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A clove of garlic a day recommended

17th November 2010

The British Heart Foundation has urged caution over a study which has suggested that garlic may help in the treatment of high blood pressure.

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Researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia say that the substance may be a useful in addition to medication to treat high blood pressure.

But the BHF said that while garlic had been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, it was important that more scientific research was carried out to prove that it could help conditions such as raised blood pressure.

BHF senior cardiac nurse Ellen Mason said: “This study demonstrated a slight blood pressure reduction after using aged garlic supplements but its not significant enough or in a large enough group of people to currently recommend it instead of medication.

“It's a concern that so many people in the UK have poorly controlled blood pressure, with an increased risk of stroke and heart disease as a consequence. So enjoy garlic as part of your diet but don't stop taking your blood pressure medication.”

For the latest study, the Australian team focussed on 50 patients in a trial to see if garlic supplements could help those whose blood pressure was high, despite medication.

Writing in the scientific journal Maturitas, they said that those given four capsules of garlic extract a day for 12 weeks had lower blood pressure than those who were on placebo.

They found systolic blood pressure was around 10mmHg lower in the group given garlic compared with those given a placebo.

 

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