works by removing water from the body may also in the process remove potassium leading to severe muscle cramps. It is also believed that garlic may actually be preventing blood pressure by helping manage bad (LDL) cholesterol levels. The association between high blood pressure and cholesterol is well researched.

According to a well-conducted and important study on this subject which reviewed pooled studies looking at garlic and high blood pressure reductions in blood pressure associated with garlic preparations are similar to those associated with high blood pressure meds. Doctors however accept this similarity with the highest level of caution as there are many other factors and characteristics which have given this similarity. It is not really known if the effects of garlic and prescribed hypertension meds are truly similar. It is therefore not recommended nor possible to replace your high blood pressure medications with garlic without any adverse medical consequences.

Further studies carried out so far have not considered adverse effects of taking garlic preparations as high blood pressure therapy. The beneficial association between garlic and high blood pressure is further made difficult to conclusively endorse by the fact that garlic preparations vary. People use garlic differently unlike pharmaceutical drugs which have a standard dosage of similar drug concentration. Different garlic preparations as per individual users may contain varying concentrations of the active compound sand components leading to varied effectiveness.

What is important to note and remember is that blood pressure control and reduction is aimed at one main goal which is to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. It remains unclear whether the beneficial link between garlic and high blood pressure contains the ultimate benefit of reducing heart attack, heart failure, heart disease and even kidney disease. In terms of the actual studies carried out it was found that garlic reduced systolic blood pressure by 8.4mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 7.3mmHg. High blood pressure treatment is often directed by hypertension guidelines which provides treatment algorithm that doctors follow.

It therefore follows that garlic cannot replace lifestyle changes hypertensive individuals have to adopt. These include regular exercise, dietary changes involving perhaps a hypertension diet such as DASH, quitting smoking, losing weight and such others. According to some experts "Garlic won't do any harm, and may do some good". some individuals instead of using fresh garlic from the local farmers market or their back garden prefer garlic powder or garlic extract.


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