COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A healthy dose of garlic in the diet may help prevent hardening of the aorta, the major artery that carries blood from the heart, according to a new study.
The aorta hardens naturally with age, but a more elastic aorta is beneficial because it conducts blood smoothly from the heart and puts less stress on other organs.
The study also revealed that eating garlic benefits peoples cardiovascular health more as they get older.
Harisios Boudoulas, professor of internal medicine and pharmacy at Ohio State University, collaborated with researchers from the Centre for Cardiovascular Pharmacology in Mainz, Germany, including the Centres director, professor Gustzv Belz. They measured the stiffness of the aorta in more than 200 German men and women, half of whom took 300 mg or more of standardized garlic powder in tablet form every day for two years.
The subjects who took garlic supplements demonstrated a 15 percent lower average aortic stiffness than subjects who did not.
The aortas of our 70-year-old subjects who took garlic were as elastic as the aortas of 55-year-old subjects who didnt take garlic, said Boudoulas. He and the German researchers published their results in a recent issue of the journal Circulation.
The aorta is the large, branching artery that delivers oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Boudoulas explained that a healthy, elastic aorta billows outward with each pulse. As it relaxes, blood flows smoothly to outlying arteries and organs. Doctors have known this for some time, but until recently, none had investigated the effect of aortic elasticity on health.
Prior to a few years ago, the aorta was considered nothing more
than a pipe that transferred blood from the heart to other organs, but now
we know that its a dynamic organ in itself. The aorta helps keep
other organs healthy,
Contact: Harisios Boudoulas
Ohio State University