Carmia Borek, PhD
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, with approximately 600,000 deaths a year, in the USA, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Risk factors include elevated LDL (low density cholesterol) and triglycerides, low levels of HDL, (the protective high density cholesterol), increased platelet stickiness and clumping (aggregation), atherosclerosis, hypertension, inflammation, and high levels of homocysteine. Life style factors that increase risk include a poor diet that is high in saturated fats, smoking, a sedentary life devoid of exercise, and obesity a condition that raises inflammatory factors.
Garlic, a traditional medicine for centuries, is now validated by modern science to have a wide range of medicinal properties. Fresh garlic however is not for everyone, as its lingering odor on breath and skin and its potential gastric side effects make people reject fresh garlic, thus depriving themselves of its benefits. An important alternative, chosen by many is odorless Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) that is higher in antioxidants than fresh garlic and often more effective in protecting health.
A September announcement by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) stating, “America is losing the war against hypertension,” is alarming. The report says almost 54 percent of Americans are diagnosed with high blood pressure that often goes untreated. Hypertension is now public health enemy number two, behind tobacco use.
Kyolic® Aged Garlic Extract™ has been shown in numerous studies to reduce cardiovascular risk factors and help protect against heart attacks. Among those prone to sudden cardiac death are firefighters, exposed to high occupational stress. In effect firefighters have a three hundred percent increased risk of heart disease, compared to the general population, according to a study conducted at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
Aged garlic extract (Kyolic), is a natural garlic supplement made from organic garlic by the Wakunaga Company, in a long-term process of extraction and aging, at room temperature. While the fresh bulb is a wonderful herb, its lingering odor puts people off, thus depriving them of its many benefits. Aged garlic extract (AGE) is odorless, rich in beneficial organosulfur compounds and antioxidant activity and the favored preparation used in studies on garlic’s benefits. There are over 600 research publications showing the wide range of health effects of AGE, which include cardiovascular protection, anti-cancer and anti-aging effects. In addition, AGE has been found, in preclinical and clinical studies, to protect against the toxicity of free radical-producing environmental agents and drugs, such as acetaminophen.
If you are one of the millions of Americans who take statins to prevent heart disease, you should be aware that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published important warnings on these cholesterol-lowering medications.
Radiation is naturally present in our environment, since the birth of our planet, but an increase in exposure comes from man made radiation, from medical sources, such as X-rays, and commercial and industrial activities. For example, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission report, one of the largest sources of exposure is the medically used CT scans; other medical procedures add a similar dose of exposure to radiation. The new airport scanners further add to our burden of radiation. In addition, as quoted in that report, some consumer products such as tobacco, fertilizer, luminous dial watches and smoke detectors add to our annual exposure.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a precursor to heart disease. High blood pressure that goes undetected or isn’t properly controlled can lead to heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure, stroke or premature death. According to the American Heart Association one in three U.S. adults suffers from hypertension, which if gone untreated leads to one in six deaths a year. Though the exact causes of rising blood pressure are not clear, studies show there is a strong association with age, family history, being overweight, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, stress, and lack of sleep, to name a few of the findings. High salt intake, caffeine and alcohol have been shown to exacerbate the situation, leading to an increase in blood pressure.
Garlic ranks highest in popularity and efficacy among health promoting herbs. A staple remedy in traditional medicine for thousands of years, garlic’s ability to prevent a wide range of age-related diseases has been confirmed by modern science. Studies show that garlic, rich in organosulfur compounds and high in antioxidant activity, lowers cholesterol, helps protect against cardiovascular disease and inflammation, and has potential to lower the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Cardiovascular disease is a complex ailment, characterized by a wide variety of factors, including high LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) elevated levels of triglycerides, hypertension, calcification of arteries, increased platelet aggregation, and low levels of the protective high density cholesterol (HDL).
Garlic has been used for centuries as a traditional medicine, in many cultures. Modern science has confirmed its role in reducing cardiovascular risk factors, by normalizing plasma lipids and inhibiting platelet aggregation; yet some contradictory results have arisen, due to shortcomings in study methodology and inadequate standardization of the garlic preparations used in many studies.