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'Garlic lowers high blood pressure'

A daily dose of garlic could help save your life, for a study has revealed that it lowers high blood pressure.

health and fitness Updated: Aug 01, 2008 15:19 IST

Suffering from hypertension? Well, a daily dose of garlic could help save your life, for a study has revealed that it lowers high blood pressure as effectively as modern medicines.

A large number of people across the world have high blood pressure, but an even larger number are believed to have been suffering from the condition without knowing it. Without effective treatment, it can trigger heart attacks and strokes.

Doctors usually recommend sufferers to slash their daily intake of salt, losing weight and getting fit, apart from taking medicines if required to reduce blood pressure readings to the safe level of 140/90.

Now, a team at Adelaide University has found the role of garlic in reducing high blood pressure. In fact researchers have based their findings on an analysis of patients suffering from hypertension, who consumed garlic supplements every day for up to five months.

They found blood pressure levels of the participants dropping significantly. The higher a person's blood pressure was at the beginning of the study, the more it was reduced by taking garlic.

"In some cases, the effects were similar to those achieved with common anti-blood pressure drugs," the 'Daily Mail' quoted lead researcher Karin Ried as saying.

According to the researchers, the 600 mg to 900 mg dosage used in the study was equivalent to 3.6 mg to 5.4 mg of garlic's active ingredient, allicin. A fresh clove of garlic contains 5 mg to 9 mg of allicin.

"(However) more research is needed to determine whether garlic supplements might have a long-term effect on heart disease risk," the researchers said.

The findings have been published in the latest edition of the 'BMC Cardiovascular Disorders' journal.