A topic that never ends in the health world is the seeking out of heart-healthy foods. Being in the health business, we often bring you natural heart remedies. So here is one more: garlic oil.
A new study has found that a component of garlic oil may help release protective compounds to the heart after heart attack, during cardiac surgery, or as a treatment for heart failure.
At low concentrations, hydrogen sulfide gas has been found to protect the heart from damage. However, this unstable and volatile compound has been difficult to deliver as a therapy.
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Now researchers have turned to diallyl trisulfide, found within garlic oil, as a way to deliver the benefits of hydrogen sulfide to the heart. Their findings suggest that indeed it could be used in many of the same situations as hydrogen sulfide.
The breakthrough data were presented last week at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.
(By the way, here is a story on three great heart-boosting herbs: http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/heart-health-articles/three-great-heart-boosting-herbs)
What happened was that researchers blocked the coronary arteries of mice for 45 minutes. This simulates a heart attack. Just before blood flow was restored, they gave them diallyl sulfide culled from garlic oil. The compound reduced the proportion of damaged heart tissue in the area at risk by 61% compared with untreated animals.
When oxygen and blood flow are interrupted, it damages mitochondria, which can lead to cell death. But garlic oil’s key component can temporarily turn down the function of mitochondria, ensuring that less damaging substances are released.
Another team was looking into a related matter. “Transverse aortic constriction” results in enlargement of the heart and is a model of heart failure. Diallyl sulfide twice daily, given after aortic constriction, could reduce heart enlargement, they found. Basically, garlic has long been studied for its effects on heart health. While studies have been mixed over time, garlic has been linked to helping treat high blood pressure and preventing heart disease. This is another good-looking, promising study to add some weight to the subject. Remember that crushing garlic when cooking helps open up its healthful ingredients more so than chopping it.