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Ingredient in garlic protects against severe chronic pulmonary hypertension in rats

ican Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Dr. Ku's team found that garlic treatment also could protect coronary vascular function and lessen the severity of right heart hypertrophy, two of the serious byproducts of chronic pulmonary hypertension.

Garlic has long been thought to have medicinal properties, and reports have suggested that garlic supplementation in humans could help lower blood pressure, decrease ischemic injury, reduce serum cholesterol, inhibit platelet function and enhance thrombolysis. Garlic also has been suggested to improve arterial oxygenation associated with pulmonary dysfunction in patients with hepatopulmonary syndrome. However, obtaining concrete scientific data to substantiate many of these claims has remained elusive, notes Dr. Ku, in part because it has been difficult to accurate detect and quantify the active garlic metabolite.

Recently the UAB team developed a new highly effective method for doing just that, for quantifying the actual amount of metabolite included in treatments. In what the researchers describe as a "very simple" analytical method, reversed-phased high performance liquid chromatograph method is coupled to mass spectrometry with multiple ions reaction monitoring. Using this method, the team has been able to demonstrate that varying concentrations of garlic active metabolite from either pure allicin, freshly crushed garlic, or commercial freeze-dried garlic preparations, directly correlate to the extent of their vasorelaxation/vasodepressor responses in isolated pulmonary arteries and in living animals.

What does this mean for human diets? Dr. Ku says studies are needed to prove similar beneficial effects from the allicin in garlic will occur in humans his new method should make such studies a little easier but in view of the low toxicity associated with eating garlic, including garlic in one's daily food intake seems a reasonable approach, especially for people with respira
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Contact: Sarah Goodwin
ebpress@bellsouth.net
770-270-0989
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
2-Apr-2005


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