Aged garlic extract may prevent the progression of heart disease by reversing the buildup of plaque in arteries, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition.
Although several previous studies have demonstrated that aged garlic extract inhibits the progression of coronary artery calcification, its effect on non-calcified plaque (NCP) has been unclear. Researchers investigated whether aged garlic extract reduces coronary plaque volume measured by cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) in patients with metabolic syndrome.
For the study, 55 patients aged 40 to 75 years old who had at least two components of metabolic syndrome received either 2,400 mg of aged garlic extract each day or a placebo. Patients were screened at the start of the study to measure total coronary plaque volume, including total plaque volume, dense calcium, non-calcified plaque and low-attenuation plaque.
At 1-year follow-up screenings the aged garlic extract group had slowed total plaque accumulation by 80 percent, reduced soft plaque and demonstrated regression for low-attenuation plaque. Researchers concluded further studies are needed to evaluate whether aged garlic extract has the ability to stabilize vulnerable plaque and decrease adverse cardiovascular events.
A 2012 study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition found aged garlic extract enhanced immune cell function and may have reduced the severity of colds and flu.